Sony is marking the 40th anniversary of the Walkman with a special Hong Kong concert linked up with a promotional purchase scheme.
As a landmark date for an undeniably iconic piece of both audio technology and music culture as a whole, Sony has already begun running celebratory campaigns worldwide. In Hong Kong, it’s being marked with a concert of beloved Cantonese songs (賞聽。給我愛過的廣東歌音樂會) performed by Sony Music artists including Jason Chan, Eman Lam, Phil Lam, Mischa Ip, Lil’ Ashes, and Cath Wong.
Taking place on 11 August, the concert has been tied to a promotional purchase scheme. Until 31 July, customers who buy specific Walkman models (NW-WM1Z, NW-WM1A, or NW-ZX300) at the brick and mortar or online Sony Store will receive two for free on a first come, first served basis. My Sony members can also redeem up to two tickets usng their Sonnion points.
Other celebrations for the Walkman’s 40th birthday include the release of a short film online and a “#009 WALKMAN IN THE PARK” exhibition at the Ginza Sony Park in Tokyo until 1 September.
The Walkman made its debut as a pocket-sized tape cassette player in July 1979. As the world’s first truly portable and popular music players, it was revolutionary. It even gained the distinction many brands can only hope for by getting into the Oxford English Dictionary in 1986.
It has evolved greatly over the years; morphing into the relatively popular CD “discman” in the ’80s, the ill-fated MiniDisc Walkman in the ’90s, before eventually becoming a purely digital player in the ’00s. Though smartphones with streaming services have since cut deep into Sony’s desired audience for the Walkman, there is still a legion of dedicated music aficionados who prefer the quality provided by the company’s high definition dedicated players.