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Fretboard Summit – August 25-27, 2022

Immerse yourself in a three-day gathering for guitar fanatics with Fretboard Journal at Chicago’s Old Town School of Folk Music

Old Town School of Folk Music and the Fretboard Journal magazine are excited to announce the first-ever Fretboard Summit at Old Town School from August 25th-27th at Old Town School’s beautiful campus in the Lincoln Square neighborhood of Chicago, Illinois.

Curated by the Fretboard Journal magazine, the Fretboard Summit is equal parts guitar camp, music festival, lutherie showcase, and science fair. During the day, Old Town will be transformed into a guitar geek’s paradise: Attendees have full-access to dozens of rooms featuring music workshops, hands-on displays, oral histories, and guitars (old and new, acoustic and electric) to demo. We’ll also have jam rooms, new instruments to check out from some of our favorite brands, pop-up museums with rare and vintage gear, and more.

During the evening, attendees can watch world-class concerts with Julian Lage, the Milk Carton Kids, Molly Tuttle, Fareed Haque and special guests.

Beyond being educational, this weekend is also about fun. We’ll have after-parties where you can meet your favorite luthiers or connect with new friends, a game show (think: Iron Chef but for guitar techs!), and plenty of surprises.

Just like the magazine, it’s a celebration of all-things acoustic and electric, old and new. You’ll be living-and-breathing guitar for three full days.

One attendee will go home with the custom Santa Cruz Guitar Co. instrument of their dreams. We’ll also be giving away a lifetime subscription to the Fretboard Journal, a Union Tube & Transistor pedal and much more.

Speakers and presenters include: TJ Thompson, Ken Parker, Michael Gurian, Dick Boak, John Thomas, Dana Bourgeois, Richard Hoover, Josh Scott (JHS), Jason Verlinde, and others.

This is the third Fretboard Summit that the Fretboard Journal has produced. The first two were life-changing experiences for attendees. You won’t want to miss it.

3-Day and Single Day All Access Passes – On Sale Now!

fretboard summit tickets

Your 3-Day All Access Pass Includes:

• The entire Summit experience: Lectures, secret parties, pop-up museums, and hands-on demonstrations.
• Priority access to the luthier exhibition.
• Admission to each evening’s featured concerts.
• Artist workshops by renowned musicians.
• Exclusive Thursday evening welcome reception & cocktail party plus 8:00pm concert with Julian Lage

Limited to just 300 attendees. Secure your spot to this one-of-a-kind experience in Chicago.

Friday Programming Highlights

Featured evening concerts:

Milk Carton Kids

Chicago Blues Blast

• Lectures and Interviews with guitarmaking legends (Richard Hoover, Michael Gurian, Dana Bourgeois, and others)
• Interactive exhibits on guitar construction, collecting and recording
• VIP access to the Summit’s 50-exhibitor handmade guitar showcase
• Fretboard Journal Podcast Live Recording
• Workshops from James Elkington & Nathan Salsburg

plus hours of workshops and classes with world-class instructors

Saturday Programming Highlights

Featured evening concerts:

Molly Tuttle with Courtney Hartman

Bobby Broom’s Piano Quartet and Organ Trio Madness Fareed Haque and Tony Monaco

• Lectures and interviews with guitarmaking legends (TJ Thompson, Ken Parker, Bryan Galloup, Michael Gurian and others)
• Interactive exhibits on guitar construction, collecting, and recording, plus the “Phosphor Bronze Chef” Guitar Tech competition
• Truth About Recording & Mixing Podcast Live Recording
• VIP access to the Summit’s 50-exhibitor handmade guitar showcase
• Workshops from Molly Tuttle, Courtney Hartman

plus hours of workshops and classes with world-class instructors

fretboard summit lineup



The event will feature two concerts each night: Thursday, Friday, and Saturday in Old Town School's two world-class concert venues.


A once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to learn from these acclaimed musicians:

Milk Carton Kids • Molly Tuttle • Nathan Salsburg & James Elkington • Courtney Hartman

Lectures, Oral Histories & Special Events & More:

Brace Yourself: Try your hand at bracing a guitar under the watchful eye of Dana Bourgeois

Chicago Classics: A rare opportunity to try out some of the best guitars to come out of Chicago, including ultra-rare Washburn's, Regals and Kays.

Mythbusting, Pt. 3: Acclaimed Martin repairperson TJ Thompson gives us another deep dive into the world of vintage Martin repair and restoration

The Phosphor Bronze Chef: The Fretboard Summit's debut game show where three guitar techs battle it out, Iron Chef-style, to build the ultimate Partscaster. Hosted by Mike Adams (@puisheen)

The Innovators: A peek at the creations of Ken Parker, Bob Palmieri & friends

Legends: Guitarmaking legends Michael Gurian and Woody Phifer in conversation

The Science of Great Guitars: “Kalamazoo Gals” author John Thomas unveils the findings of CT scanning dozens of rare new and vintage guitars

Live Podcast Tapings with The Fretboard Journal, Luthier on Luthier, The Truth About Recording & Mixing and more

Also: Mark Stutman (Folkway Music), Steve McCreary (Collings Guitars), Richard Hoover (Santa Cruz Guitar Co.), Ear Trumpet Labs, and many more.

Plus workshops With Old Town School Faculty & Friends

Luthier Showcase

New this year: An on-site handmade guitar show featuring 50 acoustic and electric builders showcasing their latest creations, including Bryan Galloup, Dick Boak, Grez Guitars, Maegen Wells, and numerous others.

Full Workshop & Showcase Schedule Coming Soon

Sponsors & Partners

Special thanks to our sponsors and partners for the 2022 Fretboard Summit

C.F. Martin & Co. • Collings Guitars • Santa Cruz Guitar Company • Henriksen Amplifiers • Yamaha Guitars

Reverb • RØDE Microphones • Galloup School of Lutherie • Acoustic Coffee • Calton Cases