Capital Audiofest 2021 Kicks Off

Capital Audiofest 2021 kicked off this morning with a heady air of excitement coursing through the sold-out host venue, the Twinbrook Hilton in Rockville, Maryland.

By 9 am, a line was forming at the registration booth. Show director Gary Gill busily checked in show attendees and aligned press folk with their pens, badges, hand sanitizer, and directory.

There were no reserved tickets: It’s first come, first served. Parking at the Hilton was packed, but the hotel across the street appeared to have more parking space.

Even before the 10 am start time, the lower atrium (once a swimming pool) was abuzz with multiple record and accessory vendors and customers opening their wallets, Venmo, and Paypal accounts. Jim Austin’s directive to “go hard” ringing in my ears, I played hooky for a moment and snapped up vinyl copies of Smt. D.K. Pattammal’s Carnatic Songs, the Paul Horn Quintet’s Here’s That Rainy Day, the Speaker’s Corner pressing of Miles Davis’s Miles Smiles, and a pack of Sleeve City’s Genuine Diskeeper Sleeves. Business was brisk!

Gill told me earlier in the week that some exhibitors pulled out due to mask mandates, but the 3rd and 5th–floor exhibitor’s rooms, atrium, and the various conference rooms were filling up by 11am.

Brands at the show include Audio Note UK, Audio Research, Border Patrol, Cardas, conrad-johnson, Esoteric, Genesis Loudspeakers, Gryphon, Graham, Hegel, Harbeth, J. Sikora, Kuzma, Lampizator, Linear Tube Audio, McIntosh Labs, Pass Laboratories, Technics, and Wells Audio. Of course there are many others. Off to a fine start.

Anton's picture

Have a great time and tell us everything!

If you see Jeff Smith, tell him how great he is.

ctbarker32's picture


Fruff1976's picture

We had a blast. I can't wait to hit this up next year.