The Audio Cynic

That’s Show Biz!

Issue 16

In Copper #7, I wrote about the passing of Richard Beers, the promoter of THE Show-Newport. In #8, I asked, “how many shows are too many?”

Consider this column the confluence of those two pieces.

The Newport show this year was managed by a tiny, capable, deceptively-tough young woman named Marine Presson. Given her first name, I suppose it shouldn’t be surprising that she’s tough.

Marine parted company with Newport after this year’s show. Recently, it came to light that Newport ain’t gonna be Newport, anymore. By that, I mean that the show is going to be relocated—to Anaheim?— and moved to a slot later in the year.

Truth be told, Newport never was Newport: it was located in scenic Irvine (called “the most boring town in SoCal” by my son Will, who went to school in LA). Richard thought that “Newport Beach” sounded more appealing than “Irvine”, and who can dispute that? Seriously: the town sounds as though it was named after an elderly accountant, and the UC Irvine teams are the ANTEATERS, for goodness’ sake.

But I digress.

Given the work that my friend Richard put into the Newport show, and all the memories I have of past shows, the movement of THE Show causes a twinge or two. Moving the show so that it’s two weeks after CEDIA and two weeks before RMAF has created concerns for exhibitors and attendees alike. Friends in the biz have been, shall we say, forthright in expressing their dismay and disapproval. As we’re a (cough) family publication, I won’t use the adjectives, but the word “insane” popped up frequently.

Meanwhile—you knew there was gonna be a “meanwhile”, right?— a collective  called the Orion Group was not thrilled by the news of THE Show’s migration. In fairly short order, Ms. Presson was hired, a hotel was landed, and the time was set for the first week in June—Newport show time, in other words.

The hotel chosen, the Sheraton Gateway LAX, is familiar to audio old-timers as Stereophile shows were held there back at the dawn of time. It’s known to have largish rooms with decent acoustics, just the thing for an audio show. It’s also apparently no longer on direct flight-paths, and recently underwent a $30M renovation.

Just as important as the date and venue, the indefatigable Bob Levi and the gazillion-member LA & Orange County Audio Society (LAOCAS) are supporting the LA Audio Show—and if Bob and crew are with them, who can be against them?

I wish both shows luck, but it looks as though the LA Audio Show is in a better position to be the “new Newport”. Times are tough, and I can’t imagine that the scheduling of THE Show will win friends in the industry.

That’s show biz!

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