United States

  • capital city: Washington, DC
  • population: 320,657,000
  • area: 9,857,306 sq. km.
  • languages spoken: English
  • annual record sales: $4,898,300,000 (USD 2014)
  • rank: 1st worldwide
  • currency: Dollar $ (USD)
  • The pilgrims’ ship, the Mayflower, landed at Plymouth Rock instead of Virginia because they ran out of beer

The US market experienced a growth in sales of over 2% in 2014 – with digital streaming leading the way. According to Billboard magazine, independent sales made up 35.1% of the total market in 2014.

Who’s who in the US music market

Coachella Festival 2010

Recording Industry of Association of America

RIAA is the trade organization that supports and promotes the creative and financial vitality of the major music companies. Its members comprise the most vibrant record industry in the world.

1025 F ST N.W., 10th Floor, Washington, DC 20004
P: 1-202-775-0101
Chairman & CEO: Cary Sherman


American Association of Independent Music

A2IM is a nonprofit organization representing over 350 independent music labels that promotes business opportunity, provides advocacy and representation, as well as networking opportunities for the independent community. Currently, indies hold a 35.1% of market share by ownership, the largest sector in the music industry.

132 Delancey Street, New York, NY 10002
P: 1-646-692-4877
CEO: Richard Burgess


American Federation of Musicians     www.afm.org
We are the largest organization in the world representing the interests of professional musicians. We negotiate fair agreements, protect ownership of recorded music, secure benefits such as health care and pension, and lobby our legislators.

Broadcast Music Inc    www.bmi.com
BMI was founded in 1939 to represent songwriters and protect the public performances of their music. BMI is the bridge between songwriters and the businesses and organizations that want to play their music publicly.

American Society Of Composers, Authors And Publishers     www.ascap.com
ASCAP is a professional organization of 555,000 songwriters, composers and music publishers, owned and run by its members, and the world leader in performance royalties, advocacy and service for music creators.

Association of Music Producers     www.ampnow.com
The Association of Music Producers (AMP) was founded in 1998 for the purpose of educating its members, as well as the production, advertising and media communities, on all facets of music production, from creation to final use.

Music Managers Forum – US   www.mmfus.com
MMF-US provides a platform to connect, enhance, and reinforce the expertise and professionalism of music managers. Our goal is to further the interests of managers and their artists in all fields of the music industry, including live performance, recording and music publishing matters.

Association of Performing Arts Presenters     www.artspresenters.org
APAP is the service and advocacy organization for presenters of the performing arts. Our members include public, private, municipal and institutional performing arts centers, artist and management companies, touring companies, consultants and self-presenting artists.

National Association of Music Merchants     www.namm.org
NAMM is the not-for-profit association that promotes the pleasures and benefits of making music and strengthens the $17 billion global music products industry. We serve as a hub for people seeking out the newest innovations in musical products, recording technology, sound and lighting.

The Recording Academy     www.grammy.org
Celebrating music through the GRAMMY Awards for more than 50 years, The Recording Academy continues its rich legacy and ongoing growth as the premier outlet for honoring achievements in the recording arts and supporting the music community.

Touring in the United States

Governors Ball NYC

The US music industry is #1 with an almost 32% share of the world’s music revenue. That works out to about 15 billion USD annually. Well over half of those revenues now come from live music performances, with the expectation that share will grow.

If you want to perform temporarily in the US, you will need to secure one of these work permit options. Here is a brief description of each:

B1: For showcases, only i.e. gigs with no fees earned. You need a letter from the event organizer and you present that at the border.

P1: For internationally established artists who are “internationally renowned”

P2: For paid shows, if you are a member of an organization that has a P2 program relationship with a US labor organization. Canadians can apply through the Canadian Federation of Musicians to secure this visa. Gig dates must be included and crew as well. Lead time minimum is currently 90 days before entry date (note: subject to change).

