Sweetwater will present GearFest 2017, a celebration of musicians and the instruments and audio gear they use to make and record music, on Friday, June 23 and Saturday, June 24, from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m., at the Sweetwater campus, 5501 US Hwy 30 W, Fort Wayne, Indiana.

GearFest is free and open to the public.

Spread out over more than ¼-million square feet, GearFest, the largest music trade show open to the general public in the United States, combines a gear expo, entertainment events, a musicians’ flea market, and musical demonstrations, with seminars and workshops by some of the biggest names in the music industry.

GearFest also means two days of the best deals ever on the best music instruments and pro audio gear available.

Sweetwater founder and president Chuck Surack said, “Music trade shows are traditionally reserved for music-industry insiders. GearFest is unique in being free and open to musicians and audio enthusiasts. We’re particularly proud that GearFest has such a reputation that it is now bringing people from literally all over the world to Sweetwater’s campus in Fort Wayne.”

GearFest will feature more than 400 product lines, including the newest instruments, music technology, and audio equipment, all on display in dozens of tents and several semi-trailers. With so many manufacturers on-site, attendees can enjoy one-on-one time with master guitar luthiers, drum builders, microphone designers, acoustic engineers and many more, test drive cutting-edge audio equipment and instruments, and gain valuable technical and musical insights.

Attendees will also experience Sweetwater’s own Music Store, one of the largest music instrument and audio gear stores in the Midwest, with the largest on-site inventory of any music store in the country.

GearFest will host a multitude of performers and engineers in workshops continuously on five different stages. The event headliner will be legendary guitarist Eric Johnson, who Guitar Player magazine called “one of the most respected guitarists on the planet.” In addition to a prolific recording and performing solo career, Johnson has performed with artists such as Chet Atkins, Steve Morse, John McLaughlin, Carole King, Christopher Cross, and scores of others.

Featured guests include Grammy Award-winning producer/engineers Al Schmitt, Chris Lord-Alge, and Chuck Ainlay. Famed musicians include Steve Stevens, guitarist for Billy Idol and Michael Jackson; guitarist Andy Timmons, who has performed with everyone from Joe Satriani to the Beach Boys; Rock & Roll Hall of Famer and Earth, Wind & Fire keyboardist Larry Dunn; bassist and vocalist Rhonda Smith, who has toured with Prince, Beyonce, Jeff Beck and many others; virtuoso guitarist Robben Ford, who in addition to being a founding member of the Yellowjackets and successful solo artist, performed with Miles Davis, George Harrison, and Joni Mitchell; Terry Bozzio, drummer for Frank Zappa, Missing Persons, Duran Duran, and Deborah Harry; Omar Hakim, drummer for countless A-list artists including Miles Davis, Sting, Weather Report, Madonna, David Bowie, and Michael Jackson. The list goes on and on. To see a full list of presenter bios, go to: www.sweetwater.com/gearfest/presenters/

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