Future of Music in LA

Join Us
Join Us

Join us in 2019 as we connect conversations, research, and events around the forces changing music in Los Angeles and ways we can work together to expand opportunities in this diverse set of communities.

What we need and welcome:

  • Location, media, and event sponsors across the broad spectrum of LA and music
  • Nominations of locations and speakers at event convenings
  • Participation among many LA music communities for research interviews and collaborations
  • Diverse voices
  • Support of resources and funds

We welcome you to participate in this project, and want to start the conversation on how you might want to be involved.

Ways to Be Involved — email us at gigi.johnson@ucla.edu

Nominate or be part of interviews about music in Los Angeles

Sponsor or host an invitation-only event on one of our many topic areas

Be a media sponsor for this event

Sponsor researchers or multimedia creation teams 

Contribute information and research from your own communities

Join us at one of our many events across the Los Angeles Region in 2019

Join our leadership/advisory team for this research program

Sign up for news and event invitations below

  • Research Interviews across the LA Music communities
  • Events: Presentations, panels, breakout sessions and roundtables, inspirational performers and community gatherings
  • Monthly podcasts leading up to event, publication of multimedia results, follow on online forums and groups
  • Interactive Map of venues and communities
  • Online collaborative and reflection space, research, and updates
  • Possible documentary

So, continuing in 2019, we are inviting our communities to a series of conversations and collaborations.

  • We are working to map the various music communities and locations in Los Angeles
  • We are planning a series of events, with some of them at traditional locations and some popups, with an invited series of communities across LA’s many music scenes
  • We will be continuing our research, along with podcasts and video recordings, to capture the storytelling and beliefs about current and future LA’s in music
  • We will be working with an upcoming “Compose LA 2019” music festival with the City of LA’s Cultural Affairs Department for one of our early events
  • We will be exploring various parts of LA, from DTLA through the Valley through the Westside, through many of the 91 “neighborhoods” and 15 council districts. of LA and parts of LA County
  • We will be working toward a share-able and publishable multimedia exploration by the end of 2019
  • We will be looking at “whose LA?” and “whose futures?” — and how we make take actions to work together to help more than just the main players in the space
  • We will look at genres, have/have not issues, socioeconomic challenges, immigration and racial opportunities and frictions, generational changes, and live/work cultures, and even impacts of traffic and increasing traffic and car services


We began this project in 2017 with an eight-student project to explore music in Los Angeles,  We interviewed and recorded 40 music professionals, ranging from club owners to long-time performers to artists new to LA to songwriters.  Each held view of a very different Los Angeles.

Our core question started as how was changing technologies, esp. The growth in streaming, affecting live performance and communities.  We became intrigued by the many Music Cities projects and conferences with other cities around the world. We spoke with music cities researchers and public policy folks in many cities, and spent a fair bit looking to the North with the people up in San Francisco, where gentrification has taken a large cut at their performing arts spaces and lifestyles.  

We began to ask “what about LA”?  

What is LA? What is happening in its diverse music cultures?  How does technology impact clubs vs. large venues vs. festivals — and who is using changing tech well to embrace and remind its audiences?  How are the various local music communities changing and embracing connecting technologies? How is our quirky confluence of music supervisors, co-writers, influencers, labels, and other power brokers affecting our new clubs, popups, and communities?  LA is the city. Or is it the county? Do people in LA even know which LA they are in, or in LA at all? What is happening in West Hollywood vs. DTLA vs. the beach cities? Where our people migrating to as rents increase?

Core Topics

  • What is “Los Angeles”? — rich history and narrative of LA in creative arts
  • Major forces of change
  • Map of Los Angeles – geography over time
  • LA’s changes in comparison to other great Music Cities
  • Future Trends
    • Big Trends — Projected Drivers Overall for 2030 and 2040
    • Big projected trends in recorded music
    • Future real estate and economic trends for LA County and California
      • Populations and Migrations
    • Roles of “The Business”
      • Role of LA in Recorded Music Tastemaking and Community-building
      • Music in the Heart of Motion Pictures and TV
    • Live music trends
      • Big Venue – trends
      • Small venue – trends
      • Cultural and Popular music contrasts
      • Futures of Genres
      • Ages and Demographics
      • Transportation Trends
      • Pop Ups and Non-Traditional Spaces
      • Roles of Festivals in the Local Market
    • Life and Role of the Local Artist and Community
      • Lifestyle and community trends
      • Role of collectives and communities
      • Ecosystem of managers and professional support
      • Migration in as The Place (or one of The Places)
      • Social support as artists get older in community
    • Organizations as Catalysts for Change
      • Public Policy – organizational efforts
      • Communities as catalysts
      • Future Role of Schools and Universities as Community Hubs
    • Role of Technology in Social Change and Futures of Live Events
      • Role of VR and Immersive Media
      • Silicon Valley, Silicon Beach, DTLA, and points beyond as tech hubs
      • Music 3.0 — systemic change under streaming music — and LA’s role
      • Role of the future Olympics and arts cooperation
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