5501 US Hwy 30 W
Fort Wayne, IN 46818
Toll Free (800) 222-4700
Local (260) 432-8176
Fax (260) 432-1758
Press Release
June 14 2011
For Immediate Release
Media Contact: Christopher Guerin, Vice President of Corporate Communications, (800) 222-4700 ext. 1030
Sweetwater Presents GearFest '11
Sweetwater, one of the most respected music instrument and pro audio retailers in the world, will present GearFest '11, a celebration of musicians and the instruments and equipment they use to make music. There will also be an indoor/outdoor festival featuring live music, delicious food, amazing prizes, and lots of fun for the entire family. This year's expo is bigger than ever, with two days full of dozens of informative workshops and seminars, scores of manufacturer exhibits, musical performances, and special surprises!

GearFest will take place Friday, June 24th from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m., and Saturday, June 25th from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., at 5501 US Hwy 30 W, Fort Wayne, Indiana. GearFest is free and open to the public.

Sweetwater Founder and President Chuck Surack remarked, "We are proud to be able to offer this event every year. It continues to grow, and there's literally nothing like it. It is a unique form of trade show. There's certainly nothing this big, with so many great attractions, that is also free and open to the public, anywhere else in the country."

Part trade show, part entertainment event, part flea market, and part musicians' toyland, GearFest offers something for everyone!

To speed up the registration process at the festival, you can pre-register online; visit: http://www.sweetwater.com/feature/gearfest2011/register.php. For more information, call (260) 432-8176.

An event as big as GearFest demands an equally big giveaway of free gear! We've amassed more than $35,000 in gear that will be awarded to lucky GearFest attendees. Included is some of the hottest gear for recording, guitar, and live sound from Epiphone, Line 6, PreSonus, QSC, Roland, Shure, and Yamaha. Not only will guests be able to get their hands on the latest audio technology at GearFest, but lucky winners will also be able to take some home too! You must attend GearFest and register in person in order to win.

In addition, Sweetwater will be offering once-in-a-lifetime sale pricing on many products.

GearFest '11 will host a multitude of guests from all areas of the music industry for some exciting performances and workshops. This year's featured speaker is Alan Parsons, legendary producer, engineer, and artist. Parsons is famed for his work with The Beatles, Pink Floyd, and his own group, The Alan Parsons Project.

We will also have a special appearance by remix artist BT, who revolutionized British club and dance music in the 90s. Attendees will have the rare opportunity to learn directly from these guests and more with the amazing sound quality in the Sweetwater Performance Theatre and on other stages throughout the Sweetwater campus. Other informative seminars cover topics such as tracking the band, songwriting critique, recording on a computer, introduction to Pro Tools 9 recording software, and many more!

Acclaimed performers Paul Pigat, Johnny Hiland, Frank Bello, David Ellefson and many more will take the stage to perform on the latest new guitars, keyboards, and electronic drums. Plus, the amazing Guitar Gallery tent will feature hundreds of guitars and basses on display for guests to get their hands on!

The entire GearFest '11 schedule of events is available online at: http://www.sweetwater.com/feature/gearfest2011/workshops.php.

One of the new features at GearFest this year will be The iPad Connection. It will be staffed by a half dozen of our resident iPad experts and enthusiasts who are eager to show the public all the ways that the iPad can be used for professional musical applications, including keyboard and synthesizer performance, guitar effects and amp simulators, drums and percussion, sequencing, recording, and even the ability to remotely control your main computer's recording and mixing applications. The iPad Connection tent will also feature scheduled demonstrations by the manufacturers of the various hardware that can be connected to the Apple iPad, iPhone, and iPod touch. Special GearFest pricing will be available for many of the various interface products, as well as daily prizes and giveaways. Even if you don't own an iPad yet, you should make a point to visit The iPad Connection tent and see the future of professional music making.

Musicians will enjoy a free guitar setup and restringing service, plus a musicians' flea market, where used equipment can be bought, sold, or traded. To pre-register to sell equipment at the flea market, call (260) 432-8176.

More than 200 manufacturers of musical instruments, music technology, and audio equipment will be on hand to give musicians a look at the latest gear. This rare opportunity will feature over 35 guitar gear manufacturers, more than 45 recording equipment vendors, 20 software publishers, 20 microphone makers, and much more!

Other attractions will include hourly giveaway drawings for thousands of dollars of equipment and instruments, plus tours of Sweetwater's world-class recording studios and headquarters.

Travel and hotel information for Fort Wayne, Indiana, is available at: http://www.sweetwater.com/feature/gearfest2011/register.php.


Gretsch Guitars' George Harrison Tribute Exhibit

A special traveling exhibit commemorating the "Quiet Beatle" will be on display at GearFest. It includes:

The Prototype #1 that was approved by the Harrison family - a detailed re-creation/replica of George's original Gretsch G6128 Duo Jet guitar.

Unique memorabilia, and unpublished photos and images - from the Harrison family archives.

Short video presentation (loop) about the making of the George Harrison Tribute Guitar.

Gibson Custom Guitars Display
In the late 90s and early 2000s Gibson Custom Guitars experienced a renaissance. During this time, several rare, intricate and hand-carved "tribute" instruments were produced to celebrate not only timeless Gibson artists, but the culture and zeitgeist that led to the musical revolution of the 20th century.
Some of the models used for these astounding, highly functional pieces of art were the 1957 Goldtop, Byrdland Florentine, Super 400, L-5 and Lucille 355. Each instrument is adorned with intricate paint, engraving, inlay and carving work, which would typically take 6 months to produce beyond the usual timeline for a Gibson Custom guitar, which in itself is a time consuming, completely hand-crafted endeavor.

These guitars (featuring the likenesses of Les Paul, Elvis, Chet Atkins, Merle Travis, B.B. King and some of the most iconic personae of the 20th century from politics, entertainment, sports, social justice, and pop culture) have toured museums around the world for the last 10 years, but this is the first time the collection has been housed together for public display.
- End -