Music China – UK Reaction

You’ve likely read the official post-event press release from Music China, celebrating a successful return for this crucial show. As the trade body for the musical instruments sector in the UK, we wanted to get some measure of reactions and spoke with four MIA members who exhibited. We’re pleased to say that their comments mirror Musikmesse’s own review.

Dan Gooday (Ashdown) said: “After a long time, getting back to Music China was great and a fantastic opportunity to see so many customers from around the world. It was a real show with exhibitors actually making an effort. I didn’t hear the usual excuses, it felt like a proper international trade show. There was a buzz about the show that we hadn’t experienced since the last real NAMM show back in 2020. I am hoping that NAMM 2024 has a similar buzz and vibe where we have committed to exhibiting.”

Iain Wilson (IBC Trading) had a similarly positive view of this year’s show, though with some takeaways about the current position of the MI space internationally:

“Although Music China is transforming into a domestic show in the main, there were still ample international visitors to justify our presence.  There was a noticeable absence of USA, Canadian and Japanese customers, with many citing visa delays as the key issue for not attending. The Tulip Club was buzzing with meetings and the show floor was busy and loud, at least in the guitar halls.

Great to see Fender, Gibson, Martin, Taylor etc represented by their Chinese distributors. It certainly felt like business was being done.  However, for many factories it seemed like make or break time, with the global slow-down and market correction taking place.”

Adam Butterworth (JHS), had the following to say:

“A fantastic show and it felt like the show was really back. It was brilliant to catch up with so many customers and contacts in the industry, sign up more global distributors and support our Chinese distributors”.








Music examinations are a key part of education in China. Tim Bennett-Hart (RSL Awards) has also shared positive feelings about Music China, 2023:

‘It was hugely rewarding to be back at Music China. Without question, musical learning has changed in the country since the pandemic and the show itself is much more China-centric. The enthusiasm and energy for music remains as strong as ever and the UK music industry is still held in high esteem.

However, there are new and varied challenges to working in China which include geo-political influences that individual businesses cannot possibly control. I would urge all businesses to act as we do at RSL and think about working in China as a partnership for long term mutual benefit.”

So, there’s positive feeling combined with an awareness of the need for change and adjustment within the industry, and both are great outcomes for a show at this time. If you have your own feedback about the show, or your hopes for the 2024 editions of NAMM and Music China, send them to Matt and if there’s enough we may put together a follow-up to this piece.

Music China 2024 will take place on 10th-13th October. We’ll share further information as and when it is released.

Want to Join the Music Industries Association?

Join now

Already a member?

Sign in