Nashville, Las Vegas Lead Top Cities for Country Music

Nashville, Las Vegas Lead Top Cities for Country Music Nashville, Las Vegas Lead Top Cities for Country Music (Dreamstime)

By Brian Freeman | Wednesday, 15 September 2021 11:13 AM

Nashville is the undisputed leader as the best city for country music fans in 2021, according to a survey conducted by LawnStarter released this week.

The rankings were determined by evaluating five key factors that make up a strong country music scene: the number of country radio stations, concerts, and performance venues, as well as the size of the local fandom based on Google search trends and availability of museums dedicated to the genre.

Nashville earned its reputation as the official capital of country music, according to the survey.

The city swept nearly every category and metric in the survey’s ranking, which is no surprise considering it is home to both the Grand Ole Opry and the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum.

Nashville also has plenty of recording studios to create country music, with country stars such as Dolly Parton, Kacey Musgraves, and Taylor Swift taking advantage of that by making the greater metroploitan area their home base.

Following Nashville at its expected No. 1 position were several cities that had surprisingly high rankings, with Las Vegas at No. 2, Grand Rapids, Michigan coming in fifth, and Birmingham, Alabama in eighth place.

These cities were particularly bolstered in the rankings by a full calendar of country performances and a strong presence of country radio stations.

Also doing well in the survey were several iconic country cities, such as Knoxville at No. 6, Tulsa in seventh place, and Austin at No. 12.

St. Louis, which is better known for its jazz and blues, finished a strong No. 5 in the survey. The Gateway City is also home to Nelly, with Yesteryear Country Music Hall of Fame act The Kendalls also having roots in St. Louis. In addition, Gretchen Wilson is from only 40 minutes east in Pocahontas, Illinois.

LawnStarter conducted the survey by ranking 182 of the largest cities in the United States from best to worst based on their overall scores (out of 100 possible points), averaged across the five key factors.