The 2021 NAMM Show, which was scheduled to take place in January 2021 in Anaheim, California, has officially been canceled due to the COVID-19 pandemic which is sweeping the globe.
Instead of staging an in-person event, organizers will bring music merchants, industry insiders and musicians together in a virtual space with the launch of Believe In Music, "an interactive marketplace to connect buyers and sellers" at BelieveInMusic.tv for the week of January 18, 2021.
Believe In Music will feature a mix of comprehensive programming and professional education, 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.
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.
The industry's much-loved annual events 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 Top 100 Dealer Awards will also be celebrated during the week. Now in its 10th year, the annual awards honor music retailers who have demonstrated a commitment to best practices, creativity and innovation in retail.
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."
NAMM, or the National Association of Music Merchants, is one of the longest-running and largest music product trade shows in the world. The convention is not open to the general public and is for NAMM members only. In 2019, NAMM Show attendance was over 120,000.