The 2012 Abbey Road on the River festival, held from August 30 to September 3 at the Gaylord National Hotel & Convention Center in National Harbor MD, is America’s largest musical celebration of all things The Beatles. The five-day music festival takes place twice each year: in Louisville KY over Memorial Day weekend, and in the Washington DC area over Labor Day weekend. The DC festival includes two indoor and four outdoor stages, as well as additional rooms for speakers and film screenings.
The most recent event benefited from as much Gretsch participation as was possible to receive. There were Gretsch drums on the stages and Gretsch guitars in the hands of many players, as a tribute to the instruments that helped George Harrison and John Lennon create their signature sounds. Fred Gretsch himself was on hand to greet Gretsch aficionados, sign autographs and take part in the popular “Fred & Joe Show.” In tandem with Joe Carducci of Gretsch Guitars, Gretsch outlined the history of the Gretsch family and its multi-generational place within the musical instrument industry. And, in keeping with the spirit of the AROTR event, Fred & Joe offered a special “Tribute To George Harrison” feature.
Festival-goers were also given an opportunity to bid at a live auction that offered three Gretsch guitars from the AROTR private collection, and a beautiful Electromatic G5422 TDC electric guitar in walnut stain. Partial proceeds from the auction went to the Desmoid Tumor Foundation and the American Red Cross. Later that evening, Gretsch Guitars sponsored the Love Album Live concert, featuring All You Need Is Love, Britbeat and The Newbees.