CRAIG BLUNDELL: Show time
Drum specialist Craig Blundell casts an eye back over the Music Show, an educational show that made its debut last month at Manchester Central…
I remember in 2006 ringing my boss to take a sickie then packing my car and driving up to the NEC in Birmingham. I arrived at this huge centre and trawled through all these amazing stands before finding my home for three days – a TD12 set up on the Roland stand for Music Live.
I’d never experienced that many people close up as I was still cutting my teeth in this game and it was very daunting. A couple of years later I’d turned pro and I remember doing the same gig but this time at Drummer Live and the London international Music Show. Apart from the wonderful Drummer Live, the other two are distant memories as there is no big retail trade show for musicians across the board in the UK.
However, I’ve just spent my Saturday playing at The Music Show, a two day education and public show at the Manchester Central exhibition centre. It was billed as promoting the benefits of music and a showcase for the latest products and services to musicians, educators and industry professionals. The two-day exhibition was open to anyone who has a passion for making music from aspiring bands, musicians and industry professionals to teachers, students and their families.
I arrived on the Saturday as I had previous commitments on the Friday. On the opening day there was a particular emphasis on education, with a lot of seminars taking place. There was a whole host of live musical performances on the main stage as well as Korg having an education suite featuring my old mate Steve White appearing three times a day for Mapex.
My old friends from HM Royal Marines corps of drums were also there on both days, which is always a pleasure to witness. Regarding drums and drummers though, it was a bit flat, with only me and Whitey there for our respective brands.
Will it grow? Who knows, but I think (as others do) that the time has come for another big UK show. I just hope that the pricing is not too high so that these guys can exhibit and feel it’s in their best interests to do so. In turn, the consumer benefits and the feel good factor, which is so sorely missed in our industry, may come back.
Was it beneficial for the retailers, manufacturers and distributors? Who knows? I’ve spoke to many old friends in all corners of MI who report a slight change to retail over the past few months. Sure, you can tell its a new show with lots to learn (noise police!) but one of the most important things was that there was lots of smiley faces and long may it continue. Here’s to a turn in the tide…