Music Industry in Georgia

With a deep pool of award-winning talent, a variety of recording and production facilities and a booming film, television and digital media infrastructure, Georgia is positioned to support the evolution and expansion of its influential music industry in the digital age. The state’s pro-business climate fosters an environment of entrepreneurship and innovation that has driven the growth and diversification of its creative and technology sectors and increased opportunities for music content, production and performance. In addition, under the Georgia Entertainment Industry Investment Act, which provides transferable tax credits of up to 30% for qualified film, TV and interactive productions, the costs associated with sound recording and musical compositions are designated approved expenditures for qualified productions.


  • Home to GRAMMY® winners in multiple categories and genres
  • Premier recording studios and production facilities statewide
  • Thriving live music industry from arenas to intimate listening rooms
  • More than 70 annual music festivals statewide
  • More than 45 post-secondary programs statewide in music business, technology, performance, education and more
  • Roughly 20,000 individuals work in various aspects of Georgia’s music industry
  • Annual economic impact of $3.7 billion according to 2011 study
  • Performing rights organizations ASCAP, BMI and SESAC have offices in Atlanta
For decades, Georgia has boasted a diverse roster of award-winning musicians, composers and behind-the-scenes figures. Among the Atlanta-based pop, R&B and hip-hop stars are 2 Chainz, Akon, B.o.B., Cee Lo Green, Ciara, Keri Hilson, Lil Jon, Ludacris, Monica, OutKast and Young Jeezy.  Country music charts today are dominated by native Georgians including Jason Aldean, Zac Brown Band, Luke Bryan, Billy Currington, Brantley Gilbert, Lady Antebellum and Sugarland. Gospel and Contemporary Christian heavy-hitters headquartered in the Peach State include Francesca Battistelli, Casting Crowns, Jeff & Sheri Easter, Jamie Grace, Canton Jones, Lecrae, Karen Peck & New River, Laura Story, Third Day and Chris Tomlin. Scores of rock bands hit the road from Georgia each year including The Black Lips, Deerhunter, Drive-by Truckers, Mastodon, Of Montreal, the Whigs and Widespread Panic. The Atlanta Symphony Orchestra, which was established in 1945, has earned 27 GRAMMY® Awards for its recordings, while the state’s most famous opera singer, Jessye Norman, is recognized worldwide.Georgia’s musical fertility is built upon a legacy of pioneers and trailblazers including The Allman Brothers Band, Atlanta Rhythm Section, the B-52s, the Black Crowes, James Brown, Dr. Thomas A. Dorsey, the Indigo Girls, Alan Jackson, Gladys Knight, Brenda Lee, Little Richard Penniman, Blind Willie McTell, Johnny Mercer, Mother’s Finest, Gram Parsons, Gertrude “Ma” Rainey, Otis Redding, Jerry Reed, R.E.M., Tommy Roe, Billy Joe Royal, Joe South, TLC, Travis Tritt, Trisha Yearwood and many, many more.
A long-established infrastructure of businesses serving the music industry includes recording studios, labels, publishers, licensing companies, distributors, mastering facilities, manufacturers of instruments, amplifiers and equipment, rehearsal spaces, tour support companies, artist management and support services, entertainment law firms and more.
As cited in O.C.G.A. § 48-7-40.33, the ‘Georgia Musical Industry Investment Act,’ for any touring musical or theatrical production that originates and is developed in Georgia and has its initial public performance before a live audience in the state; or that has its U.S. debut in Georgia after preparing and rehearsing for at least seven days in the state; or for a recorded musical performance, including, but not limited to, the score and musical accompaniment of a motion picture, television or digital interactive entertainment production; the production company may be eligible to earn a tax credit of 15% on the Qualified Production Spend, or up to 20% if the production activity takes place in a Tier 1 or Tier 2 Georgia County. The Musical Tax Credit will be available beginning January 1, 2018, and will be capped annually, with the cap set at $5 million for 2018, $10 million for 2019, and $15 million thereafter until the credit sunsets in 2023. The credit will be awarded to production companies on a first-come, first-served basis, and precertification applications shall be reviewed in the order that they are received.

Applications may be submitted to the Georgia Department of Economic Development (GDEcD) via email at or to Georgia Film, Music, & Digital Entertainment Office, 75 5th Street NW, Suite 1200, Atlanta, GA 30308.

The state’s emerging digital media industry supports multiple music technology startups and is fueled by resources including the Georgia Tech Center for Music Technology and the Advanced Technology Development Center (ATDC), a startup accelerator named one of the Top 12 Incubator Changing the World by Forbes in 2013.
Georgia is also home to a thriving live music and performing arts industry with a variety of venues from the mountains to the coast seating from 100 to 20,000 patrons. Concert venues in Georgia include Aaron’s Amphitheatre at Lakewood, Chastain Park, Cobb Energy Performing Arts Centre, the historic Fox Theatre, Gwinnett Center, Philips Arena, Verizon Wireless Amphitheatre at Encore Park and many more. Signature festivals statewide including A3C Hip Hop Festival, AthFest, Music Midtown and the Savannah Music Festival serve as destination experiences. Other events including the Blind Willie McTell Blues Festival in Thomson and the Gram Parsons Guitar Pull in Waycross showcase the state’s rich musical heritage. In addition to presenting music, Georgia is a popular, affordable and inspiring locale in which to originate a concert or theatre tour with a variety of rehearsal spaces, production companies and tour support services.
There are numerous opportunities to study music in Georgia, with more than 45 institutions offering post-secondary programs in music business, composition, conducting, education, ministry, performance, pedagogy, production, theatre, therapy and technology. A selection of the programs offering music business and technology concentrations include:

  • The School of Entertainment Arts at Savannah College of Art and Design (SCAD)
  • Joel A. Katz Music and Entertainment Business Program, Kennesaw State University
  • Music Business Program at Terry College of Business, University of Georgia
  • Music Management B.S., Georgia State University School of Music
  • M.S., PhD, Music Technology, Center for Music Technology, Georgia Tech


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