NAMM features music tech, OK GO and a lot of bands

More than 115,000 attended the annual NAMM music products show on Jan 25-28 at the Anaheim Convention Center. The conference featured music product, instruments, accessories and more on the show floor, as well as dozens of panels on all aspects of the music industry.

Several panels focused on music tech, including how to build your web site, run you social media, and more.

The creative and entrepreneurial spirit of the industry was on display among the 7,000 brands and nearly 2,000 exhibiting companies on The NAMM Show Campus. Across the two convention center buildings and multiple levels, members had the opportunity to engage and interact with a variety of exhibiting companies.

“For us, the whole ecosystem of music is so important, you can’t separate traditional from technology, you need both to succeed,” said Lauren Hendry Parsons of BandLab Technologies. “There are so many opportunities now for a musician with technology and we are really pleased to see NAMM embracing this.”


The expansion of the show into the new Anaheim Convention Center North building saw increased pro audio and event technology participation contributing to a 9% overall growth of exhibitors at the show.

The convergence of industry members on the floor in each new “neighborhood” made it easy to get from location to location, without much sound interference from the many demos and performances.

Lin Buck of Adamson Systems Engineering – an ACC North exhibitor – has been attending The NAMM Show for the past 15 years and shared that, “For years I’ve wanted something like this to happen. The expansion to pro audio and technology is so important because it’s a different market but here at the show, it brings us together.”

In the Streaming Hub, the Persado’s Place stage featured livestreamd interviews and performances in the new North Hall.



Fitting for a music show, each night of NAMM included bands playing on three stages at the Hilton, Marriott, and main convention center plaza.

On opening night, OK GO played the main stage, including their hit Here It Goes Again “treadmill song.” The lead singer invited one lucky “Andrew Andrew” to join the band on the stage, giving him a one-string guitar to play along for a song.

An all-female band rocked the Women at NAMM cocktail reception on the NAMM Foundation stage Thursday night.


On Friday, the Yamaha All Star Concert on the Grand welcomed Lindsay Sterling, Marc Broussard, Butch Walker, Shelea, Melissa Etheridge, Michael MacDonald, Sam Moore and others, and on Saturday, The NAMM Foundation and The John Lennon Educational Tour Bus presented acclaimed singer-songwriter Andy Grammer at the annual Imagine Party. At the start of the evening, funk legend Bootsy Collins performed “Together We Can” alongside children from Anaheim’s Loara Elementary and Country Club Hills (Chicago), who received a visit from the Lennon Educational Tour Bus last year.


On Friday, The Parnelli Awards debuted at The NAMM Show, honoring event tech professionals across 22 categories, including Billy Joel’s long-time Production Manager, Bobby “Boomer” Thrasher, who received the Lifetime Achievement Award. Lighting designer and innovator, Jonathan Smeeton (The Rolling Stones, Marilyn Manson, Jane’s Addiction, Taylor Swift), received the Parnelli Visionary Award; and DiGiCo technical director John Stadius was honored with the Audio Innovator Award. The same evening at the House of Blues, the sixth annual She Rocks Awards recognized notable women in the industry, along with artists Pat Benatar, Melissa Etheridge, and the B52’s Kate Pierson and Cindy Wilson, among others.

Attendees included traditional NAMM members, including domestic and international retail and distribution buyers and employees, exhibitors, event tech and pro audio professionals and buyers, media, artists, invited guests, NAMM Foundation GenNext (college music students), Music Education Day (school music administrators and buyers) and Nonprofit Institute (NAMM grantees and affiliates) participants. The convergence of the industry was met with enthusiasm as new innovations were revealed from all sectors of industry, as members also worked to establish new relationships. For exhibitors like Sabian’s Andy Zildjian, the gathering meant that “You have four days to meet the world. Anybody who has a stake in the industry is here: whether it’s distributors, manufacturers, retailers, players, everyone.”

The Summer NAMM Show will return to Nashville’s Music City Center June 28-30.