P3: For internationally established artists that are “culturally unique or a traditional ethnic, folk, cultural, musical, theatrical, or artistic performance or presentation” and their support staff

O1/O2: For internationally established artists “with extraordinary ability or achievement” and their support staff

Canadian performers will also be subject to a withholding tax on performance revenues.

For more detailed information on work permits and tax issues, please download US Work Permits for Musicians Overview.

The US is a huge national market with mega-urban areas on both ocean coasts – plus more in between. For more information on the largest urban regions, please see the Key Urban Areas in the US descriptions below.

The US’s annual festivals are numerous and varied. For more information please see the Major US festivals tab below.

Governors Ball NYC02

Artists from Abroad        www.artistsfromabroad.org
The League of American Orchestras and Association of Performing Arts Presenters have consulted with nationally-recognized experts to create the most complete and up-to-date online resource for foreign guest artists, their managers, and performing arts organizations. Covers both immigration (visas) and tax issues.

US Government: Temporary Worker Visas     travel.state.gov/content/visas/en/employment/temporary.html
Generally, a citizen of a foreign country who wishes to enter the United States must first obtain a visa, either a nonimmigrant visa for temporary stay, or an immigrant visa for permanent residence.

Canadian Federation of Musicians: Work Permits     www.cfmusicians.org/services/work-permits
Canadian members who wish to perform (work) in the United States may apply for non-immigrant work permits through AFM. The AFM provides the exact same level of service as immigration lawyers or visa service agents.

US Music Magazines
Rolling Stone Magazine    www.rollingstone.com

Billboard    www.billboard.com

Spin     www.spin.com

Alternative Press Magazine

Mojo     www.mojo4music.com

The Pitchfork Review     www.thepitchforkreview.com

Key Urban Areas in the US

New York population 18,897,109

The metropolitan area around New York, NY includes Newark, NJ and parts of the state of Connecticut.

Key Venues/Clubs: Arlene’s Grocery www.arlenesgrocery.net, Bowery Ballroom www.boweryballroom.com, Brooklyn Bowl www.brooklynbowl.com, City Winery www.citywinery.com/newyork, Highline Ballroom www.highlineballroom.com, Gramercy Theatre www.thegramercytheatre.com, Irving Plaza www.irvingplaza.com, Joe’s Pub www.joespub.com, Mercury Lounge www.mercuryloungenyc.com, Music Hall of Williamsburg www.musichallofwilliamsburg.com, Pianos www.pianosnyc.com, Rockwood Music Hall www.rockwoodmusichall.com, Saint Vitus www.saintvitusbar.com, S.O.B.’s www.sobs.com, Terminal 5 www.terminal5nyc.com, Webster Hall www.websterhall.com, The Town Hall www.thetownhall.org, Radio City Music Hall www.radiocity.com, Madison Square Garden www.thegarden.com, Hammerstein Ballroom www.themanhattancenter.com, Barclays Center www.barclayscenter.com, Jones Beach www.jonesbeach.com (LI)

Key Radio: WNYU 89.1 FM (college), WKCR 89.9 FM (college), WLTW 106.7 FM (lite), WKTU 103.5 FM (dance), WHTZ Z 100.3 FM (top 40), WWFS Fresh 107.2 FM (mix), WCBS Jack 101.1 FM (mix), WNOW NOW 92.3 FM (top 40)

Universities: Columbia University www.columbia.edu, City University of New York (CUNY) www.cuny.edu, Fordam University www.fordham.edu, New York University www.nyu.edu, Pace University www.pace.edu, The New School www.newschool.edu

Los Angeles population 12,828,837

The metropolitan area around Los Angeles includes the cities of Long Beach and Anaheim.

