Growing Fort Worth Music Scene Bringing Attention and Tourism Dollars to Town

Austin calls itself the "live music capital of the world," but now Fort Worth is making its mark with a growing music scene that's bringing new attention and more tourism dollars to Cowtown.

It's always been there: an undercurrent of sound and soul pulsing through Fort Worth.

"It's always been part of the character of Fort Worth," said musician Wayne Floyd. "It's just a matter of people outside of Fort Worth knowing that."

Now the undercurrent is rising.

"It's grown, for one. There's been more places that have opened that cater to music, and musicians and live music," Floyd said.

Floyd strummed out a tune at the popular venue Shipping and Receiving Tuesday evening, along with Rodney Parker and Sam Dobbin. They're part group of young musicians helping to chart a new era in the city's rich history, from Billy Bob's in the Stock Yards to Elvis playing downtown.

Now the Fort Worth Convention and Visitors Bureau (FWCVB) wants to help.

"Tourism in Fort Worth is a $2 billion industry, supports more than 22,000 jobs," said Mitch Whitten, vice president of marketing for the FWCVB. "We think music is an important part of that and will continue to help us grow the tourism business."

They helped start the initiative "Hear Fort Worth" to promote the local music scene around the world, and are now partnering with the Texas Music Office.

"No city has been designated officially music-friendly by the state. We want to be the first city," said Tom Martens, creative director for the FWCVB and a "Hear Fort Worth" board member.

So they're surveying musicians and venues, asking how to make the city an even bigger music magnet.

Bonnie Bishop is one singer-songwriter who just moved to Fort Worth from Nashville.

"For people that are looking for a real home base, where it's also, there's a strong music community, I think it's a great place," Bishop said.

She says that sense of community sets Cowtown apart from more cutthroat music towns.

It's truly about the music, the people playing, and the ones here to listen.

"Pay the cover fee, buy the album, buy the T-shirt, tell your friends," Floyd said.

The Fort Worth sound is getting louder.

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