The 38th consecutive staging of the HIGH END, featuring 551 exhibitors from 42 countries, was once again a worldwide highlight for the industry. From May 9-12, the exhibition halls and rooms encircling the atriums on the upper levels of the MOC were booked solid, and the crowd of visitors was accordingly vast. The trade show delighted some 21,180 visitors, arriving from all over the world to find out about products and trends in the audio industry. A total of 551 exhibitors (previous year: 530) from 42 nations and 21,180 visitors (previous year: 19,899) were counted, including 8,208 trade visitors (previous year: 7,557) from throughout the world. Visitor numbers thus increased by 6.5% compared to the previous year’s event.
Over 21,000 visitors made their way to the Bavarian capital to gain a first-hand look at the widely-diverse audio market – from analog to digital. Friday clearly turned out to be the strongest visitor day, drawing several thousand music enthusiasts to the many exhibition stands. Continuously increasing number of exhibitors 551 exhibitors, 67% of whom were international, presented a broad range of products at the HIGH END. Compared to the previous year, the number of companies exhibiting increased by some 3.8%. They came from 42 different countries and the following countries were most strongly represented: the United States, United Kingdom, Italy, France, Japan, Denmark, Switzerland and China.
For the trade experts, it was one of the world’s most significant events in the audio industry, for the public it was a unique world of experience – this year again, the HIGH END pivoted on these two areas of interest. Trade visitors In total, 8,208 trade visitors from 72 countries came to Munich. This represents nearly nine percent more visitors compared to the HIGH END 2018. The share of international trade visitors was in fact 75 percent. The lion’s share of international visitors came from European countries other than Germany, with a major focus on the following countries: the UK, Italy, France and Switzerland.
We also received numerous trade visitors from Asia and America, however. It is the combination of music presentations, the showcase of the most exquisite lines of equipment, workshops and captivating lectures that have made up the HIGH END for decades, attracting dealers, consumers, as well as representatives from the audio and supplier industry, to the exhibition in Munich.
An absolute innovation was the initiative of the HIGH END SOCIETY’s “SoundsClever”. The complete playable audio systems offering extraordinary sound performance for less than EUR 5,000 were extremely well received, so that even more participants are already anticipated for 2020. As a special musical experience, it was able to reflect the full spectrum of the audio industry – either strictly digital, high-end analog or both combined in one system.
The HIGH END totally under the banner of music The Managing Director of the HIGH END SOCIETY Service GmbH, Stefan Dreischärf, expressed his great satisfaction on how the exhibition turned out and the increased visitor numbers. His successful concept of linking technology and music more closely than in the past, and making it possible to experience this up-close at the trade show is reflected in the increased exhibitor and visitor numbers.
“This year, the HIGH END was once again a complete success. The significant year-on-year rise in visitor statistics proves that with the many innovations, we were able to generate enthusiasm among both trade visitors and consumers. The event impressively conveyed and embodied this year’s main theme, ‘Enjoy the Music'”, said Stefan Dreischärf. This year’s brand ambassador and special guest of the HIGH END, Steven Wilson, precisely exemplifies this living, professional linkage of technology and music at the highest level. Like no other contemporary musician, Wilson is celebrating outstanding success both behind the microphone and in front of the mixing console.
Exhibition visitors were able to experience the outstanding British musician live at an autograph session to acquire his personally-signed special-edition “Home Invasion: In Concert at the Royal Albert Hall” as a 5-LP box set. There was a huge turnout, and a seemingly endless line formed in front of the autograph signing table. Surrounded by his international fan community, Steven Wilson also took time out for a few selfies and a complete walking tour of the exhibition.
Another highlight on Friday was the presentation of the honorary prizes for the Munich music producer Eva Mair-Holmes as well as the musician and graphic designer, Klaus Voormann. The jury of the German Record Critics’ Award association (PdSK) had selected both of them as 2019 honorary laureates, and they were recognized within the scope of the “Quartet of Critics” expert discussion. During this event, their recordings were demonstrated on a high-quality system, accompanied by both laureates’ anecdotes to the recordings.
The HIGH END SOCIETY is proud to present a world-renowned musician as its new Brand Ambassador for the coming HIGH END 2020. Alan Parsons will be the face of the international hi-fi trade show, which will take place from 14 to 17 May in the MOC Munich. With this move, the organiser is upholding its theme, launched in 2018, of enlisting a prominent artist to underscore the symbiosis between music and technology.
At the HIGH END, over 500 international exhibitors present high-quality products for first-rate sound reproduction. “Alan Parsons embodies this symbiosis like no other artist”, says Stefan Dreischärf, Managing Director of the HIGH END SOCIETY Service GmbH. “With his superb recording technology, he is extraordinarily successful at bringing the magic of his compositions to our living rooms.” As a veritable master of good sound, Alan Parsons has been successful worldwide for decades. Nominated 13 times for a Grammy, in 2018 he received the coveted award for Best Immersive Audio Album. Parsons, originally from London, launched his career at the famous Abbey Road Studios. Working in the background, he already wrote music history there.
Initially, he collaborated as an assistant on the last two albums of the Beatles before becoming known as the sound engineer for the recordings of the epic Pink Floyd Album “Dark Side Of The Moon”. With the Alan Parsons Project, established in 1975, Parsons went on to become a legend with his own songs. Today, the hymn, “Lucifer” remains the title melody of “Monitor”, a political weekly on German television. Last year, Parsons released his new studio album, “The Secret”, and toured America and Europe with the Alan Parsons Live Project. He took to the stage, joined by many other stars, during the successful touring show, “Night of the Proms”, at the end of 2019.
A video press conference with Jennifer Warnes was staged immediately afterwards. The Grammy and Oscar winner presented her new album “Another Time, Another Place” and was available via live link from sunny California to field journalists’ questions. Long awaited by many music aficionados with great anticipation, music demonstrations of exquisite quality from the “Music without limits” series took place once again this year. The Saturday afternoon event featured guest French horn player and Echo prize winner Felix Klieser. He brought along his new album with all horn concertos from Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, naturally also on vinyl. Klieser did not pass up the opportunity to play live and to enthrall visitors with spontaneous interpretations.
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