Winchester Ukulele Festival last ran in 2018, taking a break for 2019 and then - well, you know the rest.
We went around asking people there - artists and audience - what they felt about being back, and what they were looking forward to. The video is below, including some performance snippets from the day.
The organisers did a sterling job putting the event together with a varied and frankly superb lineup.
Winchester is really relaxed, and being at a rugby club has great space to meet everyone, artists and old friends alike.
Phil Doleman was there, with his effortless playing style, great humour and personality.
Dead Mans Uke played their Dum Ching style set and brought their cool personas. Matthew Quilliam, who we got to know via unplugthewood was there with his band, and we even did an "interval" sing along with unplugthewood, involving maybe 200 ukulele players in a mass sing along. Huge fun!
Amelia Coburn - always humble, but so good. The way she sings "Crocodile Rock" is so relaxed, and a lesson in performance. We had a good chat about 80s music afterwards too, I may have introduced her to Landscape and their music (here's my cover). Let's see if that ever makes her set!
Opera-Lele - world class operatic singing, with ukuleles, and a hugely entertaining rappore between George & Mandi.
But, by general consensus, Ukulele Simon stole the day with his EDM set all based on ukulele. Standing there with a low-g strung uke, a loop machine and a couple of pedals, he pushed out massive rhythms and thumping bass - yes, BASS! At a quarter to four on a sunny Saturday afternoon in Hampshire's Winchester, he had a marquee full of ukulele festival goers on their feet dancing and jumping to "Insomnia". Many of us could not believe what we were seeing in front of us. Certainly a moment in ukulele festival history and hopefully something that many more will get to experience in the future.
In the meantime, take a look at the video below.
Winchester Ukulele Festival 2022
Follow that, Winchester for 2023!
Simon Taylor - 12th June 2022
Festivals are back, and how!