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Fort Knox Calling All Music Nerds For 'Gear Swap' Trade Convention Sunday

By Alex Nitkin | October 11, 2017 6:15am
 Nearly 50 vendors are lined up for the second annual Gear Swap from 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Sunday.
Nearly 50 vendors are lined up for the second annual Gear Swap from 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Sunday.
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Facebook/Alchemy Audio; Facebook/CHIRP; Facebook/Sweet Amplification

CHICAGO — The airplane hangar-turned sound stage at Fort Knox Studios, 4255 N. Knox Ave., will become an open marketplace Sunday for musicians and music fans to buy, sell or barter their instruments and recording equipment.

Nearly 50 vendors have signed up to participate in the studio's second-ever Gear Swap, organized by guitar repair company Alchemy Audio, from 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Sunday. The event will include food trucks, beer, live music and kids' activities.

Organizers were aiming to create a "festival atmosphere" that caters to both hardcore musicians and casual fans, modeled after the Chirp Record Fair held annually in the West Loop, Alchemy Audio co-owner Johnny Balmer said.

"If someone has an old guitar or amp in the closet they're trying to get rid of, someone will be there to accept that," Balmer said. "But we try and make it so that if someone who's not a musician comes along, they won't be bored to tears."

Visitors can grab snacks from food trucks like Big Mama's Kitchen and Munch On This, or ice cream from Bistro 6050. Representatives of Perkolator Cafe and Maplewood Brewing will be pouring coffee and beer, respectively.

The live music lineup includes hourly acoustic sets, all leading up to a "shredding contest" at 4 p.m. that challenges guitarists to improvise solos over pre-recorded tracks.

Organizers will also host a raffle with hourly prize giveaways, including guitar equipment, T-shirts and magazine subscriptions.

The full list of vendors is posted online.