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Melbourne Guitar Makers Festival 2015

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by Jen (subscribe)
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Music is the magic at the nexus between maker and player
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Images courtesy of Melbourne Guitar Makers

The Melbourne Guitar Makers Festival is like a wonderland where wide eyed enthusiasts can feast on their senses. It's a rare and unique opportunity to see, play, hear and celebrate the handcrafted guitar. October 10 and 11 weekend from 11am to 5pm is your chance to experience these handcrafted instruments that are seldom seen in shops. The historic Abbotsford Convent at 1 St Heliers Street, Abbotsford will be the venue hosting this festival. There's a door charge of $10 - $15.

All day parking is available at the car park opposite the convent and there's a limited number of parking spots on the street. Click here for instructions and options for getting to the convent.

Organised by the Melbourne Guitar Makers Guild and a great team of guitar loving volunteers, this festival that began in 2009 is a non-profit event, funded by the makers and the door charge. The guild is about building a community of makers and players of handcrafted guitars and raising the profile of said guitars, their makers and players. Through encouraging networking, it provides a point of contact for all, makes festivals like this happen, and starts a conversation that inspires and gives birth to ideas on sound, playability, aesthetics and craftsmanship between players and makers.

This year there'll be 35 independent makers from around Australia, New Zealand and even Thailand. To meet the line up of makers for this event, click here. Meeting the makers will give you an up close and personal insight into their individual philosophies, ideas and techniques as they discuss their work. Their focus is always on the individuality and diversity of handmade quality work, its value and what a truly handmade guitar can do. We are of course talking about the highly popular workshop series where 8 makers will present a workshop this year. Workshops are free and don't require tickets. They go for a duration of around 55 minutes.

Please join the conversation on the event page and to stay updated about timeframes for the workshops (the program is not quite finished at this stage). This way you can also post any questions you have about the event on the page or on their Facebook page.

What would a guitar festival be without some actual music playing. A series of short performances will be staged over the weekend and will feature the guitars made by the exhibiting makers. Six established guitarists from a range of musical backgrounds will be involved in performances held each day in the main exhibition space. You can enjoy solos, duets and ensembles and the highlight; students from the Richmond Music Academy, The Johnston Brothers and the Guitar Orchestra of the CGSV.

The Classical Guitar Society of Victoria (CGSV) will also stage workshops on top of their series of classical guitar concerts. Click here for the timetable of these performances and you can check the website for more details.

As this event is only held biennially, and lets face it, if you're an enthusiast, it's a long time between events; hence you want to be sure you don't miss out on this one. An festival not to be missed; one that show cases the time honoured tradition of crafting a masterpiece with ones own hands and a chance to walk and talk among fellow enthusiasts, musicians and makers. There are more than enough great cafes and eateries at the convent, including the convent bakery, so you won't go hungry if your enthusiasm keeps you at the event all day.

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Why? Melbourne Guitar Makers Festival 2015
When: October 10 and 11, 2015, from 11am to 5pm.
Where: Abbotsford Convent, 1 St Heliers st, Abbotsford, VIC
Cost: $10 - $15 door charge.
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