This Q&A page was created to address some of the questions that always seem to pop up with interested luthiers and EGB members. Please read this carefully as it will support you in knowing what to focus on in your application. You can contact us if this does not answer your question.

To read up on the history of the founding of the EGB and the Show visit europeanguitarbuilders.com.

Want to apply for The HGGS 2020? Click here!


Why 'invitational?'

The Show concept was designed to create an interesting and appealing event for the visitors and to advance the art of lutherie. It is a showcase presenting the visitor with a wide variety of builds at different price points. To make this possible, all exhibitor spots are offered through curation and by invitation only. 

What are the criteria in the selection process?

– A versatile mix of guitar builders from as many countries as possible.
– A maximum of exhibitors from one specific country to retain the international character (25 – 30%)
– Tables are given to experienced luthiers, but also newcomers will have a chance.
– To ensure a fresh, attractive and appealing exhibit for the visitors and to give as many luthiers as possible a chance to exhibit, there will be a certain amount of turnover each year. We call this the ‘rotating exhibitor concept’. A luthier exhibiting one year might not be invited to exhibit in another year, and so on.

Who can apply?

The Holy Grail Guitar Show is conceptualized for the professional guitar builder, who owns his/her business. We appreciate that today there are many new business models using cross-discipline collaborations, but our focus is on the guitar builder and their instruments. So if your business is designing guitars, but you have someone else build them please collaborate with you builder. He / she is welcome to apply and show your guitars as part of his/her repertoire. A sharing of tables with other businesses is not allowed.

These are some of the qualities we are looking for in our exhibitors, so if you complete an application you can perhaps address some of them!

  • Having a personal connection to each instrument made
  • Produces all parts of his/her instruments in his/her own workshop
  • Original thinking
  • Creative and/or artistic tendency
  • Ecologic awareness in business practices
  • Work is visibly executed with intention and high standards
  • Makes a living from guitar building (and related work like repairs)
  • Respectful of copyrights of others
  • Designs are a contribution to guitar development
  • Art and technique for making modern instruments
  • Interested in the community aspect of our event

Who is selecting the exhibitors?

The Invitation Committee is made up of several (board) members of the EGB. They will evaluate all applications carefully, with a view to offer the public a varied and interesting cross-section of today’s high-quality handmade scene of professional guitar builders.

Will it increase my chances to get a spot next year if I don't apply this year?

No. If you are interested in exhibiting submit an application. You can’t predict what exhibitor we are looking for when filling spots, especially from the waitlist, and you don’t want to loose out!

I have exhibited more than once / twice in a row, does that mean I will not be invited again?

No, you might be invited again. If you are interested in exhibiting submit an application.

I'm still working on my website, what do I do?

It is crucial that the invitation committee is able to review samples of your work (online). So if you submit an application without a working website or other means (Facebook page etc.) where your work can be seen we will not be able to process your application! Contact us if this applies to you so we can work something out!

How do I apply for a brand I represent?

Sorry, you can’t. Only a luthier (owner of the business/brand) will be invited, so he/she has to complete the application! We also require him/her to be present during the Show, so if that is not possible please refrain from applying!

I sent my registration in time - why have I not received a confirmation?

See above question ‘why invitational’ – you sent an ‘application’, not a ‘registration’. Your application among others will be reviewed during the curation process, and we will keep everybody up to date regarding the results. Depending on the number of applications this can take a while.

I missed the application deadline, can I still apply?

Yes. The application deadline means that at that time we start reviewing all the applications received. Applications received past the deadline will be reviewed at a later time, so although chances to receive an invitation decrease it does not mean you don’t have a chance.

Many luthiers have announced that they are exhibiting - why have I not been informed if I get a spot?

Patience, please. We have limited resources, and the selection process takes time. Not all exhibitors are invited simultaneously, and waitlist notifications will only be sent out once all spots have been filled.

Do I need to be an EGB member to exhibit?

No, EGB membership is not a criteria for selection. 

Does it improve my chances to get a spot at HGGS if I join as an EGB member?

No. EGB membership is not a criteria for selection. The EGB is an association founded to bring the European guitar makers together – to form a community – something similar to what they have in North America (GAL and ASIA). We didn’t have anything like that in Europe. Now we do. The EGB is developing into a lively, international community that the members can enjoy and benefit from in many ways – educational, peer-to-peer support, combining purchasing power, and more. If you consider joining EGB, don’t do it for the Show – do it because you want to be part of our growing community! 

I am an EGB member, do I get a discounted exhibitor fee?

No. The reason is that it would place members into an unequal position. Those members who would be invited to exhibit at the Show would benefit of such a rule, while those who applied but weren’t invited would feel the opposite: they paid the membership fee but do not benefit. 

Why are there exhibitors from the USA even though it’s an EGB Show?

The Holy Grail Guitar Show is not an “EGB Show”. It is an international Show, organized by the EGB to support the mission stated in the association’s by-laws. We want to showcase professional guitar builders and their work from every corner of the planet. There are many great luthiers across the world, which have not been seen in Europe until now – they attract visitors, share their craft and knowledge, and provide creative impulses to their European colleagues. 

Why are there so many electric guitar builders?

Virtually all boutique guitar shows in the world had an emphasis on the acoustic guitar. We wanted The Holy Grail Guitar Show to be different. The show focus is clearly on the types of guitars used typically for the various genres of popular and modern music – jazz, blues, pop, rock, etc.. Our emphasis is intentionally geared towards the contemporary electric guitar – simply because there had never been such a show when we founded the EGB in 2013. 

Why are there no suppliers of guitar parts and accessories at the HGGS?

After careful consideration we realized that the limelight of this event must be aimed completely at the guitar builders and their instruments. Think of the HGGS as an art exhibition with the added element of music, where the visitors can meet the luthiers in a unique, relaxed atmosphere without distractions. Therefore, only luthiers can exhibit at the HGGS. We are not, however, forgetting or diminishing the value of our suppliers. They are invited to support us and be represented through their sponsorship, so that we can exhibit our instruments in a meaningful way. We warmly welcome our suppliers to visit the show, meet the luthiers, and most of all, to witness the miraculous transformation from raw materials and parts to unique musical instruments.  

What is the EGB Symposium?

You will read about the EGB Symposium in many places if you are invited to the Show. It is a special event happening on the 2 days prior to the Show, which is open only to EGB members, exhibitors and select guests. There are lectures and seminars to various topics concerning the art and business of guitar making, and it is definitely worth the time! If you are invited to exhibit we highly recommend including these 2 days in your travel plans. Should you not be invited this year consider joining the EGB and attend the Symposium and the Show. Both are wonderful community events and an opportunity for networking, learning, and making new friends!

I have a question — whom can I contact?

For general questions, exhibitor related issues and other inquiries contact Tania Spalt. She is the overall event coordinator and will forward your question to the appropriate person. You can also contact one of the EGB Board Members, information about them can be found on the EGB website at europeanguitarbuilders.com