Los Angeles tops the list with 175,083 acts. New York is second with 115,767, and Chicago is third with 69,963. The next several locations — San Diego, Philadelphia, Atlanta, D.C., Riverside, Seattle, and Orange County — averaged between 35,000 and 47,000 acts each. Several storied music capitals did not make the list: Detroit’s 22,445 acts put it in 23rd place, Nashville was 34th with 14,084 acts, New Orleans 35th with 13,965, and Memphis just 60th with 7,113.
Not surprisingly, acts are highly concentrated around major population centers on the East and West Coasts — particularly the Bos-Wash Corridor and Southern California (each claim roughly 300,000 acts), as well as Northern California, Atlanta, southern Florida, and Cascadia (Seattle and Portland). Chicago, Phoenix, Dallas, and Las Vegas are the sole metros from the country’s interior that make the top 20.