No Show for T.H.E. Show

The Home Entertainment Show—aka T.H.E. Show—which was originally scheduled for June 12–14 in the Long Beach Hilton, has canceled for 2020. According to a May 13 announcement, T.H.E. Show team of President Maurice Jung and Director of Marketing Emiko Carlin had hoped to postpone the event until December 2020. Not happening.

The cancellation comes after six weeks of negotiations with the hotel failed to produce "clarification on what [the hotel's] health and safety policies would be," the announcement said. (It also follows the announcement of California Governor Gavin Newsom's four-stage reopening plan.) Given Jung and Carlin's belief that a December show date could not be guaranteed—too much is up in the air, COVID-wise—T.H.E. Show requested that the hotel come clean on what would happen should the show cancel outright: Could they get a refund? Instead, they received an updated contract that, according to the announcement, included "a brand new Force Majeure clause that moved cancellation power out of [T.H.E. Show's] hands." T.H.E. Show considered the contract "untenable and irresponsible."

On May 5, attorneys for The Home Entertainment Show, LLC, notified the hotel of intent to cancel and asked for a refund of monies already paid. More than a week later, having received no reply, T.H.E. Show decided to make the cancelation public.

"The hotel's position, in our viewpoint, is a regrettable one," the announcement states. "[W]e felt that in the face of these uncertain times, and in order to ensure the safety of our exhibitors, attendees, and the entire community, we simply could not move forward. We are a small business, like many of you, and like many of you, we know that right now, certainty, stability, compassion, and transparency in communication make all the difference in the world."

Once it hears back from the hotel (or its lawyers), T.H.E. Show promises to inform exhibitors directly regarding refunds. "We hope the hotel will do the right thing, which is to issue full refunds and keep a focus on a longer-term relationship with T.H.E. Show and the high-end audio community for future events," the team states.

When I attended and reported from T.H.E. Show in 2019, I found it well-organized and upbeat, with widespread and diverse participation. It was a small show—far smaller than several other regional and national shows—but it played an important function in the densely populated southern California region, which is home to a significant number of audiophiles and dealers. Here's hoping T.H.E. Show will be able to provide full refunds to its exhibitors, for not to do so might put T.H.E. Show at risk, and T.H.E. Show must go on!

Bogolu Haranath's picture

JVS even shaved his facial hair for the 2019 T.H.E. Show :-) ........

Bogolu Haranath's picture

Hopefully, RMAF, CAF and TAF will go on this year in 2020 :-) .........

jmsent's picture

.......don't hold your breath.

Bogolu Haranath's picture

I'm planning on purchasing some PPEs, and set up a shop outside those audio shows and sell them for profit :-) ........

tonykaz's picture

We should try to realize that the Hospitality Industry has been crushed by this Plague Crisis. It doesn't help that the Industry Overbuilt and is substantially Over Capacity.

Doing the right thing should include reading the documents being signed, understanding the commitments being made and not complaining about self inflicted injuries.


If folks need to Blame, we can certainly blame China for not containing their little problem and instead allowing infected souls to travel the World without the slightest cautionary announcements. China had & has that technical capability, remaining silent made them culpable.

Chinesium has infected our little Audiophile community, it's past time to vaccinate.

Tony in Venice

ps. "the Show must go on" is a Circus Boy fantasy but some of the wealthy LA guys might put something together if they feel youthful enough. ( and if they can get an air-tight/bullet-proof Contract for exhibitors to sign)

DaveM's picture

Tonykaz, I hope you will stop shopping at WalMart immediately in order to show those Chinese we mean business. Do the right thing.

tonykaz's picture

Thanks for pointing that out.

Walmart fluffs up it's profit with super high points Chinese plastics which have a short half-life while on their way to the Waste Management Land Fill.

Walmart also sells domestic product but tends to present those products to Chinese outfits that attempt to clone/copy, like they did to our Two Rivers Wi outfit Nesco Cookers.

Sadly, my almamatter GMCorp. is also attempting to source from China ( for short term profit reasons ) with that effort fraught with problems that end up getting buried in Waste Management's Vast Landfill System.

China is corrosive to Brand.

Tony in Venice

JHL's picture a Monolithic Entity is almost as misguided as the Gratuitous Capitalization of arbitrarily and Selective Political Agencies.

Neither have Much To Do with hifi, all are boring as dust, and the trend Tends to Demonstrate a degree of Loud Partisanship not befitting the average Stereophile Reader of Xis' Interests.

Perhaps the Local Bernie Bros has more use of same.

tonykaz's picture

I'm discussing Industry and Industrial Practices as an Importer and Exporter. I was a participant in the Audio Industry but am NOT now.

I am NOT a participant in the Political Process although I was supporting a seemingly Progressive Candidate and the Progressive Movement. That is OVER.

Tony in Venice

JHL's picture a relief. Your Insightful Concern is wholly related to the Audio Good and could not Possibly Relate to a worldview insistent upon making everything Somehow About Politics, especially where apparently the whole world needs some Progressive Evangelizing in These Pages.

We look forward to your Renewed Interest in the Chinese as a nation of Independent Persons and not a Single Bloc Whom we must be Reminded Constantly bears Nefarious and Unfair trade practices related to the American Audiophile.

tonykaz's picture

You read like Sarcasm, which is anger isn't it?

Are you angry or just trying to challenge prevailing economic conditions ?

Tony in Venice

JHL's picture

Is that a mashup of False Dichotomy and the Begged Question?

I'd call it light sarcasm - which I can because of the two of us I know its intent - about which you can surmise it's Chopped Liver on Horseback if you like, but it's still just Noticing a Penchant for Progressive Commentary in the Stereophile Space.

Interestingly, however, the Former Bro veers close to Orange Man Bad boosterism with all this talk of walling off China. For my part I just regard the Chinese contribution to audio as as valid as the Next Nation's.

If you want to solve that anyway, you'll need to change monetary policy and not the next Stereophile reader's mind...

Jim Austin's picture
Jim Austin, Editor Stereophile
tonykaz's picture

I'm not an Evangelical.

I consider every person's opinion valid.

Collectively, we as a Civilization will make optimum decisions.

I don't agree with sourcing Overseas yet I fully recognize the consistent quality delivered by Asians. I'm not anti-Asian.

I prefer local Companies that present Quality Products for a fair price built by Loyal Employees.

I admire the Asian Cayin Company and it's lovely products but getting repair parts is a nightmare.


I am angry at Clinton and Obama ( both of which I voted ) for setting up Trade relationships not good for US working class who haven't realized a pay raise since 1980.

I'm Russian

Tony in Venice

Bogolu Haranath's picture

So, if we communicate with you, we are gonna be 'un-masked'? :-) .......

tonykaz's picture

You seem innocent yet you might just be a mole.

I'll be careful around you.

Tony in Venice

Bogolu Haranath's picture

My real name is Jacques Clouseau :-) .......

Briandrumzilla's picture

Years ago I sold off all my HT equipment and focused on having a great two channel system. Most of the HT equipment was brand name stuff assembled in China. My two channel system has components that are made and assembled n the USA or Europe. However, those components could use parts sourced from China. As a consumer of mid to high end audio components, I will never purchase components made or assembled in China. That was my policy then when I built my two channel system and I am more than happy to keep it in effect for any upgrades.