Frankfurt’s Musikmesse and Prolight + Sound opens today, offering visitors a show very changed from its heyday as the world’s biggest musical instrument trade event. Recent years have seen the Pro Audio and lighting sectors undergo considerable growth and while traditional instruments and printed music have remained fairly consistent, Rock and Roll products have fallen away. For their part, the show’s organisers have redoubled their efforts this year to turn the event into a public spectacle, with a strong regional feel to both content and the choice of artists.
In the Musikmesse’s opening day press release, the organisers stress the event’s main attractions, aimed at turning ‘…all Frankfurt into a show stage.’
‘The concurrent Musikmesse Festival’ (2nd to 5th April with extra consumer orientated events on 6th) ‘brings high-grade acts, including Gregory Porter, Samy Deluxe, Mousse T. & Glasperlenspiel and Tony Carey, to the Exhibition Centre and many of Frankfurt’s clubs. With the new Musikmesse Plaza (6 April), Messe Frankfurt is launching a completely new pop-up concept aimed at all music lovers immediately after the trade fairs.
‘How do new technological developments change the way in which music and events are produced, consumed and marketed? The complementary programmes of the two international trade fairs revolve around this question. Around 300 workshops, panel discussions, lectures and masterclasses will generate new impulses and enable visitors to gain an overview of the latest trends. Companies from 56 countries display their latest products and services at 1.606 exhibitor presentations over the five days of the shows. Additionally, Frankfurt Fair and Exhibition Centre is the setting for around 200 concerts and live performances. And, with 100 events at 50 venues throughout Frankfurt, the accompanying Musikmesse Festival is bigger than ever before’.
The added events highlight some of the major changes in the show’s character – what the organisers describe as integrating: ‘ambitious musicians in a trade-oriented event concept’ and perhaps epitomised by a new songwriting element, SongCon, which has been added to the show, with A&R people taking part in songwriters’ sessions and the feature later becoming the venue of the live finale of the European Songwriting Awards.
Seminars and live performances abound and visitors are promised a ‘Sample Music Festival Area’ and even a 24 hour “Trackathon” ‘where up-and-coming producers create electronic tracks under visitors’ eyes and then present their finished results in a live show’ demonstrate just how much the Musikmesse has changed from its days as a predominantly MI trade event.
While MI has taken a back seat, the same cannot be said of the Prolight + Sound section which now takes place in the new Hall 12 and has its own, somewhat eclectic, mix of peripheral events though accompanied by what looks like a healthy range of exhibitors.
MIN will be bringing readers a round-up of this year’s show later this week and we would very much like to hear from readers who have attended this year’s show with their own reactions.