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‘International Vintage Show’ presents the history of Gretsch and a market for buying and selling guitars at Musikmesse 2020

13 Feb 2020

At the ‘International Vintage Show’, visitors to this year’s Musikmesse (1 to 4 April) have the opportunity not only to see legendary guitar models but also to immerse themselves in the history of the renowned Gretsch brand in an elaborate special exhibition. On top of that, there will be even more highlights for guitar fans on Friday and Saturday, when the fair opens to the public. For example, everyone can buy, sell or exchange guitars, as well as meet star guitarists and take part in Fender, Gibson and Gretsch workshops, at the new ‘Musikmesse Plaza’ pop-up market. But that’s not all: an all-star band under musical director Thomas Blug invites visitors to join him on a musical journey through the history of rock under the motto ‘Mojo of Gretsch Guitars’ at the Vintage Concert Night on Friday evening.

The International Vintage Show is being held in cooperation with the No. 1 Guitar Centre Hamburg, continuing the successful collaboration of the last two years. Also set to play an active role in the special exhibition and be available for expert discussions on two days are Fred W. Gretsch, the great-grandson of company founder Friedrich Gretsch, and his wife Dinah. Moreover, US pick-up specialist TV Jones, Gretsch Europe and the No. 1 Guitar Centre will present a selection of the latest Gretsch models. These guitars will be on sale on the Friday and Saturday – on request with photos and autographs of the Gretsch family.

Last but not least, Fred W. Gretsch will receive the “MIPA Lifetime Achievement Award” at Musikmesse on 2 April. The award honours the Gretsch CEO’s exceptional accomplishments for the music industry.

Instruments with tradition and history on all four days of the fair

The heart of the International Vintage Show is a 200 square-metre experience area in the foyer of Hall 4.1. On all four days of Musikmesse 2020, a special exhibition entitled ‘Gretsch – The Famous Years’ will offer insights into the style-defining years of the family-run company founded by German emigrant Friedrich Gretsch in 1883. In this connection, particular emphasis is given to the period from 1954 to 1966 when Gretsch instruments had a decisive influence on the sound of world stars, such as the Beatles, Duane Eddy, Chet Atkins and Bo Diddley – and, therefore, on the development of the international music scene.

The Gretsch exhibition is rounded off by a display of ‘Guitars of the Stars’ with the original instruments and amplifiers of world-famous musicians, as well as other special exhibits. In a sound cabin, visitors can experience the fascination of vintage guitars, as well as test models by manufacturers such as Fender, Gibson and Gretsch and benefit from expert advice.

Buy, sell, exchange, discover: ‘Musikmesse Plaza’ is a mecca for collectors and musicians

Messe Frankfurt invites all music lovers to the new ‘Musikmesse Plaza’ pop-up market, which opens parallel to the exhibition halls of the fair on 3 and 4 April 2020 and is where the extended programme of the International Vintage Show is scheduled to take place. On a presentation area of 400 square metres, guitar lovers can discover and even buy a wide variety of vintage and custom-shop instruments. But that’s not all: keen collectors who have unused or older instruments at home can bring them with them and make contact with specialist retailers. Booking a sales table for a moderate price can also be worthwhile for private dealers wanting to offer several instruments.

Visitors on the Friday and Saturday can likewise look forward to a high-grade programme of events. German star guitarist Thomas Blug will hold a workshop on the sound and history of Fender while musician, producer and composer Peter Weihe is set to discuss the history of Gibson and bring the brand’s milestones to life with his playing. Additionally, the Gretsch family will take a personal look back over the 135-year tradition of their company.

Vintage Concert Night with Thomas Blug: ‘Mojo of Gretsch Guitars’

For lovers of legendary guitar sounds, the weekend begins with a highlight. Thomas Blug and his band will crank the volume up to eleven for the Vintage Party on the evening of Friday, 3 April. The first part of the show will focus on the characteristic Gretsch sound while, in the second part, visitors can look forward to classic rock with no limits.

The Vintage Party is open to all Musikmesse and Musikmesse Plaza visitors.

Further information about Musikmesse and Musikmesse Plaza can be found at and

Background information about Messe Frankfurt

Messe Frankfurt is the world’s largest trade fair, congress and event organiser with its own exhibition grounds. It employs a workforce of 2,600* at 30 sites and generates an annual revenue of around EUR 733* million. We have close ties with our industry sectors, and serve our customers’ business interests efficiently within the framework of our Fairs & Events, Locations and Services business fields. One of the Group’s key USPs is its closely knit global revenues network, which extends throughout the world. Our comprehensive range of services – both on-site and online – ensures that customers worldwide enjoy consistently high quality and flexibility when planning, organising and running their events. The wide range of services includes renting exhibition grounds, trade fair construction and marketing, personnel and food services. Headquartered in Frankfurt am Main, the company is owned by the City of Frankfurt (60 percent) and the State of Hesse (40 percent).

Further details from:

* Provisional figures for 2019