Musician and producer Thomas Dolby presented the keynote address to a capacity audience in Sweetwater’s Performance Theatre.
Fort Wayne, IN (June 29, 2012)—Sweetwater Sound’s GearFest 2012 proved to be a recordbreaker for the retailer, Held annually since 2002, the event this year featured exhibits from more than 200 manufacturers; workshops, clinics, and seminars; live demos; special performances; a musician’s flea market; and more.
This year’s two-day event, held June 22 and 23 at Sweetwater’s campus in Fort Wayne, Indiana, had more than 6,000 participants, and saw sales up by more than 35 percent over GearFest 2011.
Featured events included musician and producer Thomas Dolby, whose “She Blinded Me With Science” was a huge international hit; guitarists Neil Zaza and Jeff Loomis; recording engineers George Massenburg and Fab Dupont; bassist Marcus Miller; award-winning singer-songwriters Brandon Heath, James House, and Danny Flowers; drummer J.R. Robinson; slide guitarist Lee Roy Parnell; author and electronic musician Craig Anderton; and many others. Meanwhile, Sweetwater’s own Editorial Director and guitarist Mitch Gallagher demonstrated the “Tones of the Pros,” from his recent book Guitar Tone: Pursuing the Ultimate Guitar Sound.
In total, GearFest included more than 80 workshops and seminars on guitar, recording, and live sound, music creation with computers, acoustics, songwriting, and how to use electronic instruments. James House, Danny Flowers, Paul Pigat, Nick Bowcott, and dozens of other nationally known artists performed on the latest new guitars, keyboards, and drums. In addition, hourly prizes were given away, totaling more than $69,000 worth of music instruments and equipment.
A unique event was a tent devoted to IOS hardware and applications, which was staffed by resident Sweetwater IOS experts and enthusiasts presenting ways that the iPad, iPhone, and ipod Touch can be used for musical applications.
Sweetwater Founder and President Chuck Surack remarked, “The continued growth of GearFest is a validation of all the hard work that goes into producing it. I’m always amazed at how our many vendor partners and our incredible employees put so much energy and professionalism into making this a signature event in the music industry.”