GearFest 2019: Moments to Remember
Wednesday June 26, 2019. 11:00 PM , from Sweetwater inSync
GearFest 2019 — A Monumental Event
Where can musicians and audio engineers from all around the globe get together to learn from world-famous artists and producers, talk with industry-leading manufacturers, get their hands on the latest gear, and join together for a celebration of music, all for free? Only at Sweetwater’s annual GearFest — and now that the dust has settled and the tents are coming down, it’s safe to say that GearFest 2019 was our greatest event yet. And while we’re proud that our team is able to hold such an ambitious event right here on the Sweetwater campus, we sincerely believe that it is you, our guests, that make each GearFest so special. If you were able to join us for GearFest 2019, thank you so much for making the trip to take part in such a special event!
Over 17,000 Music Makers
GearFest is unique in the music technology retail industry, and it continues to evolve every year. It’s difficult to grasp the scale of such an event, especially when you consider that everything is done in-house right here at Sweetwater. To give you an idea of its magnitude, GearFest 2019 drew almost 17,000 guests from around the world. On-site camping was popular this year, with over 350 campers in tents and RVs. Over 800 vendors and artists made the journey to GearFest too, presenting the latest gear and sharing insights on recording and production, and of course making some great music. Sweetwater was proudly able to record and livestream over 28 hours of workshops and seminars, with over 250,000 people tuning in to watch from all over the world. Especially with #GearFest trending on social, we were able to reach more off-site gear fans than ever before.
GearFest has grown so much, with so many events, performances, and workshops going on, that it’s a challenge to even keep track of it all — we’re sure GearFest guests are still recovering from information overload! As guests made their way into the GearFest entrance, Sweetwater Founder and CEO Chuck Surack was there to greet as many visitors personally as he possibly could. One thing that continues to be a hit with returning guests and new attendees alike is our photo opportunity at the Marshall Amp Wall — even if you’re not a guitarist, it’s simply awesome to be able to take a selfie in front of a towering wall of Marshall amplifiers!
Visitors were treated to unique experiences throughout the Sweetwater building and out on the GearFest grounds. Shure microphones play a big role in the performances at GearFest, and guests were able to check out the Shure Microphone Museum to experience the history of this iconic mic manufacturer. On display was the stunning custom SJC drum set owned by Slipknot’s Jay Weinberg, offering a great photo op as well as a fantastic display of top-notch drum craftsmanship. Outside, musicians and music fans were able to tour Johnny Cash’s former touring bus — the feeling of history and respect for a universally beloved musician was palpable.
For everyone that came to GearFest for the amazing musical performances, this year’s gathering was definitely one to remember. Drummer Daru Jones delighted a packed Performance Theatre with his unique drum setup and drumming style. Also in the drum world, world-famous artists Dennis Chambers and Keith Carlock each held unforgettable workshops as well — GearFest 2019 was a great year for drummers! Beloved metal bassist Rudy Sarzo held a captivating workshop and shared insights on the circle of fifths with a delighted group of musicians — we’re sure many of them are using that inspiration to make new music right at this moment. Acclaimed keyboardist Lynette Williams charmed her audience with an exceptional performance as well as her warm and humble personality.
There’s so much going on at GearFest that it’s almost too much to fit into just two days, and we made sure to end each day with a bang. To close out the day on Friday, legendary guitarist and composer Steve Vai took the stage in the Sweetwater Pavilion, delivering an intensely melodic performance that surely helped supercharge the audience for a second day of gear and music. On Saturday, the modern prog/fusion band COVET wowed an overflowing crowd in the Performance Theatre, before world-famous guitarist Eric Johnson closed out the event in the Pavilion. Nowhere else will you find this wide a range of musical genres coming together for the sake of celebrating music and the ways we make it — we’re truly humbled by how many talented artists come to Fort Wayne to make GearFest happen, and we’ve only mentioned a handful of them.
There are so many people working hard at GearFest that it’s impossible to give everyone their due. From the maintenance staff keeping the grounds clean and safe to the kitchen crew working nonstop to make sure everyone is happily fed, GearFest only succeeds because everyone involved gives the best they have to offer. The only reason we’re able to do it year after year is that our guests return the favor tenfold — the warm smiles and heartfelt compliments from GearFest attendees remind us that it’s worth doing whatever it takes to make this unique event happen.
Thanks for Joining Us
If you were able to attend this year, thank you for joining us! We hope you had as much fun as we did. If you weren’t able to make it out this year, don’t worry — we already have our sights set on next June 26 and 27 for GearFest 2020. Until then, you can catch up on highlights from GearFest 2019 on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Snapchat, and YouTube!
The post GearFest 2019: Moments to Remember appeared first on inSync.
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