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NAMM Evolves with Large Lighting and Theatrical Presence

by Nook Schoenfeld • in
  • Current Issue
  • Features
  • February 2018
• Created: February 16, 2018

ACT Lighting showed off the Claypaky Axcor, the MA Lighting dot2 console and their range of cables made for the music industry.

ADJ was out in full with their Par 64 retrofit LED lamps and the Vizi series of movers, among others.

Altman Lighting had the sexiest purple booth with their line of LED conventionals on display.

Area 4 Industries represented LITEC, MILOS, JTE and Tomcat trussing.

Avolites is always a good time with Koy and Stephen on hand to show their consoles.

Chauvet’s booth was packed nonstop as they showed off their Chauvet DJ and Chauvet Professional lines.

CM’s Nick Fleming and others were on hand to show off their hoists.

Creative Conners’ Garth and Peter showed the ease of operation with their Spotline Practical.

Dr. DMX Doug Fleenor and wife Cindy were on hand to show their products.

Global Truss America had a shiny, self-standing structure on display.

GLP showed their newest products as well as latest team member Lewis Long.

Guillermo and Miguel Cabada from Mega-Systems Show off the wide variety of theatrical products they offer

LEX showed their range of cables as well as dimmer/AC/data rack capabilities.

Look Solutions hazed the room up with their atmospheric altering line.

Sean Dane from RC4 Wireless was on hand to explain why Katy Perry’s production team insists on using his company’s gear.

Stageline erected multiple temporary stages and had a booth inside to chat about what they offer.

The Artiste DaVinci and Fuze series were shown at Elation’s well attended booth.

The MTN Shop booth displayed rigging products and strong road cases built to transport heavy products.

The Von Fanges from The Light Source displayed their hardware and their new PDP Connector strip.

Thomas Dolby plays under a ROE Creative Display LED wall at the Roland booth.

TMB was on hand wth power, data, cable and LED solutions for any show.

Total Structures left LDI this year for the greener pastures of NAMM.

Ultratec Special Effects displayed their wide variety of effects and smoke solutions.

Whirlwind featured power and rigging control as well as 3D printing for road cases.

NAMM is certainly not a new show for the entertainment business. It’s an annual event held in Anaheim every January and is one of the two largest music product trade shows in the world. Its European counterpart is the Musikmesse in Frankfurt. NAMM stands for the National Association of Music Merchants. The group has evolved into an international association whose members now include commercial companies, distributors, affiliates and manufacturers.

The sprawling trade show has long attracted musicians and backline technicians. Audio personnel were able to check out some of the newest toys in their field as well. For years several lighting companies that catered to the DJ and smaller markets (such as ADJ and Chauvet DJ) had been showing off affordable wares for quite some time. But a lot of that changed this year. In fact, half of Hall A was dedicated just to the lighting world. Major players from all over the world were on site to show off some of the latest hi tech gear available in their inventory. A lot of companies came in with small booths, feeling the waters as they embarked on their first NAMM show.

I have to think that it was a wise investment. Thousands of people in our industry who may have never had a particular interest in lighting before, walked through that area and got an education. From lighting fixtures to case construction, theatrical hardware to console training, it was all on hand.

One of the more amazing attributes of the NAMM show was the educational classes presented by PLSN and FRONT of HOUSE magazines, entitled the Pro Production series. With popular designers/directors ranging from Robb Jibson to Mark Haney, Bryan Hartley to Anne Militello, riding shotgun over a panel of legendary speakers, classes covered audio, lighting, video as well as tour and production management. Parnelli Visionary award recipient Jonathan Smeeton gave his lectures and sat on many panels offering tips and “common sense” lighting points that are often never taught to youngsters.

The Parnelli Awards were the crowning achievement of the weekend. The 17th year of these awards was different than any I had been to, as the move brought many new faces to the event. Tons of heavy hitters and young faces alike mingled and networked for the industry’s largest shindig.

In conclusion, I saw a camaraderie that was different from most trade shows. I can’t put a finger on it, but I really enjoyed seeing everything. And kudos to Frank Montero of ROE Creative Display for having the foresight to put some video products on display at the Roland booth. It brought together their DJ show as well as their own awards show later.

Check out a few of our friends below, in attendance at NAMM this year.

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