Promoting positive community and economic growth in music cities around the world. 

After 25 years in the music and entertainment industry, Don Pitts launched Sound Music Cities, LLC to help emerging and established music and entertainment cities find practical solutions to sound issues and growing their music economy.

Having garnered the nickname “The Sound Whisperer” from his tenure as the head of the City of Austin’s Economic Development Department’s Music & Entertainment Division where he reduced sound complaints by 70%, Don brings his experience and passion for creating vibrant music cities to Sound Music Cities.

When it comes to the music industry, Don has done it all, including managing bands and venues, handling entertainment relations for Gibson Guitar, co-founding the North American Music Cities Summit, and working in the public sector. This unique background has given him the ability to communicate effectively with various stakeholders to find common ground.

While with the City of Austin, Don led innovative programs to increase prosperity for musicians, music businesses, and music venues, which helped establish a sustainable economic engine for the city.

When he’s not advising cities on music-related business or devoting his time to enhancing the quality of the Austin music/musician experience, Don is adding to his collection of rare and vintage western shirts.

Highlights from Don’s leadership of City of Austin Music & Entertainment Division: 

  • Reduced annual sound complaints from 7,894 in FY2012/13 to 1,932 in FY2015/16.

  • Developed the Leaders in Austin Music program through a partnership with Austin Music Foundation that unites the diverse members of the entertainment businesses while supporting established leaders in their essential role in the creative community.
  • Commissioned the Austin Music Industry Census, the first data-driven assessment of Austin’s commercial music industry. 
  • Created the North American Music Cities Best Practice Summit that convenes the music and entertainment staff from six North American cities (Austin, San Francisco, Seattle, Denver, Chicago, Nashville, Toronto). 
  • Created the Music Venue Assistance Loan Program that supports valuable music venues and reduces sound complaints by offering low interest micro-loans to qualifying establishments for the purpose of enhancing the sound quality while reducing sound impact to neighboring uses. 
  • Developed and implemented Music Venue Summits to foster better communication on regulatory processes between the city and venues. 
  • Developed and implemented Music Business Summits to foster better communication and understanding of the various industry sub sectors.