Our guide to navigating the annual gear Mecca in the COVID era.
Each year in January, thousands of brands, distributors, media networks and avid fans flock to the Anaheim Convention Centre in California to attend NAMM and witness all the biggest music gear launches of the year.
Historically, it’s the biggest event of the calendar year for us gear heads, but with the world in its current state, it should come to no surprise that this year’s NAMM Show will go down a bit differently. So, what’s the deal with this year’s show?
- NAMM 2021 won’t be going down as per usual in Anaheim due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
- The physical event replaced by Believe In Music – a virtual event packed with launches, workshops, seminars and more.
- Believe In Music Week runs from January 18 – 22.
Keep your eyes peeled on our Product News section to catch our rolling NAMM coverage this week.
Is NAMM cancelled in 2021?
In one way or another, yes. As you might recall, the team behind NAMM – that’s the National Association of Music Merchants for you first timers – announced back in August of last year that this year’s show would not go ahead at its usual home in Anaheim for obvious reasons. This might come as a bit of a disappointment for the staunch gear nerds among us and it does mean we’ll miss out on all the sweet performances that go down each year, but don’t fret too much.
Is there a replacement event?
Thankfully, yes. Us musical folk are a resilient lot, and considering how many big companies made bank off all of us being stuck in our bedrooms and buying gear all year long, you can bet that they’ll be looking to go just as big in 2021.
In lieu of their usual physical shenanigans at Anaheim, NAMM are holding a digital expo in the form of Believe In Music Week, which goes down from January 18 – 22.
Kicking off today, Believe In Music Week will offer gear heads with ‘a robust marketplace, cutting-edge education, entertainment and live music, and a platform to power our industry’s recovery and support those in need.’
Registration for the event is totally free, and anyone with a passion for music gear and audio technology can sign up here to take advantage of the show’s virtual events, which includes everything from gear launches and awards through to chats with Perry Farrell, Scott Ian, Lzzy Hale and DeadMAU5. Check out the schedule in full here.
What about all the new gear?
Of course, it wouldn’t be a NAMM Show without all the gear launches. Thankfully, all the biggest names in music have signed up to take part in this year’s Believe In Music Week, and if you’ve got a keen eye, you might’ve already seen a bunch of companies take to the web to share their news last week.
With the show officially kicking off today, you can expect to see a whole heap more in the way of gear news across your digital channels this week. We’ll be covering as many as we possibly can (there’s a lot), and next week, we’ll round up some of our favourite launches in a best-of feature to keep you posted with all the news.
In the meantime, enjoy all that new gear – we all certainly will!