The HGGS 2018 Local Wood Challenge



The recipe for a great guitar consists of many ingredients – and there isn’t one single path that is right while others would be wrong. That is the beauty of our craft – there are countless ways to make fine guitars. As an annual gathering of luthiers showcasing some of their best and most inventive work, The Holy Grail Guitar Show has become the place to find out about the state of the art.

To further stimulate this aspect of the Show we decided in 2016 to introduce the concept of a Challenge.  Each year a theme will be proposed as Challenge, around which those exhibitors who wish to do so can join in and engage in a friendly tournament of ideas and craft. The idea is to build one (or more) instruments for exhibit at the Show that can be labeled as part of the challenge. It is not meant to be a competition, but rather an invitation to the luthiers to try something outside the normal confines and expectations, giving them the freedom to explore new and different aspects of their work.

The instruments created as part of the Challenge will be presented during the Show with special identification: participating exhibitors will be marked in the catalogue; and while displayed at the exhibitor tables Challenge instruments are identified and described with small signs.


The Wood is in the Hood!

The Local Wood Challenge 2018

The 2018 Challenge: Make an instrument exclusively out of woods locally grown in the exhibitor’s region.
This Challenge was already issued once before in 2016, and due to its large success is now being continued.



We can all agree upon this: The usage of many of our favorite tropical wood species has become more and more problematic over the last decades. Tropical woods are becoming scarce and are increasingly governed by restrictions on trade.

One of the EGB’s missions is to draw attention to this issue and to educate the public about the fact that instruments built using local regional woods can be just as good sounding and looking as instruments built using tropical woods. Some exhibitors are already working with woods indigenous to their location, but we’d like to encourage more to discover the limitless possibilities to be found in their own backyard!

That is why we have come up with the Local Wood Challenge in 2016. We wanted to highlight the fact that using only traditional tonewoods is not the only way to make a great guitar, and that sustainability has started to gain serious recognition as a seminal value.

The Challenge is not only about avoiding the use of endangered tropical wood. Using locally grown wood also leaves a smaller carbon footprint than using wood that’s been transported half way across the planet to the builder’s shop.

After all — Local Wood could become very poplar!

The LWC has now become a long-term project for the EGB, more information about it and the possibility to register your instrument can be found on the EGB Website. Several other events have started to collaborate with the EGB around the LWC project. Guitares au Beffroi in France as well as the Vancouver International Guitar Festival will display LWC guitars during the year.




Check back here soon for the exhibitors, who have accepted the LWC for The HGGS 2018!



“The The Holy Grail Guitar Show / HGGS has called and we take the Challenge. Armed with sword, axe and other sharp instruments we will go on an epic quest for tonal absolution in local tonewood. We’ll keep you posted.”

Wir nehmen die Herausforderung an! Bewaffnet mit Schwert, Axt und anderen scharfen Instrumenten werden wir uns auf die Suche nach dem TON machen. Über den Fortschritt dieser Suche halten wir Euch auf dem Laufenden.”

 Christian Stoll, Germany, 2016