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Sweetwater Goes Big at GearFest 2018

Annual open-to-the-public MI/audio event drew 15,000-plus attendees

Fort Wayne, IN (July 3, 2018)—Sweetwater Sound’s homegrown MI/audio event, GearFest, returned for its 17 edition on Friday, June 22 and Saturday, June 23, 2018, drawing more than 15,000 attendees. Attracting them to the internet retailer’s Fort Wayne, IN campus were more than 200 workshops, exhibition booths—and in some cases, new gear debuts—by many major manufacturers, and performances by artists like Greg Koch, Peter Erskine and John Scofield.

This year’s Producer’s Panel covered what it takes to be a producer, ways to get the best out of an artist and more. The panel was made up of Sylvia Massy (Tool, Prince), Neal Pogue (TLC, Pink), Kevin Killen (Shakira, U2), Fab Dupont (Jennifer Lopez, Bon Jovi), Chris Lord-Alge (James Brown, Prince) and Rich Chycki (Dream Theater), along with Sweetwter’s own Mitch Gallagher moderating the panel.

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Among the most popular of the events was “Getting Great Electric Guitar Tone” which featured Butch Walker (Taylor Swift, Panic! at the Disco), Buddy Miller (Emmylou Harris, Robert Plant), Tim Pierce (Bon Jovi, Bruce Springsteen), Lyle Workman (Bourgeois Tagg, Todd Rundgren), and panel moderator and Nashville session player Corey Congilio. During this session, the group dug deep into capturing electric guitar tones and demonstrated Universal Audio’s OX. Other offerings among the more than 200 workshops and seminars covered topics like getting discovered on YouTube, music creation with computers and tips on improving technique and theory.

But visitors were also there to see gear, and in that regard, they were not disappointed either. Perhaps unsurprisingly, this year’s event reportedly saw a 15-percent increase in music equipment sales.

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Steve Dwyer, senior director of Brand at Sweetwater Sound, remarked, “Through GearFest, Sweetwater is reaching today’s music creation community and bringing them the opportunity to learn and interface with some of the brightest minds in the music industry. We are certain that anyone who attended GearFest walked away with a new piece of knowledge and are ready to take their passion for music to the next level.”

Next year’s GearFest 2019 will be held June 21-22.

Sweetwater •