Key venues/clubs: Blue Whale Bar www.bluewhalemusic.com, Bootleg Theater www.bootlegtheater.org, The Echo/Echoplex www.theecho.com, El Rey Theatre www.theelrey.com, Fonda Theater www.fondatheatre.com, The Forum www.fabulousforum.com, Fox Theatre www.foxpomona.com, Greek Theater www.lagreektheatre.com, Hollywood Bowl www.hollywoodbowl.com, Hollywood Palladium www.thehollywoodpalladium.com, Hotel Café www.hotelcafe.com, Largo www.largo-la.com, The Mayan www.clubmayan.com, The Mint www.themintla.com, Orpheum Theater www.laorpheum.com, The Roxy www.theroxy.com, The Satellite www.thesatellitela.com, Staples Center www.staplescenter.com, Theatre at the Ace Hotel www.acehotel.com/losangeles/theatre, The Troubadour www.troubadour.com, The Viper Room www.viperroom.com, Walt Disney Concert Hall www.laphil.com, The Wiltern www.wiltern.com

Key radio stations: KRRL Real 92.3 FM (hip hop), KCBS Jack FM 93.1 FM (adult contemporary), KLOS 95.5 FM (classic rock), KJLH Radio Free 102.3 FM (urban), KIIS 102.7 FM (adult contemporary), KOST 103.5 FM (adult contemporary), KBIG MYFM 104.3 FM (hits), KPWR Power 106 105.9 FM (adult contemporary), KROQ 106.7 FM (alternative)

Colleges and Universities: California State University – Los Angeles www.calstatela.edu, California State University – Northridge www.csun.edu, Loyola Marymount www.lmu.edu, UCLA www.ucla.edu, University of Southern California www.usc.edu

Chicago population 9,461,105

The metropolitan area around Chicago, Illinois includes a portion of the state of Indiana.

Key venues/clubs: Aragon Ballroom www.aragonballroom.org, Beat Kitchen www.beatkitchen.com, Buddy Guy’s Legends www.buddyguy.com, Chicago Theatre www.thechicagotheatre.com, Double Door www.doubledoor.com, The Empty Bottle www.emptybottle.com, The Hideout www.hideoutchicago.com, House of Blues www.houseofblues.com/chicago, Lincoln Hall www.lincolnhallchicago.com, Metro www.metrochicago.com, Old Town School of Folk Music www.oldtownschool.org, Reggie’s www.reggieslive.com, Riviera Theatre www.rivieratheatre.com, Space www.evanstonspace.com, Subterranean www.subt.net, Underground Wonder Bar www.undergroundwonderbar.com, Vic Theatre www.victheatre.com, The Whistler www.whistlerchicago.com

Key radio: WLUW 88.7 FM (college), WXRT 93.1 FM (adult album alternative), WBBM B96 96.3 FM (contemporary hit radio), WLUP The Loop 97.9 FM (classic rock), WTMX The Mix 101.9 FM (hot adult contemporary), WVAZ 102.7 FM (urban adult contemporary), WKSC KISS-FM 103.5 FM (contemporary hit radio)

Colleges and Universities: Columbia College Chicago www.colum.edu, DePaul University www.depaul.edu, Governors State University www.govst.edu, Illinois Institute of Technology www.iit.edu, Indiana University Northwest (Gary, IN) www.iun.edu, Loyola University www.luc.edu, Midwestern University www.midwestern.edu, Northeastern Illinois University www.neiu.edu, Northwestern University www.northwestern.edu, Saint Xavier University www.sxu.edu, Roosevelt University www.roosevelt.edu, University of Chicago www.uchicago.edu, University of Illinois – Chicago www.uic.edu

Philadelphia population 5,965,343

The metropolitan area around Philadelphia, Pennsylvania includes a portion of the state of New Jersey, including the city of Camden.

