Frankfurt Musikmesse 2003 - Germany
Contributed by Benjamino
Bugiolacchi and Holda
here for Music Fair photos
The 24th annual Frankfurt International Musikmesse
finished on March 9th in Frankfurt, Germany. The fair, spanning
over a surface of over 122,000 square metres, showcased musical
instruments, hardware and software, sheet music and accessories
from all over the world. 1465 exhibitors from 49 countries (including
116 Italian firms) presented their products to wholesalers and retailers,
producers and musicians under the slogan "The sound of music
improves with you".
The press office reported that the international
presence at the event increased to 62%, indicating that the Musikmesse
has successfully become "the" point of reference for the
whole of the musical world. This is further testimonied by the 80,000
visitors (down, however, on 2002) from every continent. The current
environment of global uncertainty produced a slight decrease in
the number of exhibitors (-0.4%) who are compelled (like all other
commercial enterprises) to reflect seriously on the future of the
industry. Germany, in light of the decrease of internal consumption
(-3.5%) has pushed its exports towards growing markets such as Russia,
Australia and China (as testimonied by the fact that the Musikmesse
directly organises exhibitions in St Petersburg and Shanghai) so
as to be able to maintain its levels of production.
Once again the organisation machine was near
perfect. The halls were well-equipped and interconnected, with excellent
logistic support and a very interesting area called "music4kids"
dedicated to music making for children between 5 and 12 years of
age. The fair ticket was combined with a free pass for the public
transport of the Rhein/Main area, which enabled visitors to avoid
expensive city accommodation in favour of those of Wiesbaden, Mainz
or Darmstad; the only motive for complaint by the exhibitors was
the one-hour extension of the opening hours.
Italy was the third most represented country
following Germany and the United States. Almost all accordion makers
had their stands in hall 3.1, face to face with the factories of
Trossingen, Klingenthal and China. Unfortunately the accordion world
has become a smaller place with reduced production. The schools,
which had driven a significant rise in production during the last
century, are diminishing in number, and wholesalers and retailers
are more and more reluctant to invest in a context where door to
door sales are beginning to prevail. The search for new enthusiasts
should be encouraged through personalities with greater appeal to
younger audiences and better investments in the media image of the
instruments (two good examples from last year are the latest hit
by Shakira with several MTV big names and Yann Tiersen's soundtrack
I.C.E., in collaboration with ACISA, set up
the successful "Padiglione Italia" (Italian Hall) with
the cream of the Italian string instruments industry. The Italian
offer could benefit from a more accurate selection of the participants
and the inclusion of more historical important brands, leading perhaps
to a presence in the halls dedicated to non-traditional instruments.
The 2003 edition of the Musikmesse was an interlocutory
one. Our market is currently undergoing the same stagnation suffered
by other commercial sectors. The situation calls for patience, investments
in advanced technology and a more aggressive competition with the
other forces that are trying to conquer the "free time"
of the young people of today.
A final note: on March 5th, at the very beginning
of the event, the prestigious "Steinway & Sons" company
celebrated its 150th anniversary at the Frankfurt Hof Hotel with
the presentation of two pianos (from a limited production of 150
instruments). One of them reproduced the classic grand piano played
by Ignaz Paderewski, whose original can be seen at the National
Museum of History in Washington; the other was an ultra-modern instrument
conceived by fashion designer Karl Lagerfeld. Happy anniversary!
Contributed by Edmund Schwarz
The International Frankfurt Music Fair was once
again an interesting exhibition, attracting many accordionists and
enthusiasts. In addition to musical instruments, displays included
many new devices and equipment, electronics and software.
Displays of traditional instruments, such as
the accordion were presented by companies from China, Germany, Italy
and Austria, which created much interest. A variety of professional
music lectures were held plus many accordionists demonstrated the
versatility of their instrument.
Contributed by Jon
The International Musikmesse 2003 included exhibitors
from 49 different countries. With 27,000 attendees from other countries
in addition to those from Germany the musikmesse attracted 80,000
visitors this year. This is a very respectable figure considering
the current world situation.
This year there were more accordions than ever
before! Many of the accordion manufacturers voiced a desire to bring
the accordion more into rock, jazz and other contemporary music
styles in addition to the traditional styles most commonly associated
with the instrument.
Italian accordion stars Silvia
Pagni and Renzo
Ruggeri gave mini-concerts daily as well as impromptu performances
and jam sessions in Hall 3.1, the massive new hall which opened
at the Frankfurt Messe fair grounds last year.
This was the 17th consecutive year Jon had participated
in the Musikmesse event and the 5th consecutive year he had hosted
2 evenings of live music at Jazzkeller Hofheim (March 7th &
8th). This year his special surprise guest was well known harmonica
player Lee Oskar from the group "WAR".
Next year's Musikmesse event will take place
from March 31st to April 4th, 2004. Messe Frankfurt GmbH the organizers
of Musikmesse and Music China will also hold a bi-annual trade fair
in St. Petersburg Russia from June 18th to 20th, 2003.