Munich High End 2016 Clement Perry
When our time comes to depart this earthly plane and move on to that wondrous place called Audio Heaven, you'll probably wind up in Munich's High End show! Where else can one hear live musicians throughout the day on street corners named after jazz icons like Miles Davis, Sarah Vaughn and Charlie Parker? Where else can one find hundreds of the world's most talented high-end audio designers showcasing their latest inventions? Where else can on be chauffeured to, in a late model Mercedes-Benz, BMW and/or Audi taxi, and find 20,000 like-minded folks on the same personal quest for sonic excellence? Yes, dear reader, Audio Heaven is located in the Bavarian capital of Munich, Germany.
What made this show far more convenient for me personally was I finally decided to rent a car. Munich is also headquarters to BMW, so you can imagine how excited I was to finally test drive a late model Mercedes-Benz, Porsch, Audi or BMW on the world famous Autobahn. Well, you could have heard the air leave my head when the Budget rent-a-car advisor informed me that all they had left was a 2016 Ford Escape. Undaunted, I accepted the car, signed the paperwork and tried desparately to recall when, in the numerous times I've visited Europe, ever seeing an American-made car?
By the Numbers.
Celebrating its 35th anniversary, this year's High End show (held from May 5th thru May 8th), saw nearly 20,000 visitors enter through its doors. Based solely on the density of the crowds in narrow hallways, this year's show somehow felt larger and more lively than any previous High End event (this marks my 11th). Blame it on the summer-like weather (75 degrees and picture-perfect), but this year's crowd did not eclipse last year's record numbers (20,637) with 19,489 visitors. However, there were 518 exhibitors (as compared to 506 in 2015), from approximately 69 countries making The High End show, the worlds largest international audio-related trade show
Kurt Hecker (seated second from left), at Thursday morning's press conference, serves as the High End's Burgermeister, overseeing the huge undertakings that maked this show such a smooth running success. The wonderfully gracious Renate Paxa (above photo holding mic), is the show's press agent and is usually the first person I see when I arrive each year to obtain a press badge.
Munich is by far the richest city in Bavaria - but with an extra 20,000 visitors showing up from all over the globe - I bet it enriched Munich's thriving commerce further.