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Press Release
July 02 2012
For Immediate Release
Media Contact: Christopher Guerin, Vice President of Corporate Communications, (800) 222-4700 ext. 1030
Sweetwater's GearFest 2012 Another Huge Success
- Free Music and Pro Audio Trade Show and Festival Draws Record Crowd -

Fort Wayne, IN, June 27, 2012 - Sweetwater Sound, the third largest retailer of music instruments and pro audio equipment in the U.S., has announced that GearFest 2012 was a bigger success than ever, breaking every record established by previous GearFest events. Launched in 2002, Sweetwater's annual GearFest is the nation's largest end-user-oriented music and pro audio festival, featuring exhibits from more than 200 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 22 and 23 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 more than 6,000 participants, and with sales up by more than 35% 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.

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.

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.

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 who were eager to show the public all the ways that the iPad, iPhone, and ipod Touch can be used for musical applications.

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. For viewing videos and photos from GearFest 2012, Sweetwater's FaceBook page is at: https://www.facebook.com/sweetwater

Also, more than 70 videos, including interviews, product demos, and live performances, were recorded and will be posted on YouTube over the coming weeks. Those already posted are viewable at this YouTube playlist:


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."

(Photos, except for no. 1, by John Kuser)

Caption (photo 1): Visitors, who came from all over the world, were encouraged to place a star on this map showing where they traveled from to attend GearFest 2012.

Caption (photo 2): GearFest visitors crowd around the "DealZone".

Caption (photo 3): Musician and producer Thomas Dolby presented the keynote address to a capacity audience in Sweetwater's Performance Theatre.

Caption (photo 4): Bassist, composer, and producer Marcus Miller extraordinaire was one of GearFest's many musical highlights.
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