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Musikmesse and Prolight + Sound spotlight the digital revolution in the creative business and turn all Frankfurt into a show stage

1 Apr 2019

The worlds of music and the event business are getting together in Frankfurt am Main over the coming days. Musikmesse and Prolight + Sound (2 to 5 April) offer the professionals of today and tomorrow insights into the future of the industry. The concurrent Musikmesse Festival (2 to 6 April) brings high-grade acts, including Gregory Porter, Samy Deluxe, Mousse T. & Glasperlenspiel and Tony Carey, to the Exhibition Centre and many of Frankfurt’s clubs. With the new Musikmesse Plaza (6 April), Messe Frankfurt is launching a completely new pop-up concept aimed at all music lovers immediately after the trade fairs.

How do new technological developments change the way in which music and events are produced, consumed and marketed? The complementary programmes of the two international trade fairs revolve around this question. Around 300 workshops, panel discussions, lectures and masterclasses will generate new impulses and enable visitors to gain an overview of the latest trends. Companies from 56 countries display their latest products and services at 1.606 exhibitor presentations over the five days of the shows. Additionally, Frankfurt Fair and Exhibition Centre is the setting for around 200 concerts and live performances. And, with 100 events at 50 venues throughout Frankfurt, the accompanying Musikmesse Festival is bigger than ever before.

“Today, music is available everywhere and at all times. In this age of streaming, user behaviour is changing fundamentally – with drastic effects on musicians, labels, service providers and education. The expanding live-entertainment market is also undergoing a paradigm shift towards digital transmission. Moreover, there are fantastic new areas of application for audio-visual media technology. The two trade fairs take account of this increased level of complexity with a multitude of options for knowledge transfer and networking. And, parallel to this, we are celebrating a five-day festival of music in Frankfurt”, says Detlef Braun, Member of the Executive Board of Messe Frankfurt.

Musikmesse: from career turbo to Trackathon

For the first time, Musikmesse is opening its doors from Tuesday to Friday, i.e., on four working days, which will sharpen the core of the brand as a platform for the exchange of ideas and information on a professional plane and reinforce the synergetic effects with Prolight + Sound.

In addition to retailers, distributors, educational institutes and professionals from the fields of instrument making, marketing and performing rights, Musikmesse also integrates ambitious musicians in a trade-oriented event concept.

The highlights of the programme of events includes SongsCon Frankfurt where creative musicians can connect with decision makers, present their songs to the A&Rs from well-known labels and take part in songwriting masterclasses. At the Songwriting Camp, they work together on their creative ideas and, in this way, produce songs that will, perhaps, storm the charts in the near future. Musikmesse is also the venue of the live finale of the European Songwriting Awards, the winner of which will go straight to the studio and the songs be released and promoted via a specially founded label.

In the Sound & Recording Lounge, experienced producers provide production and audio-engineering assistance. The Future of Audio and Music Technology seminars spotlight trends, such as mobile apps for music production and blockchain technology for managing performing rights and licences. This year sees the first Sample Music Festival Area at Musikmesse, which presents new tools for creative music making, from DJing and live looping to finger drumming. The Audio Maker Square is a new area especially for the international DIY scene. Another first is the Music Tech Fest with innovation masterclasses and a 24-hour ‘Trackathon’ where up-and-coming producers create electronic tracks under visitors’ eyes and then present their finished results in a live show.

The field of musical education will be more prominent than ever before with a dedicated Music Education Centre in the Congress Centre Messe Frankfurt. There, the successful Discover Music project for young people will take kindergarten children on a musical journey of discovery. The Classes Make Music Conference presents scientifically based, future-oriented methods for musical instruction. Additionally, the European School Music Award honours exemplary projects revolving around practical music education. Visitors can take part in workshops on education, marketing and career scenarios on all days of the fair.

Prolight + Sound using the momentum of the sector

Connectivity is a mega social and economic trend that is also having decisive impact on the worldwide entertainment-technology sector. Increasingly, central control systems are linking and managing all connected devices – from displays, via PA and lighting systems, to microphones and cameras. Against the background of the great innovative power of the sector, Prolight + Sound – the comprehensive content platform and technology show that brings together key players from all parts of the event and media-technology industry – is now also being held in the new Hall 12, the most modern exhibition hall at Frankfurt Fair and Exhibition Centre.

