A Recommended Ukulele Festival next month


The Isle of Wight’s second ukulele festival is coming up in November (9th to 11th).  We have a fabulous range of artists, from the more ‘traditional’ sounds of Pete Moss and Matthew Quilliam, through elements of classical music with Opera-lele and Danilo Vignola (amazing ukulele instrumentalist from Rome).  We’ll also have brilliant original music from Plastic Jeezus, a trio of ukulele and vocals, bass and drums; Simon Fernand’s blend of witty lyrics and lively tunes is truly not to be missed. 

A D Cooke’s a northern girl whose performance at our fringe event last time was so engaging we just had to have her back on our main-stage this year; we’re all going to be smiling and tapping toes when she does “her thing”!  We’re really fortunate that the Hedge Inspectors (Krabbers and Caroline) have stepped in at the last minute with more original songs, as well as running an unplugthewood open mic on Friday evening.  JC Grimshaw and Jukebox Jazz are some of our favourite local artists who do a wide range of jazz and similar classics; and we’re really looking forward to JC’s group, the Dance Preachers, who’ll be taking the lead at our post-mainstage ‘Dance the Night Away’ party.

We’ve still got a few spaces available on our fringe stage on Saturday morning, which will be running alongside the Saturday workshop programme, with another round of workshops and a WW1 commemoration event on Sunday morning.  New acts are invited to contact us if you’d be interested in performing.  There will also be loads of jamming, led on Friday by Martyn ‘Eek’ Cooper and the Yoko Mainwaring Experience.  We’re just putting the finishing touches to the festival songbook!

Workshops will cover all sorts of things, from vocal technique and harmony, flamenco instrumental ukulele, songwriting for all those budding original songsters, rock ‘n roll, plucking techniques…and even beginners hula dancing!

Based in Newport, all our venues are a short walk from the town centre, and it’s only a single bus ride from any of the island ferry terminals – and we’ve negotiated a fabulous discount on ferry tickets with Red Funnel.  Newport has a wide range of great cafes and restaurants, and some lovely local shops (plus the amazing shop at Quay Arts, our main venue), ideal for finding original and beautiful Christmas presents We still have weekend tickets available, and now have on sale a limited number of day and event tickets – you can find all the details on our website at www.iowuf.com, or contact us at wightukefest@gmail.com.

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