NAMM 2021 has been cancelled due to the COVID-19 pandemic, with a virtual Believe In Music week confirmed as its replacement.
The LA show is the latest to be cancelled on account of the coronavirus outbreak, with the likes of InfoComm 2020 and CES 2021 also forced to launch digital/virtual alternatives. A statement from NAMM confirmed that next year’s event will be replaced with Believe in Music week:
“In light of the COVID-19 pandemic, and with the health and safety of NAMM members as the first priority, NAMM is reimagining how to connect all facets of the industry while benefiting those most deeply impacted by COVID-19 with the launch of Believe in Music: The global gathering to unify and support the people who bring music to the world.
“Believe in Music, to be held over the week of January 18, 2021, will feature a mix of comprehensive programming and professional education at BelieveinMusic.tv, as well as an interactive marketplace to connect buyers and sellers – all designed to elevate the innovation and inspiration found across the industry while offering support for those most deeply affected by COVID.
“While not The NAMM Show or a virtual tradeshow, the initiative will meet the immediate business needs of NAMM member companies through thought-leader led education for all segments of the industry, networking and AI matchmaking, and business-to-business-focused opportunities to reaffirm and grow business connections, launch new products, share brand initiatives and engage with customers in real-time.”
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NAMM president and CEO, Joe Lamond, said: “While it remains unsafe for us to gather in person in January, Believe in Music week will use new, intuitive technology to connect us all to harness the incredible energy that happens when we come together.”
“The weeklong celebration will welcome domestic and international NAMM members from the music instrument, pro audio, live sound and live event industries, artists, media and policymakers, along with participants from GenNext (college music students and faculty), Music Education Days (school music administrators) and Nonprofit Institute (NAMM Foundation grantees and nonprofit affiliates).
“Emerging and established musicians and fans are invited to connect with brands and in special music-making projects and opportunities to showcase their talents and performances throughout the week, opening the potential to gather music makers in a capacity not restricted by location.
“If there’s any one common vision, it’s that as a global community, we believe in music. We believe in the future of music and in the future of our industry, and in this moment, we will unite and support music makers around the world.”
More details about Believe in Music events will be released in the coming months.
While the cancellation of NAMM 2021 may add to speculation around ISE 2021, organisers remain positive about its plans to proceed. ISE managing director Mike Blackman was recently photographed at the venue in a move to assure the industry that it has no plans to cancel or transfer its offering to the virtual realm. His words were bolstered by a recent risk assessment carried out to World Health Organization guidelines that rated the overall risk of transmission and further spread of Covid-19 at ISE 2021 as ‘low’.
ISE’s Managing Director @ISE_Mike is in Barcelona, confirming ISE 2021's plans for the show in Spain, February 2021, at its new location of Fira de Barcelona Gran Vìa.
— ISE (@ISE_Show) July 22, 2020
Blackman, told Installation: “We appreciate how difficult the pandemic situation is in the USA. The latest reports indicate nearly three times as many new daily COVID cases there as in the whole of Europe (including Russia), so we fully understand the concerns of US show organisers. We remain committed to holding ISE 2021 in Barcelona in February as an in-person event, complemented, as we have previously stated, by a digital offering.”