In a piece about music, Richard Florida reported today on the per capita popularity of various music scenes. Though the article doesn’t link to the source data and doesn’t mention Provo specifically, the city does show up as a dot on various maps. That in itself is an accomplishment; there are other cities that don’t show up at all or that show up as smaller dots.
But what’s really worth mentioning is the last map included in the article:
This map shows a “Music Popularity Index per capita,” which basically means the popularity of a music scene as represented through Myspace balanced by the population of that scene’s metro area.
Though the Provo metro area isn’t a top 20 city — which are all mentioned by name — it is shaded in dark green. That puts it in the same in general category is Las Vegas, Portland, Seattle, Denver and big parts of both coasts. It beats a whole lot of other cities.
Keep in mind also that this data was collected in 2007 via Myspace. That predates a massive amount of growth in Provo’s music scene that includes several bands — Neon Trees, Fictionist — getting record deals, the explosion of the Rooftop Concert Series and a number of older professional acts coming to the Covey Center. If this data were collected today, Provo would probably do even better.
I wish I had access to the actual data because it’s hard to tell from the map alone how different music scenes in Utah were divvied up. The color-coded categories are also pretty broad so it’s difficult to discern how Provo actually compares to other cities. In the end, I’m just making inferences here. (Via Twitter I have asked Richard Florida to tell me Provo’s specific ranking, though I’m probably about as likely to get a reply as my teenage sister is when she tweets at One Direction.)
But in any case, Provo is literally on the map. It actually does have a nationally competative music scene. And that means a more attractive city that will entice more people to call it home.