City official explains new Huntsville Music Officer position, economic impact

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HUNTSVILLE, Ala. — The City of Huntsville said the “music officer” job has easily been one of their more popular job postings, and while the title seems all fun, the City says the job is a serious arm of economic development.

“You’ve got to dig in a little bit in a mid-sized city, but when you really get into Huntsville’s underground, there’s a lot of music here,” said Dennis Madsen, Huntsville’s manager of urban and long-range planning.

The music officer role is expected to pay between $52,000 and $89,000 per year – whoever gets the job will be the point of contact for everything music and festival-related.

“A lot of times, it can be a little bit of a challenge to navigate some city regulations or some city requirements for special events or for permitting,” Madsen continued.

The city already has a music board, made up of volunteers, and the new music officer role will assist with that as well as plenty of “how-to” questions.

Madsen said the music officer job will likely be high pressure out of the gate with a laundry list of to-do’s to catch up with Huntsville growth.

“Not just support the scene, but make it a bigger player in the economic development scene,” Madsen stated. “We have a more robust music industry here. We are not going to be Nashville. We are never going to compete with Nashville or Austin, but we can have a kind of place in the southeast ecosystem.”

One duty not included in the music officer job is having a huge say when it comes to larger acts at Huntsville’s new ampitheater. Instead, the music officer will work with the venue to promote local artists.

For those wondering about Huntsville’s investment in the job itself, planners believe the job will quickly bring a return on investment.

“There’s more money moving around town,” Madsen concluded. “There’s more opportunity for not just musicians, but all the huge of industry that supports musicians, [including] graphic designers, promoters, and venue operators.”

More than 200 people have applied to the job posting, which closes in August.

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