In light of the COVID-19 pandemic, which continues to worsen in the United States and restrict travel all over the world, and with the health and safety of its members as the first priority, NAMM has announced that it will not be holding its gigantic annual trade show in Anaheim, CA in January 2021. Instead, NAMM will seek to connect the industry 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 Jan. 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. While not The NAMM Show or a virtual trade show, NAMM says the initiative will meet the immediate business needs of its 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.
Joe Lamond, NAMM president and CEO, says, “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. With a robust marketplace to launch new products and share your brand story, Believe in Music will also feature networking and matchmaking for our buyers and our sellers, education for all segments of the industry, and live music and concerts. And just like at all NAMM events, these activities will raise awareness and financial support to serve our NAMM family across our Circle of Benefits model. Believe in Music week will be a critical step for our industry to help us prepare for the new year and new opportunities.”
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.
Tom Sumner, president of Yamaha Corporation of America, shares, “I believe there has never been a more important moment for our industry to gather, to conduct business, to inspire each other, to inspire music makers and to support those in our music family in need. That’s why Yamaha is excited to start working on our part of the new event from NAMM, Believe in Music. As an industry, we’ve always trusted NAMM to create gatherings that are safe, provide a conducive business environment and produce those surprise moments that we talk about years after the event. While I wish I could see you in person, I look forward to seeing you at Believe in Music.”
“We at Sweetwater as well as our customers look forward to The NAMM Show, yet with COVID, there’s been a lot of changes and we’ve all had to adapt in many ways… With each change like this there comes an opportunity and we’re very excited that NAMM will bring us Believe in Music,” states Mitch Gallagher, editorial director for Sweetwater. “While we can’t replace The NAMM Show, we look forward to all that this new platform has to offer including the ability to connect with our vendors, the opportunity for more of our staff to experience new products as they’re announced, the educational and training opportunities that Believe in Music will provide and so much more. By coming together for NAMM’s Believe in Music, we can all help support our industry and the world’s music makers. We’re looking forward to a great event.”
“NAMM is and always has been about helping people make connections, advocacy for music and musicians, and bringing people together from around the globe,” says Shure’s Abby Kaplan, vice president of global retail sales. “Shure stands by NAMM in pursuit to continue that effort. Perhaps, this year, those connections will be even more important as we in the pro audio and live sound segment work at getting back to having live events and concerts. Certainly, we’ll miss seeing all of our retailers, distributors and friends in person, but we’re excited about ways we can deploy an equally compelling experience this year and into the future … This creates a new opportunity for all of us to work together, rebuild and come back better than ever.”
Many of the annual industry events that usually take place during The NAMM Show will now take place during Believe in Music week, as well. The 36th TEC Awards will recognize the individuals, companies and technical innovations behind the sound of recordings, live performances, films, television, video games and multimedia. In 2020, Joni Mitchell was presented with the Les Paul Innovation Award, an honor that recognizes musical artists whose work has exemplified the creative application of audio technology. The Hall of Fame Award, recognizing audio pioneers, as well as the music industry’s most accomplished producers and audio technicians, was presented to the creative powerhouse behind Pensado’s Place, Dave Pensado and Herb Trawick. The TEC Awards call for entries is now open through August 31: www.TECAwards.org
The Top 100 Dealer Awards will also be celebrated during the week. The Top 100 Dealer Awards were scheduled for The 2020 Summer NAMM show, which was cancelled because of the pandemic. It was then planeed to be held at the 2021 NAMM Show. Now in its 10th year, the annual awards honor music retailers who have demonstrated a commitment to best practices, creativity and innovation in retail. The submissions process is now open for NAMM retail members and will close on October 2, 2020. Learn more and submit now at www.NAMM.org/Top100
Along with the award shows, music advocates will come together for The Grand Rally for Music Education. The annual event convenes music education advocates for a celebration of the benefits and pleasures of making music. In 2020, the Grand Rally welcomed 10-time Grammy winner Bobby McFerrin and Gimme5 for a special performance, along with a preshow performance by The Langley Ukulele Ensemble, The Legacy Ukulele Ensemble and winners of the “A Cappella at NAMM” contest.
Additional details of these events, receptions and other activities will be provided in the weeks to come.
In his final thoughts, Lamond shares, “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.”
For those interested in participating, please visit Believeinmusic.tv to sign-up for future updates.