Sweetwater in Fort Wayne, Ind., will present GearFest ’14, a celebration of musicians and the instruments and equipment they use to make music, on Friday, June 6 from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m., and Saturday, June 7 from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., at 5501 US Hwy 30 W, Fort Wayne, Indiana. GearFest is free and open to the public.
GearFest is the largest music trade show open to the general public in the United States, featuring a combination of gear expo, entertainment events, flea market, musician’s mecca, and educational and musical demonstrations and workshops by some of the biggest names in the music industry.
Sweetwater Founder and President Chuck Surack says, “GearFest is a truly unique event in this country and in the music retail business. Where else can musicians and music-lovers come to see, hear, and enjoy what is usually reserved for music industry insiders. We’re also particularly proud to be able to produce this huge event in Fort Wayne, bringing people here from literally all across the country.”
GearFest will host a multitude of musicians performing and in workshops continuously in six different venues. Featured guest is drummer Jason Bonham, son of legendary Led Zeppelin drummer John Bonham, and drummer for more recent music projects of Jimmy Page and Robert Plant. Other musicians include bass player Billy Sheehan, drummer Kenny Aronoff, guitarists Jason Hook, Shaun Hopper, Don Carr, Devin Townsend, Emil Werstler, Carl Verheyen, and Brad Davis, keyboard player Larry Dunn, and many more.
The marquee event at GearFest ’14 is Saturday’s Producer’s Panel, featuring an unprecedented gathering of producer/engineers, including Bruce Swedien (Michael Jackson, Paul McCartney, Count Basie), Bob Clearmountain (The Rolling Stones, David Bowie, Bruce Springsteen), Ed Cherney (Eric Clapton, Bob Seger, The Fabulous Thunderbirds), Mick Guzauski (Daft Punk, Earth, Wind & Fire, Mariah Carey), Ross Hogarth (Van Halen, Motley Crue, REM), Richard Chycki (Aerosmith, Rush, Mick Jagger), Bil Vorndick (Bob Dylan, Alison Krauss, Bela Fleck), and Fab Dupont (Queen Latifah, Jennifer Lopez, Bon Jovi). The panel will discuss a wide range of music recording and production topics moderated by Sweetwater’s Editorial Director and noted author/journalist Mitch Gallagher.
Special GearFest features include hourly giveaway drawings for free music gear totaling more than $72,000, from Gibson, Fender, Antelope, Focal, Moog, and many others. Also, attendees can bring a guitar for a free restringing and setup, and enjoy great food, and a first look at the just completed 132,000-square-foot expansion of the Sweetwater campus.
More than 200 manufacturers of musical instruments, music technology, and audio equipment will display all the latest gear; a rare opportunity to experience the products of more than 35 guitar gear manufactures, more than 45 recording equipment vendors, 20 software publishers, 20 microphone makers, and many more.
In addition, Sweetwater will offer once-in-a-lifetime sale pricing on many products.
A musicians’ flea market, where used equipment can be bought, sold, or traded is open to all. To pre-register to participate in the flea market, call 260/432-8176.
A brand new offering at GearFest ’14 will be three Pre-GearFest AMPLIFIED Workshops, on Thursday, June 5, from 10:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. “The Craft of Songwriting,” will feature songwriter Mark Cawley (songs recorded by Tina Turner, Joe Cocker, Diana Ross and many more), guitarist Don Carr (Oak Ridge Boys) and producer Mark Hornsby (Travis Tritt, Godsmack). Live Sound for Houses of Worship will be conducted by Doug Gould, CEO and Founder of Worship Market Development. And, Sweetwater Editorial Director Mitch Gallagher will present Pursuing the Ultimate Guitar Sound. All three workshops include catered lunch and cost $129 each. For more details and contact information for how to register, go to www.sweetwater.com/feature/gearfest/amplified.php.
The entire GearFest ’14 schedule of events is available online at www.sweetwater.com/feature/gearfest/schedule.php.
To speed up the registration process at the festival, attendees can pre-register online; visit www.sweetwater.com/feature/gearfest/register.php. For more information, call 800/222-4700.
Out-of-town guests are encouraged to book hotel accommodations as early as possible. Travel and hotel information for Fort Wayne, IN, is available at www.sweetwater.com/feature/gearfest/hotels.php.