The seventh installment of All About Jazz's coverage of the 32nd annual Montréal Audio Fest, a spectacular event spotlighting over 300 manufacturers and distributors of high-end audio/video systems ranging from $1,000 to $1,000,000. Follow host John Kelman as he interviews representatives from several Canadian manufacturers and engages in some listening sessions with their equipment.
Episode 7: John pays a visit to the Audiofilles room. Yes, a play on the word Audiophile, Audiofilles ("Audio Girls") is an initiative begun by the Montréal Audio Fest in 2018. Its purpose: to bring attention to women in a largely male-dominated market. A team of ten women (including interviewees Karine Rose and Amelie Therrien), whose musical interests run far and wide, are presented with a number of products from a variety of manufacturers, and put together a different system each year. What makes its room so different is, instead of the showroom environments favored by most manufacturers/distributors, Audiofilles create a living room environment with couches, carpets, plants, wall hangings and more, to create a more informal, comfortable setting to sample their system...and their music.
An important success for the 2019 Montréal Audio Fest? Attendance was up over 20% from 2018, with over 6,000 people registering for the event (registration is free). The demographics are also important: 20% of registrants were women, and only 30% were above the age of 55. This means that the festival is succeeding, not just at bringing more people to its event, but more women and a younger, 25-55 age group.