If finding the right guitar feels a gift you never knew you needed, then the fairgrounds may look a lot like Christmas in April when Eddie Prather and Doug Spencer come bearing more than just the axes on their backs. The local music men look to make Hendricks County the new home of The Indiana Guitar Show which kicks off Sunday, April 8, 11 a.m. – 4 p.m., at the 4-H Fairgrounds and Conference Complex, 1900 E Main St, Danville.
“Everything you could possibly want in regards to music and the music business will be there,” Prather said.
The show draws in musicians and dealers from all over the country to buy, sell and trade guitars, fiddles, dulcimers, drums, amps, studio gear, accessories and much more. People can also bring in their old gear and walk out with a pocket full of cash. Prather said dealers come prepared to buy items on the spot and even those that fall in higher price ranges.
When Prather and Spencer bought the rights to the show 6 years ago from founder David Baas, the goal was to scale it up.
“I wanted to make it a national show again. I said if I’m going to do this, then I’m not messing around with 20 tables in some obscure high school gym,” Prather remembers.
Last year’s event was held at the Wyndham Hotel Ballroom in Indianapolis, a venue he said the show has outgrown. But despite having a sizable option in his own backyard, they thought Danville might be “too far out” and began a two-month search for viable sites Central Indiana. Yet, the more sites they vetted, the more the 4-H Fairgrounds stood out.
“The reception we got from Steve Patterson and the rest of the staff was something we didn’t find anywhere else, and the venue is incredible,” Prather said.
The guitar show should put the facility to good use as Prather said they expect to have 90 dealers, 170 tables, and if past shows are any indicators, around 1000 in attendance at any given time.
People come from all over Indiana and even other states to attend. It begs the question, ‘In an age when people can shop for everything online, why spend the time and money to shop in person?’
“You might decide that you want a 1972 Telecaster, for example, so you order one from eBay, but not all 72 Telecasters play the same way. Some of them play great, but some are dogs,” Prather explained.
“If you are a real musician, the character of your instrument has to be married to your hand. There is no way to know that by looking at a photo online. But when people can hold it and say, ‘I love the way this looks and feels; I love the way it sounds, this guitar is speaking to me. And within minutes of having it in their hands, they know whether they’re going to buy it.”
With everything The Indiana Guitar Show has to offer, it’s certainly more than just an opportunity to find that perfect instrument. But if you are in the market for a new tunestress, chances are you can find it Sunday, April 8, at the Hendricks County 4-H Fairgrounds.
A live auction of unsold items will start at 3 p.m. Food will be available from Hoosier Roots Catering. Admission is $8 at the door.
For more information, check out Facebook @ The Indiana Guitar Show. For vendor information, call (317) 272-5222.