DALLAS INTERNATIONAL GUITAR FESTIVAL
DALLAS INTERNATIONAL GUITAR FESTIVAL. Founded in 1978 by guitar shop owner Charley Wirz and his business partners John Brinkmann and Danny Thorpe, the Dallas International Guitar Festival, a three-day event that takes place every spring, bills itself as the world’s oldest and largest guitar convention in the country. The initial event, the Greater Southwest Vintage Guitar Show, provided a modest offering of ten exhibitors. By 2008 dealers, collectors, performers, and fans from all over the world gathered in 140,000 square feet of space to attend performances and workshops and to buy and sell both new and vintage instruments.
When Charley Wirz died in 1985, one of his closest friends and customers, Mark Pollock, took over management of the festival. Pollock initiated several major changes, including moving the event to the Dallas Convention Center in order to accommodate larger crowds and more vendors. Pollock also brought in prominent musicians to participate in an annual Saturday Night Jam. As attendance grew, Pollock invited fellow guitar dealer, Jimmy Wallace, to join as a partner in 1989. By 1996 the two relocated the festival to a larger venue, Dallas’s Fair Park. The following year they expanded the performance component of the event by ushering in Music Fest and adding more stage areas. Both regional and national performers entertain attendees. In 2004 Pollock and Wallace changed venues once again, moving into Market Hall, the largest, privately-owned exhibit hall in the country.
Dallas International Guitar Festival (http://www.guitarshow.com/), accessed September 20, 2011.