BREAKING: Has the NAMM Show 2021 just been cancelled?

NAMM admits it will be “unsafe for us to gather in person in January” due to COVID-19, as it announces ‘Believe In Music Week’ online event to “unite and support the industry” that will take place the week before the show was due to happen.

News coming out of the National Association of Music Merchants (NAMM) appears to indicate that the musical instrument industry’s flagship annual event, the NAMM Show, will not be taking place in 2021 due to the ongoing impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The NAMM Show, which takes place every year at the Anaheim Convention Center, California and welcomes over 100,000 attendees from across the globe, was due to take place on 21 January 2021.

While NAMM has not explicitly announced that the NAMM Show 2021 has been cancelled, in a statement announcing the Believe In Music Week online event programme, Joe Lamond, NAMM President and CEO admitted that “It remains unsafe for us to gather in person in January,” effectively confirming that the gear world’s largest and most prestigious event will not be going ahead.


In addition to this acknowledgement, links on the NAMM website that previously led to sign-up pages for exhibitors and attendees for the 2021 show are no longer functioning.

The 2021 TEC Awards will now take place online (Image: Getty Images for NAMM)

Instead, it seems that the plan for 2021 is to take certain aspects of the NAMM Show experience online through Believe In Music Week – a “global gathering to unify and support the people who bring music to the world”.

While stressing that Believe In Music Week is not a virtual NAMM Show, the event will feature many of the notable events that usually take place in Anaheim, including the TEC Awards, while also offering educational resources for attendees, and an “interactive marketplace to connect buyers and sellers”.

“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,” said Lamond in the statement.

“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.”


NAMM 2021 is the second NAMM show to fall victim to the global pandemic after Summer NAMM 2020 was cancelled in April.

This is a developing story, and we will update it as more information becomes available.

Find out more about Believe In Music Week here.

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