Well-known both in and far beyond Hamburg, the specialist music store ‘No.1 Guitar Center’ held the first ever No.1 Crossroads Guitar Festival on 25 and 26 June. In doing so, it made the most of the outstanding architectural possibilities offered by the site to which it moved a few years back: the ‘Phoenixhof’ factory, originally built in the late 19th century but recently fully renovated by the Essen Group.
Like an extension of the music shop itself, the site, with its numerous shops and showrooms, was transformed into multiple little concert stages or used as a presentation area. In the huge, light-flooded hall that forms the core of the building, a large stage attracted visitors to come and see top acts while numerous workshops were held in the far from everyday surroundings and on two smaller stages.
The exhibitors included not only the Adam Hall Group with the brands Palmer®, Gravity® and LD Systems® but also other prestigious manufacturers, including Fender, Gretsch, Gibson, Taylor, Ovation, Marshall, Rickenbacker, Ibanez, Höfner, Mesa Boogie, Vox, Takamine, Maton, Larson and BluGuitar. It is also notable that Thomas Weilbier and Johannes Döbertin, the owners of ‘No.1 Guitar Center’ and organisers of the festival, succeeded in attracting well-known manufacturers like Fender, who did not exhibit at the Musikmesse in Frankfurt am Main.
Adam Hall equipped the workshops and stages (with the exception of the centre stage) with sound systems and the new VIBZ mixers from LD Systems® as well as Gravity® stands. Both the active full-range touring class speakers from LD Systems’® DDQ series and the active stage monitors from this same brand demonstrated their strengths, while the multi-award-winning portable CURV 500® PA systems and several members of the Maui® family once again impressed with their great sound quality and visual appeal.
The many visitors not only had the opportunity to try out guitars, amplifiers and effects pedals or simply to listen to the performances of multiple well-known artists, but also to enjoy plenty of ‘interaction’ between the manufacturers. While ‘harmonica master’ Hendrick Südhaus pushed the compact Palmer® all-tube combo FAB 5 to its limits at our stand with his fantastic blues harp workshop, the exceptional guitarist Andrea Valeri, who was putting on an impressive performance 20 metres away at Larson guitars, did not miss the opportunity to join in with Hendrick’s blues-based intonation. To the delight of their audience, the two musicians jammed together for a good half hour, with their music carrying right through the atrium.
In addition to the workshops and master classes with Michael Sagmeister, Thomas Blug, Marcus Deml, Kiddo Kat, Andreas Kloppmann, Andrew Lauer, Miguel Rivera, Andrea Valeri and Harper Hendrick Südhaus, it was a very special sight to see the great strat players Thomas Blug (Mr Stratocaster, BluGuitar), Markus Demel (Errorhead), Les Paul insider Drew Berlin (Burst Brothers), steel guitar master Nils Tuxen, drummer Robbie Smith and guitar legend Clem Clempson (Colosseum, Humble Pie) all come together on the centre stage on the Saturday evening.
Vintage or custom shop guitars, boutique amps and outstanding musicians create a very special environment for sound systems – and the professional sound systems from LD Systems® were able to impressively demonstrate that they make great ‘instruments’ for events of this size: whether for larger stages, mid-sized workshops or even solo-artist performances.