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Music Industry Thriving In Northern San Antonio Suburbs

Paul Flahive | Texas Public Radio
Renard mapped every contributor to the music industry he could find

San Antonio’s music industry generates an estimated $930 million in economic impact, according to a city study that came out last year.

UTSA professor Stan Renard saw that report, which drew data from music venues, bars, music education organizations and nonprofits, and said something was missing.

“They tell you about the economic impact — how much tax information there is — but you can’t visualize where the industry is,” he said. “And I think it’s important to see where growth is happening in real time.”

Renard mapped all these industry contributors and released his data Saturday at UTSA’s Music Biz Day.

He said for years, downtown has been the biggest growth area, but now the industry is surging into the Rim and La Cantera on the northwest side and Stone Oak.

Ample parking, and ubiquitous homeowners associations keep the businesses contained to frontage corridors in these areas.

That wasn’t the only thing he found.

“A lot of people will tell you that alcohol is funding the music industry here in San Antonio,” Renard said.

By using alcohol sales data and overlaying it with venues and festivals, he was able to find a “perfect” correlation.

Credit Paul Flahive | Texas Public Radio
Despite gains in northwest and northeast, downtown San Antonio is still the densest contributor to the music industry, as shown on Renard's physical map.

Renard said he wanted policy makers, economic development researchers to use the data, but also musicians and venue owners can make decisions based on the data which he updates regularly.

“You’ll actually be able to tailor performances and then types of businesses that are going to be open there to facilitate that,” student assistant Sarah Gutierrez-Riera said.

Paul Flahive can be reached at paul@tpr.org or on Twitter @paulflahive

Paul Flahive can be reached at Paul@tpr.org and on Twitter at @paulflahive