Archive for May 29, 2012

Sweetwater GearFest 2012 in Fort Wayne, June 22-23

Marcus Miller

Marcus Miller is one of the headliners at GearFest 2012. Photo provided by Sweetwater Sound, Inc., and used with written permission.

By Christopher Guerin
Sweetwater Sound, Inc.

Sweetwater, the third largest retailer of music instruments and pro-audio in the U.S. will present GearFest ’12, a celebration of musicians and the instruments and equipment they use to make music. GearFest ’12 takes place on Friday, June 22, from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m., and Saturday, June 23, from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., at 5501 US Hwy 30 West, Fort Wayne, Indiana. GearFest is free and open to the public.

Launched in 2002, part trade show, part entertainment event, part flea market, and part musicians’ toyland, GearFest offers something for everyone! 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!

Sweetwater Founder and President Chuck Surack remarked, “We are proud to be able to offer this event every year. GearFest continues to grow, and 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.”

To speed up the registration process at the festival, you can pre-register online; visit: For more information, call 800-222-4700.

An event as big as GearFest demands an equally big giveaway of free gear! Sweetwater has amassed more than $65,000 in gear that will be awarded to lucky GearFest attendees. Included is some of the hottest gear for recording, guitar, and live sound from Avid,
Gibson, Line 6, PreSonus, Native Instruments, Universal Audio, Egnater, MOTU, Steinberg, QSC, and Great River. Not only will guests be able to get their hands on the latest audio technology at GearFest, lucky winners will 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 hundreds of products.

GearFest ’12 will host a multitude of guests from all areas of the music industry for exciting performances and workshops. This year’s featured speakers include 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 (see photo above), 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 will demonstrate the “Tones of the Pros,” from his recent book Guitar Tone: Pursuing the Ultimate Guitar Sound.

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 will cover topics such as tracking the band, live mixing, inspiring songwriting, recording on a computer, introduction to Pro Tools 10 recording software, and many, many more!

Acclaimed performers Sean Halley, Marc Seal, James Garzo, Chuck Hall, and Gustavo Afont, and many others will take the stage to perform on the latest new guitars, keyboards, and electronic drums. Plus, the incredible Guitar Gallery tent will feature hundreds of guitars and basses on display for guests to get their hands on!

The entire GearFest ’12 schedule of events is available online at:

GearFest this year will also feature “The iPad Connection.” A dedicated space for iPad users staffed by Sweetwater’s 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.

New this year will be a guitar “Collector’s Corner,” featuring some of the most beautiful high-end guitars available today, plus Metallica star Lars Ulrich’s touring drum kit on display in the drum tent.

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.

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: