A little of the Hills Ukulele Festival and how it all began…
The Hills Ukulele Festival opened its doors in 2018.
It is proudly hosted by Emerald Primary School in the heart of the Dandenong Ranges, Victoria.
The Hills Ukulele Festival (or HUF) takes the opportunity every May to welcome the ukulele community up to the hills for breathtaking views, stunning ukulele concerts, inspiring ukulele workshops and that incredible sense of community that is generated when ukulele players gather in one place.
Previous headline acts have included The Thin White Ukes, Ryo Montgomery, The Ukulele Death Squad, The Sophisticated Hulas and The Grubby Urchins.
We have also supported up and coming stars like Duplicity and Things That Make You Go MMM to just name a few.
While Emerald Primary School has been on this site for over 125 years, all the school buildings are very new, complete with air purifiers, and are a pleasure in which to get together with others and play the ukulele.
The actual festival came about because the Emerald Primary Music Teacher did such a good job of teaching kids the ukulele that they then wanted to play in a band. They then got so good that they wanted to show off their skills to the world. There wasn’t anywhere available, so the music teacher decided to become the Musical Director of The Hills Ukulele Festival.
The festival has grown every year, going virtual in 2020 and 2021 which in turn made us something of an international treat with ukulele fans from every continent around the world joining us online for those two years.
We returned to a live event in 2022, but kept an international feel by hosting an international live stream the weekend after with highlights and videos of performances from all over the world.
2023 is a big step for HUF. We are bring the international to the Dandenong Ranges. Our VIP guest for HUF 2023 is RIO from Japan. This exciting, internationally acclaimed artist is going to be blowing our ukulele minds on stage as well as expanding them in the workshop he will be leading.
Our 2023 program is jammed packed with ukulele goodness.
Saturday 20th May is a Ticketed Event that includes 9 workshops to choose from and two Gala Concerts. Check out both the Headliner and Workshop lists on the menu bar to see what is on offer. As always, every workshopper has the opportunity to step up on the Main Stage with their workshop leader and play what they learned.
Sunday 21st of May is an entirely free event with 3 stages running from 10am to 6pm. That’s over 30 ukulele groups and artists doing the most amazing things ALL DAY! It also includes 2 strumalong events so everyone is welcome to come and play along.
Looking forward to seeing you in the Hills this May.