The Owensboro-Daviess County Convention & Visitors Bureau is branding Owensboro as "Kentucky's Music City."

And its marketing campaign for the new brand won the CVB top honors for marketing at the recent Kentucky Travel Industry Association's annual conference.

That's significant, Dave Kirk, the CVB's destination management director, said because Owensboro was in competition with larger visitors bureaus in Louisville, Lexington and Northern Kentucky.

"A lot of them have advertising agencies," he told the CVB board this week. "Our agency is me. Winning against them felt great. I'm a very competitive person."

Kyle Aud, CVB board chairman, said the honor "shows we can compete with the biggest and best in our state when it comes to marketing our community."

This was the second consecutive year the local CVB has won top honors in the category.

Last year's award was based on the CVB's promotion of ROMP.

The "Kentucky's Music City" moniker is based on the Brand USA, the overseas marketing agency for American tourism, selection of Owensboro as one of its Top 10 American music cities.

The promotion is underway in several other countries this year.

A major reason for the selection was the opening of the Bluegrass Music Hall of Fame & Museum last year.

But it also celebrated all the other music in town.

The Hall of Fame's ROMP draws 25,000-plus fans from around the world to Yellow Creek Park in Thruston each June.

In 2020, the Hall of Fame is adding four Downtown ROMPs in the grassy area on the north side of its building.

And it features bluegrass shows most weekends during the year.

Friday After 5 offers free music on five stages on 16 Fridays from May through August.

The city sponsors a free Saturday night music series, Live on the Banks, during the summer.

The Holiday Inn is home to an annual jam festival -- Kentucky Fried Pickin' -- in March.

Last summer, the hotel offered two music series during the summer -- Riverfront Live on the same nights as Friday After 5 and a bluegrass series on Tuesday nights.

Then, there's the Owensboro Symphony Orchestra concert series and concerts at the RiverPark Center, Owensboro Convention Center, Sportscenter and Daviess County Lions Club Fairgrounds.

Several restaurants and bars also offer live music.

Owensboro is also part of the Americana Music Triangle, which runs through several states with close ties to rock, blues, country and gospel musicians.

That website says, "Travel north of Nashville on I-65 for about 130 miles to find the town of Owensboro, Kentucky, a bluegrass fan’s paradise."

The site mentions the Hall of Fame and ROMP.

Keith Lawrence, 270-691-7301, klawrence@messenger-inquirer.com

(1) comment

Mark Calitri

“Our campaign consisted of several marketing tools for Owensboro being named a top music city. Those included, press releases, promotional videos, website blogs, digital ads, social media posts, and the local launch event at the Bluegrass Music Hall of Fame and Museum. We took every opportunity we could to capitalize on being promoted as a top music city,” said Mark Calitri, President & CEO Visit Owensboro.

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