PRS Experience 2016 Recap!

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What a weekend - PRS Experience 2016 was a blast! We celebrated a mutual love of guitars with PRS fans from all over the world and heard some incredible music from our PRS artists.

For those unfamiliar with what Experience PRS is, here’s a quick summary:

Experience is a chance for music fans to see first-hand what we do at PRS. We open up our factory headquarters in Stevensville, Maryland for factory tours, instrument clinics & demos, meet & greets with artists, interactive areas to try new products, and a slew of performances by talented musicians!

Attendees at Experience also have an opportunity to buy a guitar from over a dozen authorized PRS dealers on-site. You have a chance to see hundreds of PRS guitars at the same time and find your perfect fit! 

We even released a limited edition “Experience” guitar with unique specs. We called it the Custom 24-08.

Here are some fun facts from this year’s event! 

Experience PRS attendees:

  • heard music from more than three dozen performers
  • ate more than 600 pounds of pit beef and pulled pork
  • ate 400 pounds of french fries
  • drank more than 3600 beers
  • & raised more than $8400 for the John’s Hopkins Kimmel Cancer Center

In case you couldn’t join us, we’ll recap the event below!

FRIDAY NIGHT // Experience Day 1

Friday at Experience is always a blast as we invite our Signature Club members in for an exclusive cocktail hour and sales floor preview from 5:00-6:45PM. Signature Club membership offers cool perks and is open to any and all PRS fans, you can get more info about it here!

At 7:00PM we opened the doors to the general public for a special welcome from Paul Reed Smith and a nighttime concert event. The concert was held on the Main Stage and Boscoe France took the stage first. Boscoe France hails from Western Kentucky and in 2012 he beat over 4000 guitar players from across the US to win the Guitar Center Battle of the Blues competition. He’s a remarkable player that started stunning the crowd from his first riff.  Check out a piece of his performance below!

After Boscoe’s performance, another Kentucky group took stage: Black Stone Cherry! The band is known for authentic southern hard-rock and an incredible amount of energy on stage. They certainly delivered. Take a look at some of their set below!

Below are some photos from Friday at Experience!


SATURDAY // Experience Day 2

Doors opened on Saturday morning at 10:30AM as thousands of PRS fans came to our factory campus for a day of fun — and there was plenty to do! We had 5 stages set up, a clinic stage with playing tips and master classes, a jam stage where anyone could sign up for a slot & show their skills, and three performance stages (East, West, & Main stage) where we rotated artists! During the day we saw performances by Todd Bauchspies & Larry Melton, Hot Tub Limo, the Boscoe France Band, the Kelly Bell Band, RDGLDGRN, & Lovebettie!

Simultaneously, our factory was open during the day with guided and self-guided factory tours, interactive areas where you could get tips on how to set up your guitar, and even a place where you could stain your own piece of curly maple wood to take home!

We had the John’s Hopkins folks on site with a game tent and raffle area where we were able to raise money for the Kimmel Cancer Center. We even had a photo booth, tattoo contest, and corn hole area set up along with a big tent where you could try out the latest and greatest guitars and amps from PRS. Folks could get a hands-on feel of our SE, S2, and Core lines as well as jam on our SE acoustic lineup!

All the action stopped at 5:00PM as everyone flooded to the Main Stage for the nightly concert.

This year we were fortunate to have three big acts and countless guest musicians jump on stage for performances. It all started off with John Hiatt, an incredible singer-songwriter who has written over 20 studio albums and had his tunes covered by a vast number of significant artists. John captured the crowed with his voice, his guitar, and a harmonica around his neck.

Next up was The Paul Reed Smith Band who delivered funk-infused rock music filled with heart, soul, and love. Paul Reed Smith is no stranger to inviting people to play with him, and we saw incredible guest solos from Mike Scott (Prince/Justin Timberlake), Bernie Marsden (Whitesnake), Emil Werstler (Chimaira/Daath), David Grissom, and Simon McBride.

To close the night, the GRAMMY award winning band Living Colour took the stage with over an hour-long set of heavy-hitting, awesome tunes. PRS artist Vernon Reid formed the band in the 80’s, and Living Colour soon became one of the most influential rock bands of the last three decades.

Check out some live footage of Living Colour’s performance below!

Below are some photos from Saturday at Experience!

Here’s a recap video of the entire Experience PRS 2016 event! 

Thank you to our many fans, artists, and PRS dealers who played a part in making Experience PRS 2016 so special!


Boscoe France Band
Black Stone Cherry
Todd Bauchspies & Larry Melton
Hot Tub Limo
Kelly Bell Band
John Hiatt
The Paul Reed Smith Band
Living Colour
& Special Guests David Grissom, Bernie Marsden, Emil Werstler, Simon McBride, Mike Scott, & Bryan Ewald

PRS Dealers

Brian's Guitars
Ryan Fowlers Guitar Experience
Bill's Music
Music Store Live
Moore Music
Music Villa
The Guitar Sanctuary
Guitars USA
Righteous Guitars
Chuck Levin's Washington Music Center
Willcutt Guitars
John Mann's Guitar Vault
Northeast Music Center

Comments (8)

Lee "Leecast" Silverman March 12, 2018 - 6:25pm
It is simply the best time a guitar-loving human can have!! Thanks so much to all my friends @PRS
Ray Futran January 04, 2018 - 10:34am
I've been to every Experience since the first one in 2007. From a pure "Guitar Joy" perspective, it is the one thing I look forward to each year. To Paul, I have to say Thank You So Much, for this annual event that you have created. You didn't have to do it, but you did, and I feel lucky to be a part of the PRS universe!
Wayne Gordon September 18, 2017 - 10:16pm
Haven't missed an Experience yet. Always a great time to catch up with old friends, meet new ones, hear some great music, learn from some masters and add to my guitar inventory. Life is good.
Melody Bender September 15, 2017 - 9:58am
What an awesome event. Love the how the plant tour was casual and unhurried. The staff were really cool with sharing their knowledge. There were some beautiful instruments on display. To top it off the entertainment was great. Love attending this. Paul, thanks for inviting all of us into your world. Looking forward to the 2018 open house.
Lisa DeMay June 13, 2016 - 10:20am
Thanks Paul for a great time, awesome guitars and performances ! Looking forward to next year
Tony Neidich June 12, 2016 - 6:11pm
Just Want to say thank you to Paul and everyone at PRS for making Experience PRS 2016 such an amazing time! We can't wait for the next one!
Michael Murphy June 11, 2016 - 3:58pm
Please move from the 1st weekend in JUNE,, I cannot come, I have a recurring trip every year on that weekend -- man was I bummed!!! Let's go back to late Sept early October :) Looks like maybe the best one and I have never missed one until this year.
Michael E. Stevens June 10, 2016 - 5:08pm
This was my first time at this event, but it will not be my last! What an awesome event and as far as I could tell, a good time was had by all who attended. Very impressive on all fronts. Look forward to attending future events! Michael E. Stevens

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