Munich 2015: The Greatest Show on Earth
Munich High End 2015
This year's High End 2015 , held each May in Munich, Germany is high-end audio's equivalent of The Ringling Bros Barnum and Bailey Circus. And like Greatest Show on Earth, High End 2015 is arguably the biggest and most attractive show of its kind. It caters to high-end audio fanatics from all over the world and based solely on attendance this was the biggest show since moving to the MOC convention center back in 2003. And just like the Ringling Bros circus, there were enough clowns at this event demoing new products that were so ridiculously expensive they even had a seasoned guy like myself gagging.
But as expected, this year's show grew both in terms of attendance and exhibiting manufacturers. I can only guess-timate since there is no official count as of yet, but based solely on the amount of people, foot traffic and exhibitors I saw from the opening day Thursday morning (press only), through Sunday afternoon (Friday - Sunday was opened to the public). As expected, Friday and Saturday was packed to the rafters, while Sunday was far less jammed. Unless given a private listening audition, attempting to gauge anything from the many rooms I did happen to visit proved highly unlikely. As a result, Key Kim and I simply walked the show mainly to capture interesting sights that we felt could best show what we saw rather than what we heard since that was a seemingly impossible feat this year.
OFFICIAL PRESS RELEASE ON ATTENDANCE (UPDATED 5/22):
• 506 exhibitors from 42 countries (+11%)
• Increased attendance with a total of 20,637 visitors (+16%)
• 6,588 trade visitors from 71 countries (+22%)
• Even more international profile
• Huge media presence from around the world
"More than 60 percent of the exhibitors in Munich this year came from abroad – an increase in the international presence of more than 2 percent. Of the 42 countries represented, Germany took first place, followed by the USA, the UK, Italy, Switzerland and France. As well as this, more exhibitors from Asia, and particularly China of course, came to Munich.
In total, 6,588 trade visitors from Germany and abroad came to find out about the latest technological trends. Almost two thirds of the trade visitors (66 percent) came from abroad, with 71 countries represented, most prominently the UK, Italy, Austria, China, Switzerland, France and the Netherlands. “This shows that the fair has developed internationally into an indispensable global marketplace. This means the HIGH END has continued to grow in international prestige and is now unquestionably the most important platform for both the domestic and international markets”, concluded Branko Glisovic at the end the fair."
Also, the sheer size and growth of this year's show made it nearly impossible to provide anything remotely close to full coverage. So, in an attempt to avoid becoming overly repetitious, we personally tried to avoid rooms that got coverage in previous High End reports. In addition, since there was little listening in an attempt to offer as much photo coverage as possible, I bunched together more photos than in previous reports. We hope you'll enjoy them.
In terms of growing trends, the two things that stood out the most once again this year was vinyl and music streamers/servers. So much in fact, I felt I would start off this year's report with those products first.