Fort Wayne, IN (May 12, 2017)—Sweetwater has announced details for GearFest ’17, the company’s massive annual event. Set to take place on Friday, June 23 and Saturday, June 24, from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m., at the Sweetwater campus, 5501 US Hwy 30 W, Fort Wayne, Indiana, GearFest is free and open to the public.
Held across 250,000 square feet, GearFest combines a gear expo, entertainment events, flea market, and musical demonstrations, with seminars and workshops, plus two days of deals on music instruments and pro audio gear. More than 400 product lines, ranging from MI offerings to pro audio, will be presented, with numerous manufacturers on-site, from guitar luthiers, to microphone designers and acoustic engineers.
Sweetwater founder and president Chuck Surack said, “Music trade shows are traditionally reserved for music-industry insiders. GearFest is unique in being free and open to musicians and audio enthusiasts. We’re particularly proud that GearFest has such a reputation that it is now bringing people from literally all over the world to Sweetwater’s campus in Fort Wayne.”
GearFest will host performers and engineers in workshops continuously on five different stages, including Grammy Award-winning producer/engineers Al Schmitt, Chris Lord-Alge, and Chuck Ainlay. In addition to moderating a “Producer’s Panel” with them, Fab Dupont and Neal Cappellino, Sweetwater’s Mitch Gallagher will present two sessions: “Take your Studio to the Next Level,” providing strategies for improving and upgrading the gear in your studio; and “Build the Perfect Pedalboard,” looking at how to select pedals and a pedalboard, design the layout, and assemble the pedalboard for maximum performance.
For performers, the event headliner will be guitarist Eric Johnson; other musicians on-hand will include guitarists Steve Stevens and Andy Timmons; Earth Wind & Fire keyboardist Larry Dunn; bassist and vocalist Rhonda Smith, who has toured with Prince, Beyonce, Jeff Beck and many others; guitarist Robben Ford; Terry Bozzio, drummer for Frank Zappa, Missing Persons, Duran Duran, and Deborah Harry; drummer Omar Hakim; and others.
Sweetwater’s recently completed outdoor pavilion will be the venue for product demonstrations over both days, with Friday’s finale being a workshop/performance by Dweezil Zappa at 5 PM. A party for all attendees will follow, including a concert by Sweetwater’s house band, the Sweetwater All Stars, joined by special guests.