GJD at The Shows: The Dallas International Guitar Festival Print
Wednesday, 30 April 2008 16:12
expman-17.jpgBy Nick Friese - GJD
This year marked the 31st annual Dallas International Guitar Festival. The three-day event on April18, 19, and 20 at Dallas Market Hall was filled with guitar enthusiasts, artists, dealers, and MI companies. The exhibitors included Taylor, Fender, Gretsch, Paul Reed Smith, Peavey, Gibson, D'Addario, as well as 800 other guitar manufacturers, and independent dealers displaying new guitars, vintage, custom, and collector's editions. The show is a very manageable event, easy to get around, while offering so much for the guitar player's musical senses.

The crowds were big and attendance figures were cited as 20,000+ over the three-day event. However, the spacious layout of Market Hall and outdoor stages kept the crowd flow very easy to get through at almost all times. You could get close to all the stages, into all the booths and exhibits with out waiting and crowding.

There were four stages that offered constant guitar entertainment. On the Fender stage the electrified acts included guitar God Yngwie Malmsteen, David Grissom, Johnny A, Andy Timmons, Jim Suhler, Rhett Butler, and other local guitar stars pumped out killer riffs under the hot Texas skies. Peavey also had an outdoor stage burning with guitar goodness with players Johnny Hiland, George Lynch, Van Wilks, Rick Derringer, and many more that had the attendee's jaws dropping. The other two stages offered acoustic sets and clinics for attendees in a more intimate setting for up close and personal performances and how-to sessions. It was a very nice touch. There was always something interesting to see or hear over the three days.

On Saturday night the guitar stars hit the stages again for the All Star Jam with Paul Reed Smith, David Grissom, Johnny A, Jimmy Wallace, Johnny Hiland, Will Ray, George Lynch, Andy Timmons, Rick Derringer, Lance Lopez, Van Wilks, Rhet Butler, Bugs Henderson, and a bunch of other great players. The event started at 8:30pm and was still going well after midnight with smoking jams.

For us the show was a great opportunity to catch up with our friends at Fender, Taylor, PRS, Peavey, and others. We also were able to spend some quality time with guitar greats such as Alan Haynes, Yngwie Malmsteen, David Grissom, Johnny Hiland and his killer band, as well as meet other up-and-comers.

The show was incredibly well run, filled with great people, killer performances, rows and rows of guitars and more guitars, and offered fun from opening to close. We salute the organizers of this event for putting on a show that has us already looking forward to coming back next year.

Enjoy the sights from the Dallas International Guitar Festival shot by Guitar Jam Daily photographer Kate Mackley