At Prolight + Sound 2019, visitors to the trade fair were able to immerse themselves in the historical world in front of line arrays and digital consoles for the first time. In the Forum Level 0 at the Festhalle, milestones of the concert audio history of the 1960s, 70s, 80s and 90s attracted a great many audio enthusiasts. The Vintage Concert Audio e.V. and the Professional Association of Independent Professionals in the Event Industry (ISDV) presented over 250 exhibits from Concert Audio history at their joint stand in 2019.
The impressive exhibition will return to Prolight + Sound 2021. In an interview, Wolfgang Neumann, President of Vintage Concert Audio e.V. and CEO of Schabbach Enterprises, reveals the idea behind the exhibition and what is planned for the 2021 show.
1 What is the Vintage Concert Audio Show?We are an association: The Vintage Concert Audio e.V. We collect professional sound systems from the 60s, 70s, 80s and 90s and restore them in order to demonstrate and introduce younger generations to vintage analog sound technology at trade fairs and exhibitions.
We now have over 400 exhibits. Many of them from the 60s and 70s. Every evening from 5 pm on we will demonstrate old vocal and PA systems with music of the respective era. Among them are old analog Midas mixing consoles and large Concert PA systems from back then, such as Martin Audio Modular and Meyer Sound MSL-3.
2 How would you describe your company in five words?
We are a young association founded in spring 2019. We are four old men who have been collecting vintage audio equipment for a long time. I had the idea to make this exhibition at the Prolight + Sound in 2018. This is all completely new for all of us. But there is a lot to do and we have a lot of fun.
3 How has the industry changed since you started and what potential do you see?
So our association has a lot of potential, because we are the first in the world to realize and organize such an exhibition on such a large scale. Where this all leads to, I can't tell you yet. But the interest in vintage audio stuff is very, very big. Currently we are planning to build a Vintage Concert Audio Museum. I would be happy if this dream comes true.
4 How many times did you exhibit at Prolight + Sound? What motivates you to take part?
2019 was the first time. We participate because this is the biggest event in Germany for professional audio technology.
2021 we will definitely be back at the Prolight + Sound in Frankfurt. Of course, in compliance with the then current Corona hygiene regulations. Our collection of vintage equipment has grown immensely in the meantime, even during the Corona period, which was very difficult for everyone. 2021 will probably be the largest and most comprehensive vintage concert audio exhibition in the world.
That is what we have in mind: We will drive up with a total of four to five trucks packed with vintage equipment and stage more than 2,500 square meters of vintage concert audio equipment, with audio samples of old PA systems and discussion panels with old audio veterans. There is something for everyone.
We are looking forward to it and hope for a lively response like last time. 2019 was the hammer. We had never expected so much interest. Not in our wildest dreams. We were literally overwhelmed. Every time I think about it, I have to grin. What an experience. Thanks for that to all the vintage fans who were there. It was a celebration for us.