Earlier today it was brought to my attention, that the oft rumoured but denied by Chester Group move of the show to an outside London location from the Park Inn Heathrow pitch has happened and begins this year. The show, still called Audio World (formerly The London High Fidelity Show), will now be held at the Oatlands Park Hotel, Weybridge, Surrey.
This is sad from a number of points of view, firstly it marks the end of a long period of Audio Shows being held at the Heathrow site, from the hey day of the HiFI News and Record Review show (and shows organised there before that series of shows began), and the more recent Chester Group shows. Secondly it also means that Adventures in High Fidelity Audio will no longer be able to cover this show, in the way it has been doing so over the past few years and there is even the possibility the show will not be covered at all by AIHFA.
Frankly as AIHFA is a not for profit venture, I don’t have the funding to cover the extra costs involved in car rental, or rail travel to the new venue, not to mention the greatly increased hassle (attending Whittelbury is a major undertaking both logistically and financially) this move will cause, this reviewer. The joy of the Heathrow site for this particular show was being able to travel from Northern Ireland to Heathrow and either stay at The Park Inn or a nearby hotel and then walk to the show.
The recent switch in focus from International shows (this mantle now having been taken up by the Munich show) to smaller national/regional ones I guess always meant that the possibility existed for the death of the Heathrow location (which had already happened to the annual September show); which suited the international nature of previously held shows and this switch perhaps suits English show visitors better. However anyone wishing to visit from Scotland, Northern Ireland or further afield now faces extra difficulties and expense in reaching the show.
Adventures in High Fidelity Audio really had its origins in desiring to cover audio shows to a depth that none of the other audio publications, be they in print, or online bother to do anymore. It was, and I think I have been successful at doing this, my goal to present the AIHFA reader a virtual tour of the entire show and thus I took photos of every room and the full contents of each room.
I must say it is with great regret that I had to say earlier on in this article that AIHFA may not be able to do this in the future; or at all. The undertaking I take to cover any of the shows in the way I do, is to a massive one (for an individual) and mostly a thankless one. However if any way can be found to offer coverage of the show I will endevour to find a way, but as it most likely will not be me doing it and possibly one of my volunteer writers it is likely that they will not be able to devout two days to doing this. The one day visit will result in reduced coverage and frankly more than likely snap shot only coverage similar to the other audio publication. This begs the question is there any point in AIHFA covering audio shows any more? At this time I am not sure of the answer. As they say watch this space.
Regardless of whether AIHFA covers this particular show or not I wish Chester Group the best with the move in venue and I sincerely hope that this move does not kill the show off; only time will tell.
You can read more about this on the Chester Group website http://www.chestergroup.org/
© Text Copyright 2011 Adventures in High Fidelity Audio. Image Chester Group Copyright.
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