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Musikmesse Fest: Just musical instruments… for now

The Frankfurt MI trade fair will this year host its first festival, but tells IQ it's not making a play for concert business

By Jon Chapple on 29 Jan 2016

Daniel Erlandsson, Musikmesse 2015

Death metal drummer Daniel Erlandsson on the Agora Stage, Musikmesse 2015


image © Messe Frankfurt Exhibition GmbH/Jochen Günther

Musikmesse, the Frankfurt trade event for the musical instrument (MI) industry, will this year incorporate a multi-venue music festival in the evenings after the show.

If that’s a model that sounds familiar to attendees of showcase festivals like Eurosonic Noorderslag and Reeperbahn Festival, those events needn’t be worried: although organisers want to “make Frankfurt the music capital of Europe” during Musikmesse and increase media attention on the show, “the focus of Musikmesse for 2016 remains unchanged”, Messe Frankfurt Exhibition vice-president Stephan Kurzawski tells IQ – for now, at least.

Musikmesse Festival, promoted by Weyand Entertainment, will feature performances by a mix of up-and-coming acts and “big names from genres ranging from rock and pop, via classic and jazz, to dance and electro”.

“It is not our primary aim to reach new exhibitor target groups, but we will, of course, review this option if it is called for by the market in the medium or long term”

“In the past, the synergies generated by Musikmesse, [pro-audio trade show] Prolight + Sound and the Live Entertainment Awards, which has been the overture to the fair for many years, have attracted many professionals from the live music industry to Frankfurt,” says Kurzawski. “And it will be exciting to see whether the effects of this interaction can be increased with the addition of the Musikmesse Festival.

While Kurzawski stresses that “it is not our primary aim to reach new exhibitor target groups” – ie agents and live music folk – with Musikmesse Festival, “we will, of course, review this option if it is called for by the market in the medium or long term”.

Musikmesse – and the not-a-showcase Musikmesse Festival – takes place from 7 to 10 April at the Messe Frankfurt exhibition centre.