Key venues/clubs: World Cafe Live www.philly.worldcafelive.com, Johnny Brenda’s www.johnnybrendas.com, Union Transfer www.utphilly.com, The Trocadero Theatre www.thetroc.com, Kung-Fu Necktie www.kungfunecktie.com, Theatre of the Living Arts www.tlaphilly.com, The Tower Theatre www.thetowerphilly.com, The Electric Factory www.electricfactory.info, Chris’s Jazz Café www.chrisjazzcafe.com, MilkBoy www.milkboyphilly.com, Underground Arts www.undergroundarts.org, Boot & Saddle www.bootandsaddlephilly.com, Tin Angel At Serrano www.tinangel.com, Kimmel Center For the Performing Arts www.kimmelcenter.org, The Mann Center www.manncenter.org, Susquehanna Bank Center www.livenationvenue.com/susquehanna-bank-center, Wells Fargo Center www.wellsfargocenterphilly.com

Key radio: WXPN FM 88.5 (college), WGLS FM 89.7 (college), WRTI FM 90.1 (jazz and classical – college), WKDU FM 91.7 (college), WMMR FM 93.3 (classic rock), WUSL Power 99 FM – 98.9 (urban), WMGK FM 102.9 (classic rock), WRFF Radio 104.5 FM (alternative), WDAS FM 105.3 (urban adult)

Colleges and Universities: Drexel University www.drexel.edu, La Salle University www.lasalle.edu, Philadelphia University www.philau.edu, Rowan University www.rowan.edu, Rutgers University – Camden www.camden.rutgers.edu, Saint Joseph’s University www.sju.edu, Temple University www.temple.edu, Thomas Jefferson University www.jefferson.edu, University of the Sciences www.usciences.edu, University of the Arts www.uarts.edu, University of Pennsylvania www.upenn.edu

Dallas population 6,371,773

The metropolitan area around Dallas, Texas includes the cities of Fort Worth, Irving, and Arlington.

Key venues/clubs: Balcony Club www.balconyclub.com, The Bomb Factory www.thebombfactory.com, Dada Dallas www.dadadallas.com, Double Wide www.double-wide.com, Gas Monkey Bar N Grill www.gasmonkeybarngrill.com, Gilley’s Dallas www.gilleysdallas.com, Granada Theater www.granadatheater.com, House of Blues www.houseofblues.com/dallas, Kessler Theater www.thekessler.org, South Side Music Hall www.southsideballroomdallas.com, Prophet Bar www.thedoordallas.com, Sambuca www.sambucarestaurant.com, Sons of Hermann Hall www.sonsofhermann.com, Trees www.treesdallas.com, Verizon Theatre at Grand Prairie www.verizontheatre.com, Performing Arts Center (multiple venues) www.attpac.org, Gexa Energy Pavilion AT&T www.dallaspavilion.org

Key Radio Stations: KNTU-FM 88.1 (classical, jazz – college), KTCU-FM 88.7 (college), KKXT KXT 91.7 FM (indie), KZPS Lone Star 92.5, (classic rock), KLIF i93 93.3 FM (hits), KSCS 96.3 FM (country), KPLX The Wolf 99.5 FM (country), KJKK Jack FM 100.3 FM (adult contemporary), KDGE The Edge 102.1 FM (alternative), KDMX Now 102.9 FM (hits), KKDA K104 104.5 FM (urban), KHKS KISS FM 106.1 FM (hits)

Colleges and Universities: Brookhaven College www.BrookhavenCollege.edu, Dallas Baptist University www.dbu.edu, Eastfield College www.eastfieldcollege.edu, El Centro College www.elcentrocollege.edu, Mountain View College www.mountainviewcollege.edu, North Lake College www.northlakecollege.edu, Richland College www.richlandcollege.edu, Southern Methodist University www.smu.edu, Texas Christian University www.tcu.edu, Texas Woman’s University www.twu.edu, University of Dallas www.udallas.edu, University of North Texas www.unt.edu, University of Texas – Arlington www.uta.edu, University of Texas – Dallas www.utdallas.edu

Miami population 5,564,635

The metropolitan area around Miami, Florida includes the cities of Hollywood, Fort Lauderdale and Pompano Beach.

