Newport Guitar Festival Feeds Local Ax Fetishists

Muriel Anderson

For a particular subset of music geeks, a guitar is more than just a means to a musical end. For these ardent acolytes, the guitar itself is the end, the mystical devotional object that imparts divine tone with the addition or subtraction of a pickup, with the thickness of the body's wood, with the particular year and factory in which it was finished.

And to these local gear heads, the annual Newport Guitar Festival is mecca. One of the world's largest modern guitar festivals, it returns to South Florida this weekend at the Seminole Hard Rock Live, and its booths and events are what an ax addict's dreams are made of.

Buy, sell, trade, and talk shop with vendors from around the world who offer new, vintage, boutique, and big-name guitars from $400 to $400,000. But of course, these are instruments that don't fully come alive until they're played.


Newport Guitar Festival, 9:30 a.m. Friday, April 16, to Sunday, April 18, at Seminole Hard Rock Live, 5747 Seminole Way, Hollywood. Tickets cost $20 per day or $50 for a three-day pass. Click here.

On hand will be some of the circuit's most fleet-fingered players, offering miniconcerts throughout as well as an ensemble show on Friday at Muriel Anderson's All-Star Guitar Night. Among the guitar luminaries are former Wings guitarist Laurence Juber, founding Lynyrd Skynyrd guitarist and "Sweet Home Alabama" composer Ed King, and virtuoso Phil Keaggy. Look out for local guy Fernando Perdomo among the string masters. Once you have a ticket in hand, all further fantasies contained therein are free.

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