It was only a matter of time. Covid-19 has started having a major impact on the music industry and on manufacturers of musical instruments. Factories in China and elsewhere have been closed, starving manufacturers of product. Organizers of the major events on the industry calendar have been agonizing about whether to postpone trade shows and meetings to help slow the spread of infections.
Several European trade shows outside the music industry have been cancelled or postponed. Like the Leipzig Book Fair or the International Tourism Fair in Berlin. Google has cancelled its I/O event scheduled for May. At the time of writing, the organisers of the Summer Olympics in Tokyo are insisting that the games will go ahead as planned. The organizers of Superbooth in Berlin also recently announced that their plans were unchanged, for the time being.
Covid-19: Musikmesse postponed
But this morning Messe Frankfurt, organizers of the Musikmesse trade show, have stated that the show will be postponed. The date is yet to be announced. The traditionally concurrent Prolight+Sound show has been rescheduled to 26 – 29 May. An email we received this morning said:
The ongoing spread of Covid-19 in Europe called for a reassessment of the situation in close cooperation with the public-health authorities in Frankfurt who require that steps be taken to prevent event participants from high-risk regions coming to Frankfurt and visiting the fair when ill. Given that these participants could also be infected by Covid-19, it is necessary to conduct a health check to prevent the infection spreading even further. This is an important part of the infectiological risk assessment. Messe Frankfurt is not able to implement such measures. Additional factors behind the decision include the growing number of travel restrictions, which will make it difficult for many potential visitors and exhibitors to get to Frankfurt.
Smaller events coinciding with Musikmesse, such as Musikmesse Plaza, the Musikmesse Festival and Home of Drums are still scheduled to go ahead, however. What I don’t understand is why they’re postponing the show to a timeframe in May when other events planned for the same month are being cancelled.
Should Summer NAMM and Superbooth go ahead?
The next major dates on the calendar are Superbooth from 23 to 26 April and Summer NAMM, due to take place between 9 and 11 July. This might put new pressure on the organizers of Superbooth to reassess their plans. And July might seem a long way away right now – but if you’re a company booking flights for your employees right now from Europe to Nashville, wouldn’t you hesitate?
Should Superbooth and Summer NAMM go ahead as planned? Or should the organisers follow the lead of Messe Frankfurt and postpone or even cancel their event?