Key venues/clubs: American Airlines Arena www.aaarena.com, Adrienne Arsht Center www.arshtcenter.org, Bardot www.bardotmiami.com, Churchill’s Pub www.churchillspub.com, Jazid www.jazid.net, Klipsch Amphitheater www.livenation.com/venues/15031/bayfront-park-amphitheatre, Olympia Theater www.olympiatheater.org, Pompano Beach Amphitheatre www.livenation.com/venues/15778/pompano-beach-amphitheatre, Sweat Records www.sweatrecordsmiami.com, The Electric Pickle www.electricpicklemiami.com, The Fillmore Miami Beach www.fillmoremb.com, The Stage www.thestagemiami.com

Key Radio Stations: WDNA 88.9FM (jazz), WVUM 90.5 FM (college), WCMQ Z92.3 FM (latin), WMIA My939 FM (hits), WPOW Power96 96.5 FM (hits), WRTO Mix98.3 FM (latin), WEDR JAMZ 99.1 FM (hip hop), WHYI Y100 100.7 FM (hits), WMXJFM The Beach 102.7 FM (classic hits), WXDJ ElZol 106.7 FM (latin)

Colleges and Universities: Florida Atlantic University (Boca Raton) www.fau.edu, Florida International University www.fiu.edu, Keiser University www.keiseruniversity.edu, Miami Dade College www.mdc.edu, Nova Southeastern University www.nova.edu, University of Miami www.miami.edu

Major US festivals


The Chicago International Movies & Music Festival (cimmFEST) is a four-day showcase combining film, live music, VJ/DJ sets, Q&As, industry panels, and presentations showcasing the important relationship between movies and music.

Thematically, the movie segment happens during the day while the live music elements take over at night. The venue is Wicker Park and Logan Square – two of Chicago’s most eclectic and vibrant neighbourhoods – and the festival is now in its 8th year.


Mondo.NYC is an annual business summit, festival and digital platform bringing together music, technology and innovation in the most vibrant city in the world. Mondo launches September 14-18, 2016 in New York City with a business summit hosted at New York University and live music showcases presented at venues in Manhattan and Brooklyn.



A3C (All 3 Coasts) Festival & Conference, featuring 500+ performances over 5 days, is the preeminent hip-hop event in the US, commonly referred to as “hip-hop’s family reunion.” We strive to empower, engage and energize the community of artists and influencers that define and shape hip-hop culture.

A3C has grown organically from a regional showcase to an internationally recognized and nationally acclaimed experience encompassing music, education, art, film, style, pro-audio and much more. A3C is an incomparable platform to reach and interact with the influential organizations, leaders, labels, brands, media and artists within the hip-hop community.

Festival alumni include: Bonecrusher, De La Soul, Wiz Khalifa, Mystikal, Nappy Roots, Cam’ron, Audio Push, Bun B, Big Sean, Mobb Deep, Brother Ali, Homeboy Sandman, and Black Thought.

CMJ Music Marathon

CMJ Music Marathon, 34 years running, is one of the world’s most important platforms for the discovery of new music. Throughout one vital week every October, CMJ features over 1,400 live performances in more than 80 of New York City’s greatest nightclubs and theaters.

A stunning 120,000 artists, music fans, and industry insiders descend on the city for exclusive parties, over 100 cutting edge conference events featuring industry insiders, an Entertainment Business Law Seminar and College Day, a mixer designed especially for college and non-commercial radio programmers.

All attendees have full access to every aspect of the festival, the world’s largest for emerging music, throughout storied locations in Manhattan and Brooklyn.

Folk Alliance International

The Folk Alliance International Conference is the world’s largest gathering of the Folk Music community crossing a diverse array of Folk genres – Bluegrass, Celtic, Appalachian, Americana, singer-songwriters, and contemporary roots bands.

The annual February conference, now in its 27th year, draws over 3000 artists and industry reps dedicated to this music. Delegates attend from the US, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Ireland, England, Scotland, Wales, Scandinavia, Continental Europe, and Japan.

In addition to over 150 public showcases of artists from around the world, Festival programs include an industry conference, an awards gala, a music camp, and a music fair.

South by Southwest

Since 1987, the South by Southwest Conferences & Festivals has produced the internationally recognized Music and Media Conference & Festival. Year after year, the event is a launching pad for new creative content. New media presentations, music showcases and film screenings provide buzz-generating exposure for creators and compelling entertainment for audiences.