The triumph of IP-based transmission technology has not only opened up new markets but also given rise to a great demand for training among the sector’s professionals. The new CAVIS – Congress for Audio Visual Integrated Systems at Prolight + Sound puts the focus on this revolution, as well as on the growing market for permanent installations, as used, for example, in museums and theme parks and other event locations.

Furthermore, the event sector is characterised by a great demand for immersive experiences via, for example, virtual and augmented reality, as well as 3D audio, holography and façade projections, which bring buildings to life. Following last year’s highly successful première, the Immersive Technology Forum of Prolight + Sound has been extended from one to four days. There, visitors can learn about best practices from innovation leaders and immerse themselves in virtual worlds.

Prolight + Sound is also taking account of the growing safety awareness among organisers and visitors of large-scale events. At the International Event Safety & Security Conference, renowned speakers will discuss subjects such as crowd management, weather contingency planning and safety at work.

Musikmesse Festival with new record

This year sees the fourth edition of Musikmesse Festival. Extended by a day and with 100 concerts at 50 locations, Frankfurt will be an even bigger and more multi-faceted show stage. Numerous international and national stars are appearing at Frankfurt Fair and Exhibition Centre with three highlight events in the ‘Festhalle’ alone: Samy Deluxe (4 April), the BigCityBeats Birthday with star DJ Timmy Trumpet (5 April) and the closing concert with Gregory Porter and the Neue Philharmonie Frankfurt orchestra (6 April). Specially set-up for the Musikmesse Festival, the new Festival Arena is the venue for concerts by Tony Carey (4 April) and The Real Group vocal ensemble (3 April), as well as Mousse T. & Glasperlenspiel as an exclusive DJ set (5 April).  

A variety of locations throughout Frankfurt present the complete spectrum of musical genres. Among those taking part are US rapper Kid Ink (5 April, Gibson), ska-folk combo Russkaja (5 April, Batschkapp), New German Wave veterans Palais Schaumburg (2 April, Nachtleben) and the British blues-rock band Wille & The Bandits (5 April, Das Bett).

In line with tradition, the presentation of the International German Piano Award in the ‘Alte Oper’ concert house on 1 April marks the beginning of a whole week of music.

Moreover, Musikmesse Festival is cooperating for the first time with the Frankfurt Hotel Alliance with the result that 17 hotels are providing unique settings for evening concerts within the framework of the Festival.

Musikmesse Plaza to make the Saturday rock

To round off a week full of music, Messe Frankfurt is pushing all controls to maximum. The new Musikmesse Plaza is characterised by an innovative event concept aimed specifically at musicians and music lovers. Together with partners from the creative sector, Messe Frankfurt is holding a pop-up market with a variety of themed worlds – from vintage instruments, via recordings, to posters available for sale – on Saturday, 6 April.

Several of the events held during Musikmesse and Prolight + Sound are being extended to the Saturday. They include The World of Vintage Guitars, which offers a journey back in time showing the development of models by legendary brands, such as Gibson and Fender, an offer to Rate Your Guitar where visitor can have the value of instruments they bring with them estimated, and the Vintage Concert Audio Show, which provides exclusive insights into four decades of public-address systems for concerts. Among the stars of the scene taking part are Rick J. Jordan (Scooter), Sandra Nasic (Guano Apes) and Peter Sage (Santiano). The Vintage Drum Show and the Hammond Nostalgie Club also show musical instruments distinguished by tradition and history.

YouTube stars and influencers, such as Vincent Lee, Tanzverbot, Ceddotalk and EVI, will give young musicians tips on how to market themselves via social media.

On the Saturday, the Discover Music project will be open to all beginners in the world of music. There, they can try a variety of instruments with professional instructors. Parallel to this, there will be open-air feeling on the outdoor area with street food and nonstop live music.


Full details about the individual events can be found at:


Background information on Messe Frankfurt
Messe Frankfurt is the world’s largest trade fair, congress and event organiser with its own exhibition grounds. With over 2,500* employees at 30 locations, the company generates annual sales of around €715* million. Thanks to its far-reaching ties with the relevant sectors and to its international sales network, the Group looks after the business interests of its customers effectively. A comprehensive range of services – both onsite and online – ensures that customers worldwide enjoy consistently high quality and flexibility when planning, organising and running their events. The wide range of services includes renting exhibition grounds, trade fair construction and marketing, personnel and food services.
With its headquarters in Frankfurt am Main, the company is owned by the City of Frankfurt (60 percent) and the State of Hesse (40 percent).
Further information is available at:
* provisional figures 2018