If there was ever a time to upgrade my $30 acoustic guitar from Cash Converters on Smith Street, it’s probably this weekend at the Melbourne Guitar Show. Held at Caulfield Racecourse on 8 and 9 August, the champs at Australian Musician, Mixdown and PBS 106.7FM are hosting a pop-up exhibition featuring electric and acoustic guitars, FX and amps, and other guitar-related stuff. Since I’m anticipating a guitar hero-style dudefest, my bass playing/loving/buying brother has been assigned the task of reporting for WildnFree from a suitably guitar-dude perspective. I eagerly await his findings.
In the meantime, read this little Q&A with the event organiser, the Australian Music Association‘s Rob Walker for all the important info.
How did the brilliant idea to have a pop-up gig dedicated to the guitar come about?
It’s not a new idea, but I agree it’s a good one. Our industry wanted to celebrate the world’s most popular instrument. We wanted to inspire the public to play music, particularly the guitar. It’s an exciting show for guitar enthusiasts – we’re presenting the best products and the best players under one roof.
Who are some of the familiar guitar brands on the line-up? Any hidden surprises?
Well we have all the major brands from Fender, Gibson and Ibanez, to Taylors and Takamines as well as our own great brands Maton and Cole Clark. From Ampeg, Bogner and Vox in amps to Boss, MC, and others in guitar technology. But, there’ll be plenty of more boutique and custom gear from local makers too. Also, punters might be surprised by some tasty vintage offerings. There’s are hundreds of brands and makes.
What are some of the great show deals up for grabs for punters?
Well, all the stands are on show and ready to deal with the customers – there’ll be plenty of show bargains to be had.
What things will the guitar lovers of Melbourne learn at the Melbourne Guitar Show?
There are over 20 different workshops and demonstrations of the latest gear and technology. Some of our top professionals like Wayne Jones, Craig Newman, Simon Hosford, the Davidson Brothers and more will be sharing their knowledge in different clinics. We have some free tips from Professor Guitar and Professor Bass, and on Saturday we have a Pro Players Panel where everyone can have a Q & A with our top players.
The workshop program is very strong and there’ll also be a loud and acoustic stage with performances from a variety of genres, blues and roots, bluegrass, power rock, jazz, funk, ambient, folk, progressive – there’s a Hendrix tribute, and there’ll be a focus on the bass and ukulele too, so we’ve tried to inspire people with a big variety of styles from some of the best players on the planet – our Melbourne guitar community.
Will there be an air guitar performance by anyone at any stage?
I’m assuming you’re a guitar lover yourself. What’s your favourite guitar you have in your possession at the moment? If not, if you could have anyone’s guitar from anywhere in the world at any time, which one would it be?
My favourite guitar is a 73 Fender Jazz Bass, but I love all of my guitars.
Get all the crucial event details here.
And just to get you in the mood, watch this Melbourne + guitars classic: