This weekend, May 2 - 4, is the one that many people eagerly look forward to each year, the weekend of the Dallas International Guitar Festival. This is the 37th year that this festival has brought musicians, music fans, collectors, and vendors from all over the map together by their passion for music.
Today there are more than 2,000 guitar shows and festivals staged around the world, but the Dallas event is the oldest and largest in the United States. The 37th Annual Dallas International Guitar Festival is expected to be the largest festival yet. In order to accommodate the additional vendors, performers, and patrons, there has been a change in location this year; the event has been moved from the Dallas Market Hall to Fair Park. A map of Fair Park showing the location of the event, different entrances, and all available parking can be seen here. Parking is available in the lots for $5.
The three day festival has much to offer - there are some of today's top guitarists exhibiting their talents and skills. There is an amazingly large selection of instruments available for purchase, or maybe just to pick one up and play for a few minutes, then add it to your "wish list". Interesting music memorabelia abounds, as well as booths filled with leather goods, clothing, CD's, musical accessories, and probably a surprise or two. And, what would a festival be without beer and food? All of this should make for a nice change of pace, certainly a great way to spend the day.
Approximately seventy bands and single artists will play on four different stages throughout the weekend, with Friday and Saturday nights culminating in All-Star Jams. Some of the artists performing at Fair Park this weekend will be Johnny Winter, George Lynch, Derick St. Holmes, Andy Timmons, Maylee Thomas, Michael Harris, the Stratoblasters, Lance Lopez, Gary Hoey, Andrew Delaney, and Junkyard Mars. You can see the daily performance schedules here.
Sunday afternoon you can watch young musicians compete in the finals of the "Texas 10 Under 20" Contest. The grand prize winner, chosen by a panel of guitarists/musicians, will win along with a trophy, a guitar, an amplifier, and recording time.
Tickets are available in a wide price range, starting at $10 for the Friday or Saturday night Jam only, with the most expensive priced at $90 for a 3-day VIP Pass. You can see the different ticket options available, and make purchases online here. Admission for children under 10 is free. I have learned from past experience that it is wise to buy your ticket before hand, or you may spend a very long time waiting in line to purchase a ticket.
The festival begins at noon on Friday, May 2. Other mornings the festivities begin at 10 a.m. The Friday and Saturday night concerts go on until around midnight, and everything winds up at 6 p.m. Sunday. Cameras, smart phones, and hand held video cameras are allowed, but no professional equipment for taking photos or videos which could be used for profit. If you have any questions, you can call 972-740-2167.
If you don't want to miss the guitar event of the year, come on out to Fair Park for the 37th Annual Dallas International Guitar Festival. Hope to see you there!