Uke Fest ‘victim of its own success’

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The Ukulele Festival returned to Geraldine last week, drawing a large crowd of people to the various events, including this talk and performance at The Running Duck cafe.

by Alexia Johnston

Demand for Geraldine Uke Fest is growing, prompting organisers to rethink how it will host its sixth event next year.

The festival returned to Geraldine last week, attracting 350 people to the event’s main concert on Friday night at Geraldine High School.

One of the event’s directors, Hugh McCafferty, said the festival’s first year was “very much a local thing”, with just over 100 people there.

With triple that this year, the festival was becoming a “victim of its own success”, he said.

It went very well, but it was time to rethink how it could be hosted more efficiently, he said.

The festival, which attracted people from around New Zealand and parts of Australia, started on Thursday with an open-mic event, followed by a series of workshops and lunchtime concerts.

Festivities continued on Saturday with more workshops, including hula dancing.

Christchurch’s Natural Magic Pirates also performed, which was followed by The Big Strum, a mass ukulele strum-a-long.

Groups and individuals performed into the evening.

Festivities finished on Sunday with a performance at the Village Inn.