I was excited to hear that an audio show was going to happen in the Pacific Northwest. Just three hours away from Portland in Seattle, WA. And then we all thought the world was going to end and we would never be allowed outside our homes again. The show was canceled and well, there goes another good thing.
But Gary and Lou kept at it. And when the first break from the COVID swell came, it seemed the show was back on. Then more lockdowns. By this time we all knew the world would go on, but would it ever be the same again? Maybe, but let’s get to the point.
The show is back on, though I’m sure you have heard.
I had a chance to talk with both Lou and Gary about the show, the challenges of COVID, and what they hope to accomplish.
Questions and rough summaries of their mutual responses.
1: With the COVID variable stabilizing, is the hard work of PAF behind you or only just beginning? Are there any major hurdles left for PAF this year?
The first year of any show is challenging and we are thankful that Margie from Rocky Mountain Audio Fest is helping. Gary already has a show template form putting on the Capital Audiofest.Lou & Gary
When we spoke they were both attending the Axpona show. They noted that Axpona “is a bee hive and the industry is back”,
There is more work ahead but they are coming. 50 rooms plus 20 different table vendors. The final format of the show is not totally set, some changes are coming, but the industry is coming and so are the peopleLou & Gary
2: What are you most excited about for the PAF show? I see there is a Luthiers showcase, will PAF try to make more of a bridge between musician and professional audio and audiophiles?
The idea was to incorporate a mini guitar show. Many audiophiles play guitar and it just seemed like a winning idea to have the two together. Daedalus Audio started in ‘92 doing pro audio. There is a firewall between pro-audio and hi-fi and PAF isn’t trying to bridge that. But instruments can be works of art that is worth exploring. It is a craft, high quality, high-end instruments, and high-end audio.Lou & Gary
3: With Seattle being a technology and aerospace hub, is there any more of a focus on the science of sound, audio, and technology for PAF?
There is no focus on bringing those elements into the show, we are mainly focused on getting the first year launched and adjusting from there.Lou & Gary
4: Will PAF have a headphone exhibit?
PAF will have the Headzone room that isn’t stuck away, it is in ballroom 1 next to the big Von Schweikert Audio room in ballroom 2, and ballroom 3 is the market. Some open-back headphone guys are thinking more about end-users and how to best display equipment. Woo Audio has its own room at Axpona, for example.Lou & Gary
5: Being 42 (actually I’m 43, ugh) years old, and one of the, if not often actually being the youngest person at most Portland audio club events, getting younger folks into the hobby is important to me. Is PAF doing anything new or different to reach out to younger adults?
We continue to reach out but we have heard the same conversation for the past 20 years and the hobby isn’t dead yet. Just more outreach and trends at shows seem to be on DACs and headphones with computer-based sources.Lou & Gary
6: With Lou’s wood crafting and background being a manufacturer, and having Bottlehead in the Washington area, will PAF have more of a focus on DIY or manufacturing in the audio hobby?
Parts Express and Voxitiv drivers will be here, there will be some focus on components at the show but the main focus will be on made products. Victor Khan will be at the show.Lou & Gary
7: What got you interested in this audio hobby, what are the backgrounds that brought you two together?
I’ve been a musician all my life, a professional musician, and at 30 starting building. And the late 30s was time to build speakers and acoustic instruments. Music and woodworking.Lou Hinkley
I’m also a musician and in the mid-2000s with the lul in the economy I had time to start Capital Audio Fest. Lou has been one of the long-term vendors, and Lou asked for help with a show in Seattle and I said yes.Gary Gill
8: It seems like the West Coast has had trouble keeping a consistent audio show. What does success for PAF look like so that you’ll both want to continue with it in the future?
The underlying motivation for promoting this show is about a legacy and we want to make it fun and enjoyable for everyone involved. Fun for attendees and exhibitors. Success is people having fun. We have enough rooms at this point to make it successful, but, learned from COVID, it isn’t about the gear it is about the people and community.Lou & Gary
That about wrapped up the time we had and I am very much looking forward to getting back involved in attending shows and looking for more affordable and DIY gear to buy, make, and review.
Thank you to Lou and Gary for spending some time with me and answering some questions.
Hope to see you all there.
Lou Hinkley of Daedalus Audio
Gary Gill of Capital Audiofest
(Capital Audiofest is Nov. 11-13, 2022 at the Hilton Hotel, Rockville, MD.)
The Pacific Audio Fest is on and the hotel WILL sell out.
Book your sleeping rooms now!
Avoid the lines and buy your show tickets here:
Our PAF Merch page is up:
Order your commemorative t-shirts & hoodies now. Quantities are limited and are a cool way to show your support.
PAF has its own Magic:
Live music Friday and Saturday nights, NW regional wine and beer tastings, a Luthier Showcase (with Klein& Kauffman among others), 80 rooms of quality audio, Marketplace and HeadZone with Stax, Audeze, Focal and more!
We still have a few exhibit rooms left, call or email for room rates.
We look forward to working with you to make this a great show. See you soon!
Check PacificAudioFest.com for more information.
Pacific Audio Fest Show Director
Gary Gill – Capital Audiofest
Pacific Audio Fest Show Manager