Some of the greatest movers and makers in the guitar industry joined Guitarist as we hit London’s Olympia for our new show – and the comeback of Guitarist Of The Year
Our first UK Guitar Show at the end of September saw players of all ages and abilities flocking to the Olympia London to celebrate new and vintage gear, tuition workshops in a wide range of styles, plus intimate performances and signings from top players with special Q&A sessions.
The exhibition of 21 of Rory Gallagher’s guitars on the vintage floor proved an especially popular draw, including that Strat. Elsewhere on the floor, the Seven Decades show also offered players the chance to get close to an exhibition of golden-era vintage Fenders and Gibsons, with performances throughout the weekend so show attendants could hear them in all their glory.
As players perused the latest models from the likes of Fender, Yamaha, PRS, Marshall, Charvel, Jackson and Peavey, an all-star team of regular Guitarist, Guitar Techniques and Total Guitar contributors offered a range of walk-in workshops in everything from classical guitar to an introduction to ukulele. They were joined by a special edition of That Pedal Show Live and masterclasses from the experts at Focusrite.
Martin Simpson opened the main stage on the Saturday and set the standard high with a sublime folk guitar performance, and the wide range of playing talent that followed did not disappoint with Jon Gomm, Misha Mansoor, Mike Dawes and Simon McBride all performing, along with our very own Jamie Dickson paying tribute to Hendrix and Clapton with the Cream Experience, alongside former Guitarist editors Neville Marten and Mick Taylor.
Periphery’s Misha Mansoor hosted two clinics during the show, mixing playthroughs with industry advice. The questions from the audience proved insightful as budding players quizzed the Jackson signature artist on everything from maintaining a career in the industry to songwriting.
On the same weekend that she announced her debut solo album, Controlled Chaos, Alice Cooper guitarist Nita Strauss wowed fans with her Q&A that featured instrumental
performances followed by a very popular signing session. “It was so fun to get an experience of a guitar convention in a completely different country and to meet so many awesome people at my clinic,” Nita told us after the show.
But for Guitarist, the highlight of a great weekend of guitar was the showcase of talent that marked the return of our Guitarist Of The Year competition. The finals saw nine players perform live on the main stage in three categories: Young Guitarist Of The Year, Acoustic Guitarist Of The Year, and the final electric title. Read on for the full report on the incredible range of talented players and who took each of the titles…
The weekend of our sell-out show saw thousands of guitar enthusiasts join us for workshops, Q&A sessions (including one with Nita Strauss, pictured top), and stand upon stand of vintage, big-name and innovative gear to ogle and try out