Musikmesse Frankfurt is no more, will be replaced by new consumer-focused events

Messe Frankfurt pointed to the changing shape of the musical instrument industry having severely impacted Musikmesse events.

The Musikmesse Frankfurt trade fair and festival will no longer be held by Messe Frankfurt. The company has cancelled the 2022 edition, which was set to take place in April, and announced plans to instead “focus on profitable revenue drivers.”

Messe Frankfurt announced in a press release that: “The consumer trade fair formats Musikmesse Plaza and Musikmesse Festival will not be held in April 2022 owing to the current situation and the short lead time involved.”

The company pointed at ongoing pandemic-related restrictions in part, stating that: “Hygiene rules made planning very difficult above all for large-scale concerts by international artists, concerts in clubs and unusual locations, and music education events.”

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However, Musikmesse also pointed out the massive changes the musical instrument industry has undergone in the last few years, which have been accelerated further by the pandemic.

“The dramatic transformation in the instrument market, where over 70 per cent of sales are now attributed to a small number of online retailers, has already had a very negative effect on the Musikmesse trade exhibition in recent years,” it wrote.

“[This] is one of the factors driving the transformation from a [business to business] to a [business to consumer] event. In view of this, Messe Frankfurt will no longer be continuing the [business to business] part of the Musikmesse but instead will restructure music-related [business to consumer] formats at a later point in time.”

Stephan Kurzawski, a member of the Messe Frankfurt’s extended board of management explained the decision to make the event more accessible to the consumer, saying in a statement: “The market concentration in the musical instruments business – where a small number of online retailers account for over 70 per cent of the market in Germany and neighbouring countries alone – is changing the market and ordering behaviour significantly.

“This means that it is not commercially viable to organise a [business to business] trade fair. It has always been part of our long-term Musikmesse strategy to provide more and more content for the general public above and beyond the musical instrument business and, together with people from all over the world, to celebrate a festival of music in Frankfurt. We see formats like the Musikmesse Festival and the Musikmesse Plaza having a bright future as part of a new concept.”

The new consumer-focused events are set to be unveiled “at a later point in time”.

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Importantly, the decision will not affect Music China, Messe Frankfurt’s other large musical instrument trade show. Additionally, the cancellation still leaves Messe Frankfurt with 135 trade fairs, concerts and conferences lined up for 2022 in Frankfurt alone.

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