Press Release: Sweetwater Sound, the third largest retailer of music instruments and pro audio equipment in the U.S., has announced that GearFest 2013 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 21 and 22 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 7,000 participants, up from 6,000 in 2012, and with sales up by more than 36% over GearFest 2012.
GearFest ‘13 hosted a multitude of guests from all areas of the music industry for exciting performances and workshops. This year’s featured speakers included Mastodon guitarist Bill Kelliher, guitarist Gary Hoey, bass player Billy Sheehan, drummer Terry Bozzio, record producer Jack Douglas, producer/engineer Frank Filipetti, producer/engineer Fab Dupont, mixer Chris Lord-Alge, live sound engineer Rick Camp, and many others. To celebrate its 130th anniversary, Gretsch provided the festival’s closing event, featuring Australian singer/songwriter and guitarist Joe Robinson, and power pop band Fountains of Wayne.
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 140 workshops and seminars on guitar, recording, and live sound, music creation with computers, acoustics, songwriting, and how to use electronic instruments. Freddy DeMarco, Craig Thatcher, Brent Mason, 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 $54,000 worth of music instruments and equipment.
Twelve tents full of instruments, live sound and pro-audio gear, included one devoted just to IOS hardware and music applications for iPad, iPhone, and iPod Touch.
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 2013, Sweetwater’s FaceBook page is at: https://www.facebook.com/sweetwater
Also, more than 55 videos, including interviews, product demos, and live performances, were recorded and will be posted on YouTube throughout July. Those already posted are viewable at this YouTube playlist:
Sweetwater Founder and President Chuck Surack remarked, “GearFest just continues to grow and grow. I’m so proud of everyone involved, from our loyal venders to our dedicated employees, for creating such a remarkable two days of music, education, and fun. GearFest is truly becoming a signature event in the music industry.”