At ProLight+Sound this year the mood once again was initially one of scepticism, prompted by the diminution of exhibitors and visitors that has clearly continued from last year. This was compounded by a largely unpopular move for pro-audio from Hall 3.1 to Hall 8.0 just as the cohesion of audio and lighting under one roof in hall 3 was starting to be appreciated. But that’s been typical of Messe’s habit of tinkering with the formula and the format every year, under pressure to keep all the plates spinning as the markets fluctuate.

Another so-called consolidation this year was the exact concurrency of PL+S and Musikmesse, ostensibly to reflect the convergence of music making and music production. They needn’t have bothered. PL+S might just as well have co-ordinated with Baby & Stroller China for all the synergy generated: Sadly, Musikmesse is fading like the last chord of Sgt Pepper’s Lonely-Hearts Club Band. Dominated by Asian manufacturers, in a space not difficult to dominate, Musikmesse seems to have lost touch with almost all of the famous European and American brands that once made the show an unmissable fixture on the trade calendar, as if finally marking the end of the era of rock and roll. Yes, accordions will still find their way to retail outlets in Feldkirch and Drogheda, and more Spanis