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Press Release
July 14 2011
For Immediate Release
Media Contact: Christopher Guerin, Vice President of Corporate Communications, (800) 222-4700 ext. 1030
 
Sweetwater's GearFest '11 a Huge Success
 
- Music and Pro Audio Festival Draws Record Crowd -

Fort Wayne, IN, June 30, 2011 - Sweetwater Sound, one of the most respected musical instrument and pro audio retailers in the world, has announced that GearFest '11 was an even bigger success than expected, breaking every record established by previous GearFest events. Sweetwater's annual GearFest is the nation's largest end-user-oriented music and pro audio festival, featuring exhibits from manufacturers; workshops, clinics, and seminars; live demos; special performances; a musician's flea market; and much more.

This year's two-day event, which took place June 24 and 25 at Sweetwater's campus in Fort Wayne, Indiana, provided even more opportunities for thousands of musicians, engineers, and producers to participate in the festivities, with customers traveling from all over the world to participate. Attendance was record breaking with over 5,000 participants, and with great new deals, sales more than doubled from last year.

Featured events included sessions by legendary producer and recording artist Alan Parsons, remix artist BT, and FOH engineer Robert Scovill. Other highlights included producer/engineer Fab Dupont's workshop on mixing, and producer David Isaac sharing his Grammy Award winning recording tips.

In total, GearFest included more than 40 workshops and seminars on guitar, recording, and live sound, music creation with computers, acoustics, songwriting, and how to use electronic instruments. Megadeth and Anthrax bassists David Ellefson and Frank Bello, and guitar virtuosos Johnny Hiland, Dave Weiner, Paul Pigat, Greg Koch, and dozens of other nationally known artists performed on the latest new guitars, keyboards, and drums.

Special exhibits included the Gretsch Guitars George Harrison Tribute Exhibit, which featured the prototype for the detailed limited edition recreation of George's original Gretsch G6128 Duo Jet guitar, plus photos, memorabilia, and video. Along with the collection, Gretsch Guitars' Fred Gretsch III, spent time shaking hands and mingling with vendors and customers alike. Also, Gibson Guitars unveiled a display of museum-quality custom guitars created in the late '80s. These guitars (featuring the likenesses of Les Paul, Elvis Presley, Chet Atkins, Merle Travis, B.B. King, and 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 was the first time the entire collection has been brought together for public display.

More than 200 manufacturers of musical instruments, music technology, and audio equipment were on hand to give GearFest attendees a look at the latest gear, including the first North American showing of such ground-breaking products as the Roland Jupiter-80. In addition, hourly prizes were given away, totaling more than $35,000 worth of music instruments and equipment.

Another unique event was the "iPad Connection," which was staffed by resident Sweetwater iPad experts and enthusiasts who were 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 remote controlling recording and live mixing hardware and software.

For those who couldn't attend GearFest in person, videos, photos, and hourly updates were posted to Sweetwater's popular FaceBook page, as well as to YouTube and sent via Twitter.

To herald the event, the day before GearFest opened, three Sweetwater musicians performed as the "Rock Band on the Roof," a publicity stunt that took place on top of the vintage Embassy Theatre marquee in downtown Fort Wayne.

Sweetwater Founder and President Chuck Surack remarked, "GearFest is the only show of its kind, a trade show and music festival free and open to the public. It was amazing to have hundreds of manufacturers and thousands of customers come out to enjoy this incredible event with us."

Caption (photo 1): Attendance was over 5,000 and sales more than doubled last year's GearFest event.

Caption (photo 2): Alan Parsons spoke to crowds at GearFest about his most recent project, "The Art and Science of Sound Recording."

Caption (photo 3): BT, the "king of stutter edit," hosted a workshop and performed at Sweetwater Sound's GearFest 2011.

Caption (photo 4): Fab Dupont presented a two day seminar on the process of miking and tracking a live song, as well as mixing and mastering the song.
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