Music lovers have a new reason to visit Tucson this spring. The fairly new Park Place Guitar Festival, a celebration of America's most popular and versatile instrument, will take place at Park Place Mall in midtown Tucson during the month of June.
The festival, which is presented by Southern Arizona Arts and Cultural Alliance and sponsored by Park Place, will feature a guitar show and swap, live guitar performances by local school groups, giveaways and even an air guitar competition. The day-long event scheduled this year for Saturday, June 14, will conclude with an extended jam session in the food court.
Tucson's guitar festival is a celebration of guitars in every shape and form. — Photo courtesy of Park Place Guitar Festival
Whether you're a lover of traditional folk music, blues or hard rock, the guitar festival hopes to reach music lovers from across all genres. There will be three stages of live music, featuring everything from classical guitar to rock. Local rock bands, blues performers and flamenco players from the University of Arizona are expected to play.
The festival schedule is also chock-full of guitar clinics designed to help players of all skill levels improve their play. Festival attendees can learn more about proper guitar care, how to compose music for the guitar and how to sharpen their playing skills.
One of the main attractions of the festival is the guitar show and swap. Guitar collectors can get a up-close look at rare and vintage models. Do you have an old guitar that's been in the family for generations? Local appraisers will be on hand to help determine the history and value of older instruments.
Of course, whether you're in the market for a starter guitar or a rare model, the festival will have a large selection of instruments for sale.
The festival will also feature kids' activities, including a foray into what the Southern Arizona Arts and Cultural Alliance calls "GuitART." Kids, with guidance from festival staff, will have the opportunity to paint and decorate acoustic guitars. Young musicians from local schools will also be performing throughout the day.
Undoubtedly, one of the most crowd-pleasing events at the guitar festival will be the air guitar competition. Some of the best air guitarists in town will show off their guitar-shredding skills - sans guitar, of course.
The festival will wrap up with a lengthy improvisation jam session featuring some of the city's best local musicians from all genres. So, grab your favorite guitar pick and prepare to play your heart out in Tucson.
Park Place Guitar Festival is scheduled for June 14, 2014, from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Admission to the event is free.