More than 75,000 people are expected to convene on Frankfurt this week for Musikmesse 2012 – the largest music trade show in the world which opens today, running for four days from March 21 to the 24.
The rumour mill is already in overdrive over what new products are to be announced by the big names in music instrument manufacturing and sheet music. As always though, there’ll be plenty of hidden gems and new surprise discoveries to be unearthed at the show.
But why is Musikmesse so important to the industry?
For more than 25 years, Messe has been an influential meeting place for the many different sectors of the music and publishing industry; from musical instrument manufacturers to the printers of sheet music.
Last year, 1,504 exhibitors set up stall at the fair, which provides space for every single musical genre, style and field. Showcasing everything from new classical music instruments to gothic electric guitars and cutting edge digital hardware for DJs and techies, Musikmesse is as eclectic as it is huge.
And it’s not just a place for launching new products, networking with suppliers or eyeing up the competition: Musikmesse also provides a huge platform for performing artists, tutors, teachers and other less obvious attendees.
Due to the number of workshops, concerts, booth performance spots, and general events taking place over its four day run, Musikmesse boasts possibly the largest line up of gigs and musical activities in the world – enough to put many of the world’s largest music festivals to shame.
From a business perspective, Messe features manufacturers and distributors from around 50 countries, with the first three days of the show reserved for trade only. This gives the event a focus that provides the opportunity for business discussions, negotiating and the generation of new working relationships.
For visitors not directly involved in the back end of the industry, such as music teachers, musicians and students, this is a fantastic opportunity to have a go at testing the latest products well before they hit the market. Visitors can also take in numerous demonstrations and attend one of the 1,000 artist workshops and concerts staged to take place over the show’s four days.
On the Saturday (March 24th), the event is open specifically for amateur musicians and families who can feast their eyes on more than 30,000 music al instruments.
The event also plays host to a number of awards, including the Frankfurt Music Prize, which this year is going to British guitarist John McLaughlin.
Promoting music to children is one of Musikmesse’s specifc aims, and with its Music4Kids exhibition, kids can try out instruments and take part in activities designed to encourage them to find a musical instrument or hobby they can enjoy.