Believe in Music: What to Expect From NAMM's First-Ever Virtual Gathering

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General view of the atmosphere at The NAMM Show 2020 Media Preview Day at Anaheim Convention Center on Jan. 15, 2020 in Anaheim, Calif.

The online event -- a substitute for the organization's annual trade show -- runs from Jan. 18 to Jan. 22.

Last August, the National Association of Music Merchants (NAMM) announced it was canceling its annual NAMM Show in 2021 due to the ongoing spread of COVID-19, while simultaneously unveiling its plans for Believe in Music, a virtual gathering “to unify and support the people who bring music to the world.”

Slated to kick off Monday (Jan. 18) and running through Friday (Jan. 22) at, the event will bring together domestic and international NAMM members along with participants from GenNext (college music students and faculty), Music Education Days (school music administrators) and the Nonprofit Management Institute (NAMM Foundation grantees and nonprofit affiliates) for a week of artist conversations, product previews and over 150 professional development and training sessions for all sectors of the music products, pro audio and entertainment technology industries.

Highlights of the five-day event, which is free to attend, include opening sessions with Garth Brooks and Melissa Etheridge at 9 a.m. PT on Jan. 21 and Jan. 22, respectively; conversations with artists including Jackson Browne, Perry Farrell, Deadmau5, Nathan East, LZZY Hale , Anthrax's Scott Ian and Charley Pride (in one of his last interviews); a products preview on Jan. 20 at 4 p.m. PT featuring merchandise from C.F. Martin & Co., Roland, Yamaha, Avid, Gibson, Shure and more; and the Grand Rally for Music Education, an annual event that brings together music education advocates “for a celebration of the benefits and pleasures of making music.”

The NAMM Show’s long-running annual events and awards ceremonies will also be incorporated. These include the 36th TEC Awards, which “recognize the individuals, companies and technical innovations behind the sound of recordings, live performances, films, television, video games and multimedia”; the Les Paul Innovation Award, which “recognizes musical artists whose work has exemplified the creative application of audio technology”; the Hall of Fame Award, which recognizes “audio pioneers, as well as the music industry’s most accomplished producers and audio technicians”; the She Rocks Awards, this year featuring the Go-Go's, Nancy Wilson and Cherie Currie; and the Top 100 Dealer Awards, which “honor music retailers who have demonstrated a commitment to best practices, creativity and innovation in retail.”

Believe in Music will additionally host an interactive marketplace to connect buyers and sellers in an effort to provide support for those who have been most affected by the pandemic, as well as live performances by over 40 emerging and established musicians from around the world during a day-long global livestream on Jan. 20.

Register for Believe in Music at The full schedule of events is available here.

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