Shawn Sixx is headed to The NAMM Show...

January 15, 2020

Well, it’s that time of year again. The music industry juggernaut that is known as “NAMM” will once again be taking over the Anaheim Convention Center. Now for you people that have been living under a Rock for the last century or so, the NAMM acronym stands for the National Association of Music Merchants, but that definition has evolved into an all encompassing event that can only be understood if experienced.

The NAMM Show is an annual event in the U.S. that its organizers describe as the world’s largest trade-only event for the music products, pro audio and event tech industry.  The event is held every January in Anaheim, California, US at the Anaheim Convention Center, and has become one of the two largest music product trade shows in the world.  Let me tell you though, this is no ordinary trade show.  This is the super bowl of music industry events!  The NAMM Show attracts a slew of famous musicians that are endorsed by the exhibitors, and many more that come to promote their own signature models and equipment.  Many industry and non-industry folks refer to it as one of the ultimate star sighting events associated with the music industry.

Now the one thing that many don’t understand is that this event is closed to the general public.  In other words, the NAMM Show is for approved industry players only.  You see, NAMM is a trade-only business show catering to dealers, distributors, manufacturers, and industry affiliated members.  This is not something that the average Rock-n-Roll fan can get a pre-sale code for, or buy a scalped ticket to.  That is unless they don’t have any interest in going inside the convention center.  What happens inside the convention center is far from all that there is to experience during NAMM week!

If you are one that wants to see all those stars that I alluded to earlier, then there is a plethora of shows and concerts in the Anaheim area that you can attend without having a NAMM convention badge.  Some of the events that are Rock-n-Roll oriented include: The Metal Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony, Metal Allegiance show, Dimebash, Schecter Guitar Research Indie NAMM Party, Ronnie Montrose Remembered, Dirtbag Clothing & Scorpion Percussion NAMM Meet n Greet, She Rocks Awards Induction Ceremony, Ultimate Jam Night, and a ton more!  Then you have the “after parties” that are scattered all around the area’s hotels, venues, and event centers.  Most people that come to experience the NAMM event chaos have to make schedules just to partake in all the non-convention fun! 

Now don’t get me wrong, this isn’t all about the party aspect of the music world.  Many of these events are associated with reputable charities that promote and foster those who are involved in the world of music, and keeping the musical arts in our school systems.  The NAMM Foundation for instance, has also done an amazing job at supporting music education and music making for people of all ages and abilities.  Through the Circle of Benefits business model NAMM reinvests the proceeds from their trade shows and membership to grow the industry through a variety of means, including charitable outreach, lobbying congress and international policymakers, and funding research on the benefits of arts education.

This year I will be going out Anaheim and partaking in all the events, or as many as they let me into, that is.  I will be perusing the many vendor booths inside the convention hall and attending the Metal Allegiance, Ronnie Montrose Remembered, Schecter Guitar Research Indie NAMM Party, and few of those after parties.  Make sure you check in with the SIXXSTRINGS podcast for updates on all the gory details.

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