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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Oh say can you hear, by the dawn’s early light!

It’s hard to believe that four years ago the epicenter of the free world and capitalism, not to mention loads of folks with deep pockets, was completely devoid of a festival to showcase audio products. Luckily for those of us in the Mid-Atlantic, Gary Gill felt the same way. In fact it was more than just Gill. The Capital Audio Fest (CAF) was conceived by a group of friends including Gill, Dr. Ijaz Kahn, Frank Schroeder (Schroeder Tonearms) and Pierre Sprey (Mapleshade Records) on an evening filled with cigars and scotch. They all pledged to chip-in to make it a reality. Perhaps it was just the spirits, or the next-day return to busy lives, but Gill eventually found himself alone with this grand idea. “I took it upon myself to do it on my own,” says Gill who describes himself as an hi-fidelity hobbyist, musician, and collector of vinyl. “So, I went ahead with the ‘Build it and they will come’ mentality.”

Gill did build it, and they have come. This year marks the fourth year of the Capital Audio Festival. Everyone in the Baltimore-Washington Metro Area knows that the power brokers reside inside the Capital Beltway, and that’s exactly where Gill is taking this year’s festival. “The first year I rented an historic home in Rockville, Maryland,” explains Gill. “This is now my third location and we have moved up the ladder due to the need for more quality space.” To be exact, the CAF will be making it’s 2013 appearance at the Sheraton in the newly revitalized downtown of Silver Spring, Maryland (July 26th-28th). That places the event inside the beltway, just minutes from some of the area’s larger towns (Rockville and Bethesda) and only four blocks away from redline Metro access.

This year’s festival is shaping up to be a good one. Gill is optimistically expecting to exceed last year’s exhibitor and attendance numbers. “Last year we had slightly under 1,000 [in attendance] and we hope we can grow to over 1,000 plus,” says Gill. “It’s the best show for the value and is a vacation destination on its own being in the Nation’s Capital. The Washington, DC area has some of the highest per capita income in the nation and I feel that the CAF has nowhere to go but up [in terms of] quantities of vendors and attendees.” Gill also says that past exhibitors have reported sales and orders at his festival. “Not all shows can say that,” explains Gill.

To date, the fest will feature at least 42 exhibitors ranging from well known manufactures like SVS Sound and Legacy Audio to more obscure names like Audio Note and Silnote Audio. Attendees will find audio speakers, amplifiers, cables, and more (even hi-fi recordings). Just about everything from the affordable to the exotic will be on display. A full listing of exhibitors is available here.

Gill is taking full advantage of the Sheraton’s layout to ensure exhibitors and attendees can give and receive hi-fidelity in sonic isolation when needed. The festival will inhabit the hotel’s ballroom, meeting rooms, and several levels of sleeping rooms. “The Sheraton is a newly renovated hotel that is dead-silent in it’s Meeting Room facilities,” explains Gill. Exhibitors on the upper floors will have their rooms separated by an empty room. Gill says his venue and setup is unique and cost effective because exhibitors have a listening room along with an adjoining sleeping room.

Beyond the exhibits, the 2013 CAF will feature several days of live jazz and improvised music from musicians in the Baltimore-Washington Metro Area. The event will also have food and a lengthy list of raffle items . “This year’s venue promises to have better food, drink, and overall service than last year’s venue. Also, being in downtown Silver Spring we are smack-dab in the middle of a great urban neighborhood with plenty of pubs and restaurants,” says Gill. Raffle items will be raffled in the early evening hours. To be eligible for raffle items attendees must be registered, paid, and present.

This year the Home Theater Shack (HTS) is an official sponsor of the 2013 Capital Audio Fest. Sonnie Parker (Founder and Co-Owner of HTS) will be in attendance and HTS will be providing coverage of the show. The Shack hopes to see a good member turnout, so make plans to come and enjoy the fest! For more information about the 2013 Capital Audio Fest including past exhibits, press coverage and reviews, preregistrations, directions and contact information, please visit the CAF online.

Image Credit: Capital Audio Fest
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