If bluesy, downhome lyrics sound like your life’s story, then you probably love you some good ol’ country.
So, where are the best U.S. cities to live like you were dying?
Marking International Country Music Day this Sept. 17 — and the re-release of Dolly Parton’s “9 to 5” with Kelly Clarkson just last week — LawnStarter ranked 2022’s Best Cities for Country Music Fans.
We compared over 180 of the biggest cities based on eight key factors, such as the number of country music concerts, access to performance venues, and the affordability of concert tickets.
We also gauged local interest in the genre based on Google search data, the number of country music stations, and even the existence of country music museums.
Check out the 10 best (and the 10 worst) country music scenes below, followed by some highlights and lowlights. (Click here to see where your city ranks and for surprising findings.)
Highlights and Lowlights:
Undefeated Nashville: For the second year in a row, Nashville, Tennessee, topped our ranking charts as 2022’s unofficial Country Music Capital.
Music City naturally dominated the Access and Genre Interest categories (No. 1 in both). Where Nashville could use a tune-up: Concert Venue Quality (No. 68) and Affordability (No. 116), though neither seems to have deterred fans.
Cowpoke Country: Our top 10 wouldn’t be right without at least one city from Texas, the Cowboy Capital of the World. After all, country music traces some of its roots to the Lone Star State’s cowboy and cowgirl culture.
And what better city to fill that spot than the Live Music Capital of the World? At lucky No. 7, Austin boasts a strong country music scene. The city’s biggest strength is Genre Interest (No. 5). Austin offers plenty of upcoming country concerts, too, placing 14th in this ranking factor.
Country Hubs vs. Country Snubs: The biggest of the big cities boot-scooted their way to the top of our ranking (or near it). Fringe cities, on the other hand, broke our hearts with their poor performances overall.
Newark and Paterson, New Jersey, for example, occupy two of the five worst spots, but local country fans need only visit silver medalist New York to get their country fix. It’s a similar story for Lancaster, California (eighth worst), sandwiched between two heavy hitters: Bakersfield (No. 81) — dubbed “The Country Music Capital of the West Coast” — and Los Angeles (No. 18).
Our full ranking and analysis are available here:https://www.lawnstarter.com/blog/studies/best-cities-country-music-fans/