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Sweetwater’s GearFest 2019 Draws Record Crowds

The annual confab netted its largest crowds ever with 17,000-plus in attendance.

Fort Wayne, IN (June 26, 2019)—Sweetwater’s GearFest has been around for 18 years, and since the annual music and pro audio festival and trade show is open to the public, it has become a can’t miss event on the calendars of many people. They came out in droves last weekend, as the event drew its largest attendance ever with 17,000-plus people (up 13% over 2018) descending on Sweetwater’s headquarters in Fort Wayne, IN on June 21-22.

Nearly 500 vendors and manufacturers of musical instruments, music technology equipment, and pro audio gear were on hand.

“It is humbling and rewarding to see how GearFest has grown over the past 18 years,” remarked Sweetwater founder / CEO Chuck Surack. “We are always excited to bring our friends together to share our passion for music. One of my favorite parts of the weekend is personally greeting thousands of our customers at the front door as they arrive. I’m always blown away by their enthusiasm.”

Sweetwater Studios Set for GearFest 2019

There were an astounding 81 live workshops and seminars hosted by 72 pros, from noted producer engineers like Sylvia Massey to legendary guitarists Steve Vai and Eric Johnson, founder of PRS Guitars Paul Reed Smith, bassist Billy Sheehan, and country star Ricky Skaggs, just to name a few.

Studio Showcase: Sweetwater Studios

More than 28 hours of workshops and sessions were streamed live online, with 250,000 people watching from afar. Most of those videos can now be found on Sweetwater’s Facebook page and YouTube channel.

“There is just no other event like this,” said GearFest executive director Bob Bailey. “GearFest has become a place not only for the vendors to get to meet face-to-face with their customers, which they rarely get to do, it’s also become a place where the manufacturers look forward to publicly launching new gear.”

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“We value our relationships with both our customers and the manufacturers, so it’s an honor to get to bring them together for this event,” added Surack. “Time and time again we hear how unique GearFest is for everyone who’s involved. To be a part of that is just an honor.”

Next year’s GearFest is scheduled for June 26-27, 2020.

Sweetwater •