‘American Music Tourism Act’ Arrives in Congress With Support from the RIAA, NIVA, the Recording Academy, and More

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Several industry organizations have come out in support of the new American Music Tourism Act. Photo Credit: Michel Stockman

Federal lawmakers have officially introduced bipartisan legislation designed “to increase music tourism,” and the measure is drawing support from the Recording Academy, the RIAA, and others. 

Senators John Hickenlooper (D-CO) and Marsha Blackburn (R-TN) just recently unveiled the American Music Tourism Act, which they say aims to increase the number of “domestic and international visitors” giving their business to “venues nationwide.”

And on this front, the senators summarized as well that the bill would require the Commerce Department’s assistant secretary for travel and tourism to spearhead a plan to enhance music tourism among stateside and global fans alike. Additionally, the legislation would compel a yearly report to Congress “on the findings and achievements” of said plan.

Digging into the text of the concise bill itself, the American Music Tourism Act would simply amend the Visit America Act, which became law as part of a massive spending package in late 2022 and created the assistant secretary position.

As its title suggests, the Visit America Act aims “to support the travel and tourism industry, which produces economic impacts that are vital to our national economy.”

Under the American Music Tourism Act, the existing law would be updated so that the secretary’s responsibilities include “identifying locations and events in the United States that are important to music tourism and promoting domestic travel and tourism to those sites and events.”

A similar addition would institute the same requirement for international tourism, and the assistant secretary would then present the mentioned annual congressional reports on the “activities, findings, achievements, and vulnerabilities relating to the” promotional undertakings.

Lastly, the American Music Tourism Act specifically defines music tourism as the act of traveling to attend live performances or “to visit historic or modern day music-related attractions, including museums, studios, venues of all sizes, and other sites related to music.”

As noted, multiple industry organizations are backing the bill, with National Independent Venue Association (NIVA) executive director Stephen Parker touting the broader focus on “music tourism as a catalyst for economic development.”

“From rural communities to city centers,” Parker relayed in part, “independent stages attract investment and visitors for the artists and professionals that put on shows and the restaurants, retail, and attractions around them. The American Music Tourism Act finally recognizes music tourism as a catalyst for economic development and ensures its growth is a national priority.”

In other stateside legislative news, lawmakers including Senator Blackburn yesterday participated in a hearing on the No Fakes Act and the wider issue of infringing AI media. FKA Twigs, Robert Kyncl, and several others appeared as witnesses, with the Warner Music head Kyncl having urged near-term regulatory action on AI and described the sought components of this framework.