Since its inception in 2015, the Melbourne Guitar Show – an exhibition solely devoted to the most popular instrument in the history of music in all its forms and styles – has gone from strength to strength, with the 2018 show shaping up to be the biggest instalment yet.
Over the course of one weekend, attendees will have the opportunity to experience the very finest in all things guitar, from classic and vintage guitars and amps all the way through to modern, boutique, and cutting-edge effects, software and recording equipment. A host of guitar-related products will be on display, made by both your favourite world-renowned brands as well as small independent artisans. All tastes and styles are catered for in what has been described as “the world’s biggest pop-up guitar store.”
As well as the gear, the program includes a lineup featuring some of the best local and international guitarists, spearheaded by an appearance from the one and only Albert Lee, who will be in attendance on his 75th birthday tour. For those not familiar with the name Albert Lee, his CV includes playing with some of the biggest names in music history. One such collaborator is Eric Clapton, who described Lee as “the ultimate virtuoso.” Clapton added that Lee’s skill “is extraordinary and he’s gifted on just about every level.”
Albert Lee has built his reputation over the past few decades through his work with musicians such as The Everly Brothers and Steve Morse, as well as through his own catalogue of jawdropping solo albums. Accompanying Lee on this year’s massive Melbourne Guitar Show lineup is Daniel Champagne, a young virtuoso who will no doubt become a household name in years to come. Also joining the party are some of our nation’s most talented guitarists, including Jeff Lang, who has been described by Rolling Stone Magazine as “Australia’s best roots music artisan”. Darren Middleton, (Powderfinger), Bob Spencer, Fiona Boyes, Shannon Bourne, James Ryan, Nat Allison, Cat Canteri, Brett Kingman, and Alison Ferrier are also set to showcase their talent at the event, with more artists soon to be announced.
In addition to scheduled performances from musicians on the lineup, impromptu jams have been known to happen at the guitar extravaganza. You never know who’ll be playing with who and where, so be sure to keep your ears open; there’s always something going on at the Melbourne Guitar Show.
A large part of the festivities for this year’s show are the special clinics, masterclasses, Q&A sessions and demonstrations set to feature some of the greatest guitarists in the business in an informal and relaxed setting. It’s the perfect opportunity to hear a professional player put the latest guitars and equipment through their paces up close.
One of the great drawcards of the show is that an extensive range of companies, stores, distributors and manufacturers will be represented under one roof with a very much “hands on” policy, giving you the rare opportunity to try out gear you may have read about but haven’t had the chance to experience for yourself. You’ll also be able to buy products on the day with many exhibitors offering special deals, prizes and giveaways over the weekend.
Australian Music Association executive officer and Melbourne Guitar Show organiser Rob Walker said, “After an awesome show last year, we’re looking forward to continuing the tradition the show is creating. We’re very pleased to present Albert Lee on his 75th birthday tour as well as the usual host of wonderful players we present. Our exhibition welcomes back some big names this year and the learning opportunities are plentiful. If you’re in the market for guitars and gear, great live music from some of the best players, the Melbourne Guitar Show is the place to be.”
Whether you’re a total beginner looking for some advice on buying your first guitar or a seasoned pro on the lookout for something new (which from personal experience is a lifelong quest), the Melbourne Guitar Show is undoubtedly an event not to be missed.
The Melbourne Guitar Show will be held on Saturday August 4 and Sunday August 5 at Caulfield Racecourse in Melbourne.