Ukulele Festival at Bracklesham Bay

This weekend sees the Bracklesham Bay Ukulele Festival 2015, running from October 9-12.

Ukulele Festival
Ukulele Festival

Antony Hawkes offers the following guide to proceedings at South Downs Holiday Village, Bracklesham Bay, PO20 8JE:

A Half Board weekend with practical events as well as entertainment and dancing

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Supported by String Studio (Incorporating ‘Unique Ukes) and Bill Ferguson (Excelsior Music Ltd)

Charity Raffle tickets on sale all weekend in aid of Breast Cancer NOW (formerly Breakthrough)

Outline Programme:

Friday – arrivals from 2pm – Instrument and accessory stands open, beginners’ workshops ‘Ukulele for Non-Players’ as well as ‘Stringing to Stay in Tune’ with Bill Ferguson in the TV Lounge, plus ‘Learn 3 Chords with Ant’ and ‘Let’s Strum Some’ with Ang – keeping the rhythm while making things interesting! – in the ‘quiet’ lounge. These workshops are flexible and will happen when they have enough participants.

Reception and Host welcome at 6.30pm

7pm Dinner

8.30pm Concert Andy Eastwood plus Liz Price – two different takes on the same instrument!

10pm Late-night Jam sessions – up to three locations

10.30pm Disco in ballroom for anyone wishing to dance the night away

Saturday – Breakfast 8.30-9.30 am

10.30am Workshop – ‘Focus on Formby’ with Andy Eastwood – self explanatory!!

11.30am Workshop - ‘Absolute Beginners’ with Sam Brown. Come and learn 1-3 songs, designed to be as easy as possible without resorting to Ba Ba Black Sheep!

12.30pm ‘Getting Plucky’ with Liz Price – bringing Classical Guitar to the Uke

1-2pm Lunch available to purchase in Restaurant -

2.30pm Workshops – Sam Brown – ‘Puttin’ on the Ritz’ Taking a look at the 20s and 30s – proper old-fashioned uke-playing pre-Formby. The Ukulele was extremely popular and for good reason. The chords just fall under the fingers and are reminiscent of basic jazz rhythm guitar. Experience Required!

4.00pm Workshop – Liz Price – ‘Getting Plucky’ – again – for anyone who missed the earlier one

6pm – Pre-dinner open mic – just let the MC know and we’ll fit you in!

7pm Hawaiian Dinner (dress up if you wish!)

8.00pm – Various Artistes – Pro and Am – register during day at Shop in ‘UKE MALL’

8.30pm – LOCUM (League of Crafty Ukulele Masters)

9.00pm – Sam Brown and Friends

11pm – Late-night Jam Sessions – Ballroom + Coffelele Shop

Sunday – Breakfast 8.30-9.30am

10.30am Parallel Workshops/Leader Sessions – Choose from Irish Songs, Finger styles, Classical Arpeggio approach, Making Medleys, Improvers…..

1-2pm Lunch available to purchase in Restaurant

2.30 - Workshop with Dave Soothill, 3 songs – 1 Workshop. A basic approach to 3 challenging songs aimed at beginners (all abilities welcome) but with scope for more advanced interpretations. ‘Wagon Wheel’ (Old Crow Medicine Show); ‘Star of the County Down’ (Trad) and ‘Can’t take my eyes off you’ – Andy Williams. Working towards a jam session with the band Superstrings in the evening. (For those who already know the basics of these songs there will be a parallel practice/jam session in the coffee shop at the same time.)

4pm – Workshop with Dave Soothill – Performance Workshop. A more detailed look at the advanced (optional!) tecniques required for the evening jam. All abilities welcome. Using the 3 songs from the previous workshop we will focus on Arrangements, Melodies, Picking Rythms, Chucking and solo ideas with improvisation.

6pm Pre-Dinner Resident’s Concert – Voluntary Performances, solo and group (pre-registered during day) 2 numbers max per person/group!

7pm Candle-lit Dinner then Raffle Draw – Handmade solid wood Tenor Ukulele and Other Prizes

8.15pm – Superstrings for Dancing and Listening

9pm Ukulele Uff and Lonesome Dave with Brother Bill

10pm – Superstrings for Dancing and Grand Finale with full audience participation

10.45pm – Jammin’ in Ballroom ‘til late for those with Stamina!

Raffle for Charity during weekend to be drawn after dinner on Sunday – Prizes provided by String Studio – Thank you!

Monday: Depart after Breakfast on Monday Morning (from 8.30am) please vacate your rooms by 10am.

We hope you have enjoyed the weekend and will come back next year for the even bigger 2nd Ukulele Festival!

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