Fort Wayne, IN (May 21, 2008)–Sweetwater will present GearFest 2008, both a grand opening for Sweetwater’s new $35 million campus, and an indoor/outdoor festival featuring music, musicians, food, fun and prizes for the entire family. It is part tradeshow, part entertainment event, part flea market and part musicians’ toyland.
GearFest will take place Saturday, May 31, at 5501 US Hwy 30 W, Fort Wayne, IN, from 9:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. The event is free and open to the public. To pre-register, call 800-222-4700.
A full slate of seminars is scheduled to help musicians improve their performing and recording skills. A keynote address will be given by five-time Grammy-winner Bruce Swedien, legendary engineer/producer of Michael Jackson’s Thriller album and countless others including Jennifer Lopez, Count Basie, Duke Ellington, Quincy Jones, Paul McCartney, Diana Ross, Mick Jagger, Barbra Streisand, and many more. GearFest will include more than two-dozen workshops and seminars on recording techniques and live sound, music creation with computers, recording studio acoustics, songwriting and electronic instruments. Guitarists Johnny Hiland and Bart Walsh, and more than a dozen other nationally known performing artists, will take the stage to perform on the latest new guitars, keyboards and electronic drums. Plus, the Guitar Gallery tent will feature hundreds of guitars and basses on display.
Local musicians will enjoy a free guitar setup and restringing service and a musicians’ flea market, where used equipment can be bought, sold or traded. To pre-register to sell equipment at the flea market, call 800-222-4700.
Fun for families and children will include Sweetwater’s Kids Connection, with balloon art and face painting, games and pool, foosball and ping-pong tables, plus a golf simulator. An “instrument petting zoo” will offer youngsters a hands-on encounter with guitars and keyboards. Plus Sweetwater’s Downbeat Diner restaurant will be open, serving lunch, snacks, ice cream and drinks the entire day.
More than 140 manufacturers of musical instruments, music technology and audio equipment will be on hand to give musicians a look at the latest gear. Some manufacturers will be providing sneak previews of new products that won’t be announced until the National Association of Music Merchants (NAMM) Summer Tradeshow later this summer.
Other attractions will include Gibson Guitars’ “Tour Bus,” Peavey’s Orange County Chopper Guitar, which has been featured on the David Letterman Show, plus hourly prize giveaways of thousands of dollars of equipment and instruments. Tours of Sweetwater’s world-class recording studios and brand-new headquarters will also be given. In addition, Sweetwater will be offering once-in-a-lifetime sale pricing on many products.
Sweetwater founder and president Chuck Surack remarked, “There’s literally nothing like GearFest in the entire country that is free and open to the public, and certainly nothing this big, with so many great attractions, outside of major metropolitan areas. It’s really a very big deal for Sweetwater, and for the industry.”