July 27, 2023 by Jimmy Alvarez
Over the past few years, Orange County has emerged as a leader in post-COVID everything. One of the monumental projects about to take off is ocV!BE. This project will change the face of Orange County and create a landscape of being the ultimate entertainment juggernaut.
ocV!BE is an incredible, $4 billion “mixed-use entertainment district.” Phase 1 is scheduled to open in 2026, and promises this “immersive district surrounding Honda Center will offer a wide range of entertainment events, restaurants and cafes, art installations, office spaces, public parks, and residences, creating a vibrant and dynamic community for all.”

Just like the 55 freeway, lots of construction will be taking place in parts of Orange County over the next few years; when all is said and done, the new look and facilities will be unreal and unparalleled.
One of the kick-off events, so-to-speak, happens this Saturday. This highly anticipated event features all things guitar – and guitar related or adjacent. It is the inaugural ocV!BE Guitar Festival at Honda Center.

Providing us 30 years of entertainment and sports, Honda Center is no stranger to great events. The inaugural event will bring more than 50 vendors, including vintage dealers, national brands, boutique guitar makers, music stores, and private collectors, plus all the guitars, amps, and pedals you could want.
About the festival, Kim Bedier, Senior Vice President/General Manager of ocV!BE and Honda Center said, “The ocVIBE Guitar Festival is a preview of the exciting experiences on tap within the ocVIBE development.”

We caught up with organizer Tom Alexander to get details on this event. Being in the epicenter of all things cool, the OC has some challenges. If you do it right, an event can explode and be the next Comic Con, or NAMM. From this vantage point it looks like Guitar Fest will take off like a rocket.
When asked how and why they put the festival together, Alexander said Orange County has always been a great place for music. Being very familiar with the world of music and entertainment, this project became a labor of love for Alexander and his partners.
Alexander went on to say that events like this are needed and they are giving the public what they want. An event where you can showcase the biggest names in guitar, vendors, artists, and a place where the public can merge for an experience that is going to be productive for everyone.

If you have a vintage guitar or amp, bring it down for an appraisal, sale or trade. You just never know the value of a guitar until meet a professional, and there will be many at the festival.
For the public, in between shopping, they can enjoy live performances from Bruce Kulick (KISS – Grand Funk Railroad), Dave Amato (REO Speedwagon), Gregg Bissonette (Ringo Starr), Matt Bissonette (Elton John), Griff Hamlin and the Single Barrel Blues Band, and Philip Sayce. The live performances alone are impressive, put it all under one air-conditioned roof, and it will be an incredible experience for all.


11:00 a.m. – 12:25 p.m.    Gregg & Matt Bissonette
12:45 p.m. – 1:30 p.m.      Griff Hamlin & The Single Barrel Blues Band
1:30 p.m. – 1:45 p.m.        Dave Amato with Griff Hamlin
2:05 p.m. – 2:55 p.m         Bruce Kulick
3:15 p.m. – 4:05 p.m.        Philip Sayce

As for the vendors ready to engage with you, you’ll see AJ Peat Guitars, Allen & Heath, Almost Vintage Guitars, BadCat Amps, BASSBOSS, BC Rich, Charmed Life Picks, Eastman Guitars, El Dorado Straps, ESP, Fret Nation, G&L Guitars, Greg Jehue, Guitar College, Handlebar Guitars, James Tyler Guitars, Joe Sola, Kraken Music, Manuel Rodriguez, Mt. Baldy Guitars, Ovation, PRS Guitars, Rare Guitar Gallery, Risson Amps, RPM Music & Gifts, RH Custom Guitars, Solo Dallas, Strum n’ Comfort, Studio Gears, T.H.E., Takamine, TKL Cases, Veritas Guitars, Viper Guitars, Walkabout, Wolfman’s Vinyl Records & Guitars, and more.

Despite this being the first of what we hope is an annual event, Alexander said they will build on this event to create future events.

As mentioned, Honda Center is in the midst of celebrating its 30th anniversary year and the Guitar Festival is another fantastic event for all to enjoy. Organizers say it will truly be an immersive experience into the world of guitars. Tickets are $20 and the first 200 attendees will receive a free pack of guitar strings, and parking is free! Did I mention it is an indoor event inside the air-conditioned Honda Center? With the weather forecast as it is, that’s reason # 101 to check out this festival.
If you love music and guitars, this event is designed just for you!  




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