Free Music and Pro Audio Trade Show Continues to Grow —
Fort Wayne, IN, June 11, 2014 — Sweetwater
Sound, the No. 1 online retailer of music instruments and pro audio
equipment in the U.S., has announced that GearFest 2014 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 6 and 7
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 8,000
participants, up from 7,000 in 2012, and with sales up by more than 25%
over GearFest 2012.
GearFest hosted a multitude of musicians performing and
in workshops continuously in six different venues. Featured guest
drummer Jason Bonham, son of legendary Led Zeppelin drummer John Bonham,
and his Led Zeppelin Experience, provided the finale to the festival.
Other musicians performing and conducting clinics included bass player
Billy Sheehan, drummer Kenny Aronoff, guitarists Jason Hook, Shaun
Hopper, Don Carr, Devin Townsend, Emil Werstler, Carl Verheyen, and Brad
Davis, keyboard player Larry Dunn, and many more.
The marquee event at GearFest '14 was Saturday's
Producer's Panel, featuring an unprecedented gathering of
producer/engineers, including Bruce Swedien (Michael Jackson, Paul
McCartney, Count Basie), Bob Clearmountain (The Rolling Stones, David
Bowie, Bruce Springsteen), Ed Cherney (Eric Clapton, Bonnie Raitt, The
Fabulous Thunderbirds), Mick Guzauski (Daft Punk, Earth, Wind & Fire, Mariah Carey), Ross
Hogarth (Van Halen, Motley Crue, REM), Richard Chycki (Aerosmith, Rush,
Dream Theater), Bil Vorndick (Bob Dylan, Alison Krauss, Bela Fleck),
and Fab Dupont (Queen Latifah, Jennifer Lopez, Bon Jovi). The panel held
a lively discussion on a range of music recording and production topics
moderated by Sweetwater's Editorial Director and noted
author/journalist, Mitch Gallagher.
In total, GearFest included 185 workshops and seminars,
in 9 different venues, on guitar, recording, and live sound, music
creation with computers, acoustics, songwriting, and how to use
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 $72,000 worth of music instruments and equipment.
Twenty tents full of instruments, live sound, and
pro-audio gear, included tents for Gibson and Fender, and one devoted
just to iOS hardware and music applications for iPad, iPhone, and iPod
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, Instagram, and Twitter. For viewing videos
and photos from GearFest 2014, Sweetwater’s FaceBook page is at: HYPERLINK "https://www.facebook.com/sweetwater" https://www.facebook.com/sweetwater
Also, more than 50 videos, including interviews, product
demos, and the Producers’ Panel, were recorded and will be posted on
YouTube throughout June. Those already posted are viewable at this
Sweetwater Founder and President Chuck Surack remarked,
“This year’s GearFest was one of the most exciting and humbling
experiences of my career. I personally greeted thousands of our
customers at the front door as they arrived and was astounded by the
enthusiasm everyone seemed to have for Sweetwater and GearFest. That,
along with its continued growth in overall attendance and sales, has
made GearFest a truly unique event in the music retail business.”
The EMP tent featured gear demos and performances for DJs, remixers, and producers throughout GearFest.
The legendary Bruce Swedien was
interviewed by Sweetwater Editorial Director Mitch Gallagher, one of 12
video interviews conducted during GearFest 2014.
Caption (photo 3): The Sweetwater Performance Theatre was full to capacity throughout GearFest 2014.
Caption (photo 4): GearFest visitors crowd around the “DealZone.”
Caption (photo 5): The Producers’ Panel featured (left to
right), Bob Clearmountain, Fab Dupont, Ross Hogarth, Mick Guzauski, Bil
Vorndick, Ed Cherney, Richard Chycki, and Bruce Swedien.
Caption (photo 6): More than 200 vendors filled up 20 tents with gear and music.