The Guitar Summit is an annual trade show in Mannheim, Germany that showcases electric, acoustic, and bass guitars, guitar amplifiers, effects pedals, and accessories. The event is organized by Gitarre & Bass magazine and is held over a three-day weekend in September at the m:con Congress Center Rosengarten. The City of Mannheim and mg: mannheimer grundungszentren gmbh provide local support for the event.
The Guitar Summit is an event for consumers interested in musical instruments such as guitars, basses, guitar and bass amplifiers and effects devices.
The event is a combination of live concerts, master classes, workshops and a trade show. The trade show provides an opportunity for manufacturers and distributors of String instrument|stringed instruments to showcase their products to visitors.
The exhibition is divided into several themed areas, each providing a comprehensive overview of the musical instrument market. Workshops are offered on stages acoustically separated from the exhibition, covering topics such as guitar playing techniques, songwriting, recording and self-promotion.
Workshops are offered on stages acoustically separated from the exhibition, covering topics such as guitar playing techniques, songwriting, recording and self-promotion. All workshops are included in the ticket price, and master classes, which offer more in-depth and detailed instruction, can be booked separately.
A Do-It-Yourself area also offers visitors the opportunity to build guitar amplifiers, electric guitars or effects pedals with professional instruction.
The concert program at the end of each day features a diverse range of genres, including rock, blues, metal, jazz, singer-songwriter or acoustic fingerstyle.
The exhibition is designed as a “silent show” where instruments are tested and demonstrated through headphones in most areas to minimize noise and facilitate communication between attendees and exhibitors.
The first Guitar Summit took place from September 8 to 10, 2017, and attracted approximately 4,500 visitors. More than 300 exhibiting brands were present, showcasing their products in thematic areas such as electric guitars, basses, acoustic guitars, guitar amplifiers and effects pedals. The event also featured 106 workshops on 6 stages, each lasting 45 minutes. In the Guitar and Bass Amplifiers area, visitors were able to try out different combinations of amps and cabinets using a switching system. A boutique area was dedicated to the European Guitar Builders e.V. (EGB), where they could showcase their custom guitar and bass creations.
Some of the participating artists included Guthrie Govan, Victor Smolski, Jen Majura, Thomas Blug, Jon Gomm, and the German post-rock band Long Distance Calling.
The second edition of Guitar Summit took place from September 7-9, 2018, with around 200 exhibitors showcasing nearly 400 brands. The event was attended by approx. 6,200 visitors. An additional “Headphone Stage” was added to the exhibition area, where visitors could listen to sound wirelessly transmitted to their headphones. This increased the number of workshops to 160, each lasting 30 minutes. The event also featured separate master classes and a do-it-yourself area where visitors could build their own guitar amp with professional instruction.
The line-up featured Phil X, Uli Jon Roth, Marcus Deml with his band The Blue Poets, Stu Hamm, Pete Thorn, Sommerplatte with Hanno Busch and Claus Fischer.
The third edition of the Guitar Summit took place from September 27-29, 2019 and was attended by around 8,600 visitors. The event showcased roughly 470 brands and featured 100 workshops of 45 minutes each. For the first time, sound-proof test cabins were provided in the exhibition area.
The event featured several artists including Paul Gilbert, Billy Sheehan, Jeff Berlin, Fredrik Åkesson from Opeth, Henrik Freischlader and many others.
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the traditional format of Guitar Summit was not held in 2020. Instead, Guitar Summit Webcamp, an online event, was organized on November 28-29, 2020. The event comprised a virtual trade show, on-demand workshops, and a live stream of interviews, workshops, and product demonstrations. Additionally, YouTube influencers participated in the live stream. Attendees had the opportunity to connect online with manufacturers, guitar makers, artists, and the staff of German Gitarre&Bass magazine.
Participating artists included Misha Mansoor, Dave Ellefson, Gus G, Paul Reed Smith, and others.
In 2021, the Guitar Summit was affected by the COVID-19 pandemic, resulting in the inability to host the event in its usual form. Despite efforts to explore alternative options, such as a digital event, these were not feasible due to the last-minute nature of the cancellation.