The 2023 Capital Audiofest Is Underway

Like candy to an audiophile baby, Capital Audiofest 2023 is officially in full blast mode, a phantasmagorical thrill ride for listeners of all ages, and this age. The venue as in 2022 is the Hilton Twinbrook Rockville, Maryland.

Led as always by owner/organizer, vintage-oriented audiophile, and former construction foreman Gary Gill, Capital Audiofest 2023 has seen a 33% increase in bookings, to 120 rooms and 40 booths, compared to last year’s 90 and 30. Gill says the number of international vendors and manufacturers represented has increased as well. The price of admission remain the same as last year: $10 for a day, $30 for a three-day pass. Kids and students are free. And as today is Veterans’ Day (or, technically, Veteran’s Day Substitute, since the 11th falls on a Saturday this year), there’s a discount for military veterans.

The Capital Audiofest is obviously thriving. Why? “I look at it in a couple different ways,” Gill told me in a brief interview. “I’ve been pretty persistent. I did CAF when I had a daytime job, then I stopped working during the day. Now I just focus on this.

“I think people have found the show,” he continued. “And everybody loves the vibe. Like last night, we had a great happy hour. All these different people, like minded souls [who] love music and gear and all that, get together, have a great time. People love the environment.”

The enthusiasm is reflected in badge sales, which have doubled from last year, from 250 to 600.

Added to the usual lineup of technically oriented seminar speakers, Gill has added music specialists like Resonance Records and Jazz Detective producer Zev Feldman, a major player in Record Store Day.

“Zev was in my garage hunting through records last summer, and we struck up a conversation. I said, ‘do you want to come to Capital Audiofest?’ Zev will be speaking with The Listening Chair’s Howard Kneller about his fruitful associations with Blue Note Records, Universal Music Group, and more.”

Another reason CAF may have practically doubled in size and scope? The enthusiasm and hands-on approach of Gill himself, who arrives early and stays late. “And I’m not a corporation,” Gill added wryly. Which is true. Let the games begin!

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