For a tiny instrument, the ukulele packs a lot of punch. This little guitar has a huge personality and it's incredible what it can do. That goes part of the way toward explaining the popularity of the Melbourne Ukulele Festival. The rest is that it's just really good fun. Now in its 7th year, the Melbourne Ukulele Festival is a popular part of the Darebin Music Feast held across the weekend of Friday 28th to Sunday 20th October 2016. It's a fantastic meeting place for lovers of the humble ukulele, and a chance to meet some of the finest players from both here and overseas.
If you aren't already aware of what magic the ukulele can produce, then this festival is sure to turn your head. If you are, then you will be impressed by the line-up of artists scheduled to appear. National artists include Ryo Montgomery, AJ Leonard and Bosko & Honey. While the international showcase will feature the UK's Peter Moss, Taiwanese performer Hau Yi Tsai, NICO'O & Friends from France and UKULOLLO from Italy.
From the pool of local 'Gems' see David Bowie cover band The Thin White Ukes, Cat House, The Brass Traps and the Melbourne Ukulele Kollective. A full line-up of performers (with dates, times and venues) will be available on the website closer to the day.
If you're so impressed you decide to give the ukulele a go, you can participate in a workshop or a masterclass. Classes will cater to everyone from absolute beginners to intermediate players. For a minimal cost, learn a trick or two from one of the international guest performers - then brag about your celebrity teacher to all your friends!
The ukulele market will run all weekend during the Festival. Fully undercover, it is here you can purchase your own uke or some uke paraphernalia, along with festival merchandise. Wear your love of everything ukulele with pride.
Newly tuned for the Melbourne Ukulele Festival this year; Festival goers can relax in the Uke Lounge and, for the very first time, take advantage of the opportunity to strut their own ukulele talents on the open stage. Perhaps we'll uncover the next big name on the Melbourne ukulele scene.
Finally, don't miss the acclaimed Pimp my MUF exhibition. Artists from right around Australia have decorated a range of ukuleles in many new and imaginative ways, proving the versatility of this little instrument's contribution to the wider art community.
The Melbourne Ukulele Festival is being held over the weekend of Friday 28th to Sunday 30th October 2016. Based on High Street, Northcote, a range of venues will be playing host, from the Northcote Town Hall, Wesley Anne, the Northcote Uniting Church, Open Studio and that 'old faithful', Bar 303.
While you are cruising through the various performances and events associated with the Melbourne Ukulele Festival, take advantage of the opportunity to pop into some of the quirky shops or enjoy a dining experience in one of the restaurants, 'hip' bars and cafes along the High Street. All the traders will be involved in this musical event.
Tickets will be available closer to the Festival, so organisers recommend you stay tuned to the MUF Facebook Page. You can also visit the MUF website for more.