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The Sydney Guitar Festival returns this Thursday 9 August - Sunday 19 August. Sydney’s premier guitar event, the festival celebrates the diverse instrument’s rich history and exciting future, and today announces a packed first lineup of events featuring maestros sourced from the Australian guitar scene and the world over.

Leading the lineup is Australia’s world acclaimed acoustic guitar icon Tommy Emmanuel CGP for 2 exclusive Sydney Guitar Festival performances with some very special guests.

As fans will know, it had been intended that Tommy's brother Phil Emmanuel would join him on these shows as a special guest. Following Phil's recent and sudden passing, Tommy now intends to incorporate a very special tribute into this concert to honour one of this country's greatest guitarists; who has just recently been posthumously awarded the Medal of the Order of Australia (OAM) for his service to music.

The festival is also thrilled to welcome American guitarist and composer Kaki King, who will be performing her groundbreaking audio-visual set ‘The Neck is the Bridge to the Body’. The jaw dropping work will be showcased alongside one of the most exciting acoustic singer-songwriters on the scene, Daniel Champagne.

Australian classical guitar maestros Grigoryan Brothers return to the festival in 2018, this time accompanied by Beijing Guitar Duo for one exclusive show. Meng Su and Yameng Wang gave their New York debut at Carnegie Hall in 2010 and have since stunned audiences all over the world with their artistry and technical ability.

Joining the first release of stellar events is Grammy Award-winning guitarist Albert Lee (UK), joined by 9 piece outfit The Spin Drifters, leading an evening of top class Blues, Country and Western Swing.

Purple Haze – features a star-studded tribue to the world’s favourite “psychedelic voodoo child” featuring Peter Northcote, Kevin Bennett (Chasin’ The Train), Kirk Lorange, Mal Eastick and many more.

And finally, introducing The inaugural Sydney Guitar Festival Gala! This unique event will feature an incredible curated line-up of artists from the 2018 festival. From classical to blues, acoustic to rock, the gala is the perfect chance to see some of Australia and the world's best guitarists doing what they do best.

Venues housing the diverse lineup of events include Marrickville’s largest hub of arts and culture, The Factory Theatre, Northern Sydney’s performing arts gateway The Concourse and Sydney’s most iconic music venue The Enmore Theatre, with more spaces to be announced.