Conference panel discussions present a forum for learning, business activity thrives at the Trade Shows and global networking opportunities abound. And over 2,000 performers make this festival one of the largest in the world.

Festival alumni include: King’s X, Billy Ray Cyrus, Gin Blossoms, Townes Van Zandt, Dixie Chicks, Barenaked Ladies, Willie Nelson, Lisa Loeb, Blue Rodeo, Beck, Ben Harper, Blues Traveler, Wilco, Iggy Pop, Blink-182, Ben Folds Five, Carl Perkins, Sonic Youth, Black Eyed Peas, Rufus Wainwright, Sean Lennon, Billy Bragg, Queens of the Stone Age, Tom Waits, Jeff Beck, Robert Fripp, Leon Russell, The Flaming Lips, Death Cab For Cutie…and that only takes us to 1999!

Americana Music Festival

Americana is contemporary music that incorporates elements of various American roots music styles, including country, roots-rock, folk, bluegrass, R&B and blues.

Starting in 1996, the Americana Music Association has hosted the annual Americana Music Festival & Conference, bringing together legendary artists, the next generation of rising stars and industry professionals for four days of music and education.

Daytime conference activities and sessions are held at our host hotel and evening showcases are held at nine prestigious downtown music venues.

Cochella Valley Music & Arts Festival

Coachella is an annual music and arts festival held at the Empire Polo Club in Indio, California, located in the Coachella Valley in the Colorado Desert. Founded in 1999, and spanning over two weekends in April, the festival offers performances from top performers from many genres on multiple stages.

Festival alumni include: Beck, The Chemical Brothers, Morrissey, Moby, Bjork, Oasis, Foo Fighters, Tiesto, Coldplay, Wilco, Nine Inch Nails, Arcade Fire, Depeche Mode, Daft Punk, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Jay-Z, LCD Soundsystem, Mumford and Sons, Radiohead, Dr. Dre and Snoop Dogg, AC/DC, Jack White, and Drake.

Electric Daisy Carnival

EDC is an all-encompassing carnival for the 21st century. From rides and performers to mind-blowing fireworks and art installations to cutting-edge sound and special effects, you’ll find yourself immersed in another world. Explore and discover all its magical surprises, and create your own adventure.

Hosted by the company Insomniac Events, which first produced EDC in 1997 in Los Angeles, it has since spread to various venues across the United States as well as Mexico, the UK, Brazil & Japan.

EDC is an electronic dance music festival including house, dance, electro house, drum and bass, techno, dance-punk, hardstyle, dubstep, and trance.

Governors Ball

Governors Ball is a multi-day music festival held on Randall’s Island in New York City. Launched in 2011, the festival features an array of genres and styles of music, including rock, electronic, hip-hop, indie, americana, pop, and folk.

Festival Alumni include: Chromeo, Atmosphere, Beck, Kings of Leon, Feist, Erykah Badu, Guns n’ Roses, Kanye West, Outkast, The Strokes, Vampire Weekend, Drake, Florence and the Machine, St. Vincent, Deadmau5, Bjork, and The Black Keys.

Bonnaroo Music Festival

Bonnaroo is an annual four-day music festival held at Great Stage Park on a 700-acre farm in Manchester, Tennessee. The festival features multiple stages with a diverse array of genres including indie rock, classic rock, world music, hip hop, jazz, Americana, bluegrass, country music, folk, gospel, reggae, pop, electronica, and other alternative styles.

The primary Bonnaroovian habitat is the campgrounds “where happy campers live, sleep, and play in blissful harmony like its permanent recess”.

Since its inception in 2002, festival alumni have included Ben Harper, Norah Jones, Neil Young & Crazy Horse, James Brown, The Allman Brothers Band, Dave Matthews & Friends, Bob Dylan, Steve Winwood, Government Mule, Radiohead, and Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers.

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