US music retailer Sweetwater has announced the 2021 GearFest, a free two-day event that, like last year’s, will take place virtually due to the coronavirus pandemic.
The event is set to happen across 25-26 June, and will be free for fans across the world to attend. Sweetwater’s founder and CEO, Chuck Surack, said of the choice to continue the event virtually, rather than in person: “After having a successful online GearFest in 2020, we’re excited to offer another virtual GearFest experience this year While there’s nothing quite like having 20,000 people from all around the world in person on our campus, we still want to allow the opportunity for people to experience GearFest.
“In 2020, we brought more than 125,000 people together virtually, this year we hope to bring even more of our passionate musician friends and customers together.”
Confirmed artist appearances so far include Peter Frampton, Judas Priest Bassist Ian Hill, ZZ Top guitarist Billy Gibbons, Alan Parsons, Nathan East, Nile Rodgers, Lita Ford and Allen Sides, with more to be confirmed.
Gearfest 2021 will also be host to a selection of workshops, seminars and panels, on topics ranging from the ins and outs of mixing to building a fanbase online. “Meet The Makers” sessions will also allow fans and musicians to meet some of the names behind the gear they use.
Earlier this year, it was revealed that Sweetwater’s revenue had hit a record $1 Billion, following a boom in sales due to COVID-19. In a statement, Chuck Surack thanked the musicians and podcasters who “went out on a limb to invest in a new reality, rather than fold their tents”.
He added: “During such a difficult year, knowing that our customers, manufacturers and employees trust us and can continue to rely on us as a stable and growing influence in the music and audio retail space is something for which we are incredibly grateful.”
You can find out more about GearFest 2021 at sweetwater.com.