Scenes from the 2016 Fretboard Summit

Sequels usually disappoint but the second Fretboard Summit seemed to have the formula that made the first one so magical – great music; a terrific lineup of performers, builders and instrument experts, and fun attendees from around the world – plus a lot of new stuff. Gone were the weather woes (it turns out San Diego in October is pretty darn nice) and our layout at the Rancho Bernardo Inn meant that you could easily jump from each 40 minute session to your next with minimal fuss. Our sponsors brought out some of their finest instruments, old and new, for folks to try out. And attendees could even stretch their legs outside and get a bracing demo from Dana Bourgeois, watch Rick Micheletti carve a guitar neck, play a round of golf or just grab some much-needed Vitamin D.

Highlights abounded: TJ Thompson’s now legendary “pendulum” talk; the impromptu late night jam featuring Courtney Hartman and Eric Schoenberg; TK Smith’s stellar set with Matt Munisteri; Tony McManus’ wild solo set; panels on vintage Martins and Gibsons; and so much more. But the sum of the Summit is greater than the individual parts. A lot of magic just sort of happens when you bring 300 fretted instrument fanatics from around the world to the same sandbox. At every turn, there seemed to be some great conversation or guitar show & tell moment.

With that in mind, here are some of our favorite pictures from the second Summit. We don’t have any immediate plans for a third Summit but if you subscribe to the magazine or follow us on Facebook, we’ll let you know where it lands next.