fretboard summit about

Fretboard Summit – August 25-27, 2022

For three days, Chicago’s Old Town School of Folk Music will be transformed into an acoustic and electric guitar lover’s paradise.

All-access tickets include admission to all the concerts, workshops, panels, and interactive exhibits… in addition to the Midwest’s largest lutherie showcase ever.

Here’s your chance to meet the guitar world’s innovators and virtuosos. Curated by the acclaimed Fretboard Journal magazine, the Fretboard Summit is a gathering unlike any other, a celebration of great guitar players and makers.

During the evenings, we’ll hear music from some of our favorite musicians: Julian Lage, The Milk Carton Kids, Molly Tuttle, Courtney Hartman, Bobby Broom, Fareed Haque, and surprise guests.

During the day, participants will choose from dozens of music workshops, panel discussions on guitar collecting and construction, and hands-on displays with some of the greatest luthiers alive today. We’ve also created the Midwest’s largest showcase of handmade and boutique guitars to date, with over 50 luthiers exhibiting their creations.

We’ll have jam rooms, pop-up museums featuring ultra-rare vintage instruments, and lots of surprises. Bring your favorite guitar and be a part of this truly once-in-a-lifetime weekend.

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

fretboard summit tickets

Your 3-Day All Access Pass Includes:

Featured evening concerts:

Julian Lage (solo)

Jordan Tice

• Early priority access to the luthier exhibition on Thursday night.
• Included admission to each evening's featured concerts.
• Artist workshops by renowned musicians including “It Happened Here: Gems from Chicago’s Early Guitarmaking” with Mark Demaray
• Exclusive Thursday evening welcome reception & cocktail party plus 8:00pm concert with Julian Lage.
• The entire 3-day Fretboard Summit experience inside the legendary Old Town School of Folk Music plus lectures, pop-up museums, hands-on demonstrations, swag bags, giveaways, raffles, and more!

Limited 3-day passes available: just 300 attendees. Secure your spot to this one-of-a-kind experience in Chicago.

Thursday Schedule >

Friday Programming Highlights (August 26)

Featured evening concerts:

The Milk Carton Kids

• Featured speakers and presenters include acclaimed luthiers Richard Hoover (Santa Cruz Guitar Co.), Maegen Wells, Bob Palmieri, and Mark Stutman (Folkway Music)
• Interactive exhibits on guitar construction, collecting and recording
• Featured workshop: “Hidden Gems” experts share their secrets to help you get the best deal on the guitar that's right for you with Reverb’s guitar expert Jim Tuerk and Director of Analytics Cyrill Nigg
• VIP access to the Summit’s 50-exhibitor handmade guitar showcase
• Fretboard Journal Podcast Live Recording
• Music and composing workshops taught by James Elkington, Nathan Salsburg, Sierra Hull, and the Milk Carton Kids
• Live podcast tapings with Michael Guian and Josh Scott (JHS)
• Electric Guitar Happy Hour featuring Empress Effects, Chris Young (Union Tube & Transistor), Creston Lea, Duncan Price, and Josh Scott

plus hours of workshops and classes with world-class instructors

Friday Schedule >

Saturday Programming Highlights (August 27)

Featured evening concerts:

Molly Tuttle • Courtney Hartman

Bobby Broom's Keyed Up Quartet

Organ Trio Madness w/ Fareed Haque and Tony Monaco

• Featured speakers and presenters: TJ Thompson, Josh Scott (JHS Pedals), Maegen Wells, and more
• The Nickel Wound Chef: electric guitar wizards Creston Lea, Meredith Coloma, and Duncan Price battle to make the ultimate Partscaster… iron chef style, live on stage!
• Truth About Recording & Mixing Podcast Live Recording
• VIP access to the Summit’s 50-exhibitor handmade guitar showcase
• Music and composing workshops with Molly Tuttle and Courtney Hartman
• Acoustic Happy Hour featuring Dana Bourgeois, TJ Thompson, Richard Hoover, Mark Stutman, Michael Gurian, Dick Boak, Steve McCreary (Collings) and others.

plus hours of workshops and classes with world-class instructors

Saturday Schedule >

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.

View Concert Performance Schedule >


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

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

View Workshop Schedule >

Lectures, Oral Histories & Special Events & More:

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.

Secrets Your Luthier Wants You to Know with TJ Thompson and Friends

The Nickel Wound Chef: The Fretboard Summit's debut game show where three guitar techs (Creston Lea, Duncan Price, and Meredith Coloma) battle it out, Iron Chef-style, to build the ultimate Partscaster.

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

View Workshop & Event Schedule >

Exhibiting Luthiers & Brands

Connect With The World's Best Guitarmakers & Brands At Fretboard Summit

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.

Single-day showcase-only tickets available soon.

Full List of Exhibitors >

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

fretboard summit lineup

Getting Here & Accommodations

Chicago heats up in the summertime and is THE place to be for everything a world-class city has to offer.

Getting Here

Old Town School of Folk Music is hosting the Fretboard Summit at the Lincoln Square campus on Chicago's northside, just 9 miles north of downtown. Old Town School of Folk Music is located at 4544 N. Lincoln Avenue, Chicago, IL 60625.


Located just 4 blocks from "The L" Brown Line - Western stop. Easily accessible via bus and rideshare from anywhere you may be staying in the Chicagoland area.

Public parking is available throughout the neighborhood.

More about Lincoln Square:

In a city well-known for diversity, Lincoln Square stands out as an especially vibrant cultural crossroads. This European-style neighborhood is host to many one-of-a-kind shops, restaurants, and cafés that reflect the neighborhood’s wide appeal as an unforgettable place to shop, eat, drink, and visit.


Limited accommodations are available at our hotel partner, Hotel Zachary. Experience true Chicago neighborhood style in a boutique hotel in the heart of the iconic Wrigleyville Neighborhood.

A special rate is available for Fretboard Summit attendees.

Additional travel resources:

Old Town School of Folk Music is hosting the Fretboard Summit at the Lincoln Square campus on Chicago's northside, just 9 miles north of downtown. Old Town School of Folk Music is located at 4544 N. Lincoln Avenue, Chicago, IL 60625.