Jump to content
Sign in to follow this  
Dendy Jarrett

Sweetwater's GearFest 2016 - Official Show Report Thread

Recommended Posts

fetch?filedataid=118223

 

Sweetwater's on to something for certain as last year's GearFest reported slightly over 8000 in attendance and this year, early reports predict over 10,000.

Those are pretty impressive numbers for an online music retailer located in the middle of Indiana.

 

Harmony Central's packing up a 25 foot Airstream and heading up to the show to bring you our GearFest X-stream Show Report.

 

If you are not familiar with the event, you can learn more here:

 

Sweetwater's Official GearFest Page

 

 

Our very own Craig Anderton is giving several presentations, along with about 100 other great industry presenters.

Let us know if you plan to attend or see something you would love to see us cover.

 

Thanks

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

If you've ever dreamed of designing your own Gibson Custom Shop Guitar stop by the custom shop's Made 2 Measure event at Sweetwater's Gearfest! They are located in the building just up the stairs ... by the slide (that's right, Sweetwater has a slide from the upstairs to the downstairs! - such a fun place!)

 

fetch?filedataid=118365

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Catch Craig Anderton at one of 4 workshops he's giving this weekend at GearFest

 

Edited by Anderton

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Sweetwater has all kinds of deals for event attendees. Interestingly, if you're a vendor you have to wait until after 4 PM to take advantage of any deals - Sweetwater prioritizes the customers. It was very difficult to avoid the temptation of a pair of Auralex MoPads for $25...I saw Craig walking out with a set. It also seems to be a yearly tradition that Sweetwater sells SM58s for $58 and SM57s for $57.

 

[ATTACH=CONFIG]n31756173[/ATTACH]

Edited by Anderton

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The Cafeteria - And the food is actually fantastic and varied. There are salads and vegetarian offerings, as well as old favorites like burgers and pulled pork sandwiches. Oh, and about the elephant: Apparently it was a charitable art sale, and although you can't see it, this elephant was done up as Elvis so that's how it ended up at Sweetwater.

 

[ATTACH=CONFIG]n31756180[/ATTACH]

Edited by Anderton

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

A warehouse view! So organized and clean. As I tend toward being obsessive-compulsive, this definitely worked for me.

 

[ATTACH=CONFIG]n31756182[/ATTACH]

Edited by Anderton

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

People waiting to get into Andy Timmons workshop. The multiple workshops and seminars are a very big deal at GearFest, in fact it's getting to the point where the number of people attending GearFest workshops is bumping up against the limits of the amount of classroom and auditorium space at Sweetwater.

 

[ATTACH=CONFIG]n31756196[/ATTACH]

Edited by Anderton

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Alex Van Halen's Kit sponsored by Ludwig.

 

[ATTACH=CONFIG]n31756200[/ATTACH]

 

[ATTACH=CONFIG]n31756201[/ATTACH]

 

Edited by Anderton
  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

DW sponsored showing not one, but two kits from Neil Peart. They definitely gave showgoers a rush.

 

 

[ATTACH=CONFIG]n31756205[/ATTACH]

 

[ATTACH=CONFIG]n31756204[/ATTACH]

 

fetch?filedataid=118703

Edited by Anderton
  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Craig is like the E.F. Hutton of the Music Industry - his four workshops were packed. This shot is from his workshop on "How to Make Your Recorded Vocals Sound at Least Twice as Good." People even had to be turned away after his workshops became standing room only...and then they ran out of standing room.

 

Given how many workshops conflict in terms of time, Sweetwater is very smart about how they schedule workshops in terms of subject matter so that people likely to go to one of the seminars would probably not be interested in another one scheduled at the same time.

 

fetch?filedataid=118704

 

 

Edited by Anderton

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Sweetwater's owner, Chuck Surack, has a hobby: He likes to fly his helicopter. I thought this was probably Chuck doing a flyby, but it wasn't...apparently he was too busy at GearFest itself. It seems he was constantly surrounded by people who wanted to thank him for putting on the event; he's very accessible.

 

 

[ATTACH=CONFIG]n31756311[/ATTACH]

Edited by Anderton
  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

[ATTACH=CONFIG]n31756415[/ATTACH]

 

Free guitar re-stringing for any attendee has become a GearFest tradition. Craig said next year, he's going to bring his 12-string guitars.

Edited by Anderton

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

This gives you and idea of how many workshops happen at GearFest. And there's an app for that: you can keep up-to-date on everything happening at GearFest via your smartphone.

 

[ATTACH=CONFIG]n31756417[/ATTACH]

Edited by Anderton

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Gibson Custom Guitar Shop - You could design your own Gibson Custom Shop guitar from the ground up in the "Made 2 Measure" room, and end up with something totally personalized for you. There was a steady stream of people who were there not just to design a guitar, but who wanted to learn about what went into making a guitar.

 

[ATTACH=CONFIG]n31756422[/ATTACH]

 

[ATTACH=CONFIG]n31756423[/ATTACH]

[ATTACH=CONFIG]n31756424[/ATTACH]

Edited by Anderton
  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

If you get hungry at GearFest - wait ... they won't let that happen. There's also a smaller cafe where you could revive yourself after hours walking the premises with designer coffee options. And by the way...these are around all year for the 1,000 or so employees, not just brought out for GearFest. Prices are very reasonable, too; Sweetwater definitely doesn't take advantage of a captive audience.

 

[ATTACH=CONFIG]n31756428[/ATTACH]

Edited by Anderton

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

And never let it be said that working for Sweetwater sucks - there are some pretty incredible employee benefits. Apparently Chuck Surack has this wild and crazy idea that happy employees is good for all concerned. If I worked at Sweetwater, I would not argue with that concept.

 

[ATTACH=CONFIG]n31756430[/ATTACH]

 

 

[ATTACH=CONFIG]n31756431[/ATTACH]

 

 

Oh, Wait, you need a cut and color with that?

 

[ATTACH=CONFIG]n31756432[/ATTACH]

 

 

Full Salon & Spa -

 

[ATTACH=CONFIG]n31756433[/ATTACH]

Edited by Anderton
  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Oh, and there's more - A full workout room with personal trainer. I've heard employees can get even help with their taxes for free.

 

[ATTACH=CONFIG]n31756436[/ATTACH]

Edited by Anderton
  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Did we mention how organized the warehouse is? The proof is when you order something that's not in stock at the store, and a few minutes later, what you bought shows up.

 

[ATTACH=CONFIG]n31756438[/ATTACH]

Edited by Anderton
  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Sweetwater's GearFest: It's "In Tents" :) One of the great aspects of GearFest is everything is so spread out, and there are so many tents, that you never feel crowded like you do at indoor trade shows. Looking at this photo, it's hard to believe there are thousands and thousands of people running around the show.

 

[ATTACH=CONFIG]n31756452[/ATTACH]

Edited by Anderton

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Sign in to follow this  

×
×
  • Create New...