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Ukulele Festival Turns Ten

Ukulele Festival Turns Ten

The NZ Ukulele Festival will move to Vector Arena for its tenth anniversary this December.

Apart from headliners, Hawaiian Youtube sensations Honoka and Azita, the festival will feature Malcolm Lakatani’s Creative Souls Project, The Nukes, a Teen Talent Showcase, workshops, free lessons, face-painting, pop up performances, competitions and giveaways. The highlight and grand finale will be a concert by the Kiwileles – a massive ukulele orchestra, with over 2500 Primary and Intermediate students representing 115 schools from Northland to Christchurch.

Chairperson Mary Cornish says the New Zealand Ukulele Trust is proud to be celebrating ten years of bringing music and fun to the community.

“We want the tenth anniversary festival to be a real celebration, so when going to Vector Arena became possible, we saw the potential for a huge party.”

“We’ll literally be rolling out the red carpet for our 2500 Kiwileles, who are going to be very excited about being on the same stage that superstars like Beyonce and Ed Sheeran have performed on.”

Schools start preparing for the festival as early as May, when the songbook and CD is released, with training workshops for teachers, who then work with their schools to learn the music.

The tenth festival is dedicated to the memory of former Patron Bill Sevesi QSM and his inspiring dream that every child in NZ would get the chance to play the ukulele.

December 3, 11am – 4pm
Vector Arena, Auckland
Entry free

Facts and Figures

  • In ten years the festival has worked with 304 individual schools, starting with 32 in 2007, and peaking at 152 in 1012. Registrations for 2016 currently sit at 115 from 28 towns and cities.
  • There have been over 1000 school engagements with the festival to date and over 1200 ukuleles donated to schools by the New Zealand Ukulele Trust.
  • Approximately 24,000 students have been involved in the Kiwileles massed schools ukulele orchestra, and in recent years, an estimated audience of 10,000 people attend the festival annually.
  • The official songbook for 2016 features 17 songs including Kiwi pop songs by Avalanche City, SIX60 and Jordan Luck, traditional, Maori and Pasifika songs, the Kiwi Ukulele theme song and a ukulele mash up of Beethoven tunes.