Chester Group Ltd (Chester), organisers of the Australian Hi-Fi & AV Show, together with StereoNET Marketing Pty Ltd (StereoNET), the organisers of the StereoNET Melbourne Hi-Fi Show, announced today that through acquisition, both Australian shows will now be consolidated, promoted, and organised by StereoNET Marketing Pty Ltd indefinitely.

The UK-based Chester Group, founded by Roy Bird, has been organising hi-fi shows globally for more than 25 years. After many years of absence, it successfully relaunched shows in Australia for the first time in 2011. Chester continued these shows annually, alternating between Melbourne and Sydney until 2019 when the pandemic halted the show industry worldwide.

StereoNET, one of the world’s leading hi-fi and home cinema publications with over 1-million monthly readers, organised its first and hugely successful show in Melbourne, 2016, showing strong growth and industry support each year since.

With both organisations driven by the desire to deliver highly successful shows that benefit exhibitors, consumers, and the Australian hi-fi industry, such fierce determination unintentionally created division and an outcome that was not in the best interests of a market that is best served by just one show of its type.

Marc Rushton, Managing Director of StereoNET Marketing Pty Ltd, said:

We are very pleased to have finally reached an agreement with Chester Group, for the benefit of the Australian hi-fi industry. Roy and his team did an outstanding job reviving shows in Australia, and we recognise their achievements.

Effective immediately, StereoNET will acquire all rights, intellectual property and assets of the Australian Hi-Fi and AV Show, consolidating both shows into the StereoNET Hi-Fi Show planned for June 3-5, 2022, at the Pullman Albert Park Hotel, Melbourne (Tickets are on sale now). Future shows will alternate between Melbourne and Sydney each year.

Rushton continued:

Our dedication to the Australian industry, both as an independent publisher and a show organiser remains unwavering. With newly acquired additional resources, we look forward to continuing to develop our Australian show with alternating capital city show locations each year. As locals working with locals, we will continue to cater to the needs of the local industry and deliver high-quality events for consumers.

Roy Bird, Founder and Chairman of the Chester Group, added:

Like many businesses we’ve had to navigate through the pandemic and that has meant focussing on core business and recovery; we were the only organiser to deliver a show this year in the UK and what a joy it was to be back in business for everyone’s sakes. So the decision to consolidate both Australian Shows was the only logical decision given all of the circumstances.

Given Roy’s more than 40 years of experience as a show organiser, he will be retained as a consultant providing advice and to StereoNET for its future Australian shows.

Bird continued:

I’m immensely proud of what we managed to create for Australia, and pioneering new shows is very much part of my DNA, so the fact in this new form it can continue is reward indeed. I’d like to thank the friends we have made in Australia for their support and going forward I will contribute in any way I can.

The consolidation of Australian shows will benefit the local market by avoiding unnecessary distractions and allowing organisers to focus more resources on marketing and further developing the show. The acquisition and consolidation is the best-case scenario for both the industry and Australian consumers.