Thursday, October 29, 2009
Are there any really good ukulele festivals? If there are, someone needs to compile a list. I mean where are the “Carnivals, or Mardi Gras’, or Oktoberfests” of uke festivals? I know there was a big one in Napa not long ago at a winery. There was one in Eugene, Oregon a couple weeks ago called Uketoberfest- But Im pretty sure everyone DIDN'T sit around long tables in their lederhosen playing their Brukos, while hot St. Pauly Girl waitresses served up liters of beer. So where are the really good ones? Are all uke festivals the same and are they all lame?
Ukulele World Congress was everything a uke festival should be. There were no seminars, no lessons, no classes at all. There were no tickets and no ticket takers. And because there were no tickets, there were no gates, no fences, and no security. You couldn’t buy a sandwich, bottled water or soda. There were no venders of any kind. There were no beer gardens, no roped off sections for the over 21 crowd, no alcohol for sale at all. There were no reservations, no sign-ups, and no waiting lists. It was the perfect uke party. It reminded me of those parties we used to have in high school. They were spread by word of mouth, usually located in a field somewhere, or down by the river. Just show up and pitch in a couple bucks for beer, and you were guaranteed a good time (as long as the cops didn’t show up). You slept wherever you passed out. I would venture to guess that the Milwaukee Ukulele Festival, or the Oklahoma City Ukulele Meet-up, isn’t anything like this.
It’s too bad there can’t be more like the UWC. Maybe there are. I mean two or three times a year would be enough. Indiana in June and say somewhere in the Deep South in January or November. Who will take on this challenge? Anyone? If only Mike would buy a nice piece of property along the Gulf Coast…