Rep. Harshbarger Introduces House Companion Bill to Bolster Music Tourism in Tennessee, U.S

WASHINGTON, D.C. - U.S. Representatives Diana Harshbarger (R-TN-01) and Nanette Barragán (D-CA-44) introduced H.R. 8843, a House companion bill to S. 4212, the American Music Tourism Act. Introduced in April by U.S. Senator Marsha Blackburn in the upper chamber, this bicameral legislation will help bolster music tourism both in Tennessee and nationwide.

"From renowned entertainment attractions like Dollywood in Pigeon Forge and the Birthplace of Country Music Museum in Bristol to legendary recording studios, Tennessee is at the heart of America's music scene which attracts millions of domestic visitors and international tourists,” said Congresswoman Harshbarger. “The American Music Tourism Act ensures the many parts of our music industry remain pillars of American culture and tourism all while bolstering economic growth.” 

"Music is the heart and soul of so many of our communities in the Los Angeles area. From iconic spots like the Hollywood Bowl and the Greek Theatre, the venues on Sunset where so many artists have been catapulted to stardom, to the many local stages in Southern California, millions travel to Los Angeles to witness live performances and experience our vibrant music scene," said Congresswoman Barragán." The bipartisan American Music Tourism Act will help grow our music tourism sector, expand cultural activities to communities across our country, and emphasize music as a critical component to American culture and economy.”


The United States is home to one of the largest music industries in the world with annual revenues exceeding $43 billion and market projections estimating $11.3 billion in industry revenues by 2023. In Tennessee, our music industry here supports over 61,000 jobs and fills over 4,500 music and performance venues.

Our American Music Tourism Act aims to utilize established framework within the U.S. Department of Commerce’s Travel and Tourism Office to spotlight and bolster music tourism across the United States by identifying and promoting sites of musical significance.

Click here for the full text of the bill.


This legislation is supported by the Recording Academy, the Birthplace of Country Music Museum (Bristol, Tennessee), Pigeon Forge Department of Tourism, the Nashville Songwriter’s Association International, the Recording Industry Association of America, Live Nation Entertainment, the National Independent Venues Association, Tennessee Department of Tourism Development, and the Tennessee Entertainment Commission. 

“Music tourism is of vital importance to Tennessee, but specifically to Pigeon Forge. Last year, more than eight million people visited our destination, many of whom came in search of musical entertainment. In addition to a highly successful musical theater community, we are especially proud that Dolly Parton, one of the world’s most celebrated musicians and prolific songwriters, and her Dollywood theme park give so many visitors reasons to visit time and time again. The Commerce Department’s Assistant Secretary for Travel and Tourism has a vital role in promoting and increasing tourism for both domestic and international visitors. On behalf of Pigeon Forge and other Tennessee destinations that rely on music-seeking visitors, I encourage the Assistant Secretary to expand these efforts through the American Music Tourism Act,” said Leon Downey, Executive Director of the Pigeon Forge Department of Tourism.

“The Recording Academy is pleased to support the American Music Tourism Act and applauds Representatives Harshbarger and Barragan for their continued dedication to lifting up the music community. Music has long played an important role in our economy and culture. This bill will amplify the music community’s contributions to economic growth and increase understanding of music’s impact on the U.S. and the world,” said Todd Dupler, Chief Advocacy and Public Policy Officer of the Recording Academy.

“For decades, Tennessee has maintained its reputation as a mecca for music tourism attracting both domestic and global audiences alike. Our State’s uniquely positioned musical legacy has become a valuable tool in shaping cultural pride, economic growth, and community development across all grand divisions. The American Music Tourism Act promotes and supports our distinctive destinations and music heritage, preserving what makes Tennessee a truly exceptional place to visit,” said Bob Raines, Executive Director of the Tennessee Entertainment Commission.

“From rural communities to city centers, 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. We applaud Representatives Diana Harshbarger and Nanette Barragan for aligning the nation’s tourism strategy with the venues and festivals across our country that the world travels to experience,” said Stephen Parker, Executive Director of the National Independent Venue Association.


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