Concert tickets now on sale!


The long awaited concert tickets for the Cairns Ukulele Festival feature concerts are now on sale.

Friday‘s concert at the Hilton features the cream of international ukulele jazz and fusion with Hawaii jazz virtuoso Abe Lagrimas Jr., Ryo Natoyama from Japan and the highly acclaimed Janet Seidel Trio from Sydney.

Sunday‘s finale concert – which follows the Australian Ukulele Showcase, open mic and ukulele jam on the back deck around the pool at Gilligan’s – will be an ukulele extravaganza with 6-time Grammy Award-winning Daniel Ho (USA), Japan instrumental duo Nino and Gogo, and The Montgomery Brothers Ukulele Explosion featuring the festival’s international ukulele all-star cast.

Capacity of these concert venues is limited and tickets to our events always sell out, so please book early to avoid disappointment. 

Follow this link for ticket information.

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All systems go with Nino and Gogo and the Janet Seidel Trio



Following last month’s announcement of six-time Grammy winning artist Daniel Ho, Ukulele Bartt from Los Angeles, Hawaiian ukulele jazz sensation Abe Lagrimas Jr. and Japan’s hottest young player Ryo Natoyama, the Cairns Ukulele Festival has added two internationally renowned acts to the bill.

First lady of Australian Jazz, Janet Seidel and Trio will be making a much anticipated appearance in Far North Queensland, along with uber-cool Japanese instrumental duo Nino and Gogo who have established themselves as one of Japan’s premier ukulele acts in recent years.

After having been unable to work in the Cairns festival dates with their busy domestic touring schedule the past few years, the stars have finally aligned. As a result, Cairns will be the first and only Australian city to witness the amazing songwriting talent of this duo.

JStrio with ukulele

To jazz aficionados, the Janet Seidel Trio needs no further introduction. With one of the finest jazz voices in this country, Janet will be joined by brother David on double bass and Chuck Morgan on lead ukulele. The trio is sure to appeal to ukulele and jazz lovers alike.

If anyone had any preconceptions about the limitations that the diminutive four-stringed instrument might have, Chuck is sure to blow them out of the water with some of the hottest jazz chops on ukulele in the business. In addition, Chuck, Janet and David will be conducting workshops during the festival. The trio has recorded dozens of albums, taking them to jazz festivals the world over and securing them resident gigs in the UK every year.

The Janet Seidel Trio will perform Friday July 4th at the Hilton with Ryo Natoyama and Abe Lagrimas Jr, while Nino and Gogo will be part of the finale concert on Sunday July 6th at Gilligan’s, which also features Daniel Ho.

Early bird tickets for both concerts will be available online from Thursday April 24th. Seating is very limited and last year’s concerts sold out so don’t delay!

All aboard! Get ready for the Eddy Finn Ukulele Mystery Tour with Ukulele Bartt!


The Cairns Ukulele Festival caravan is well and truly in motion with the announcement of another international ukulele artist, and a new tour that will take ukulele fanatics to the reef on their private ukulele cruise boat.

barttThe Cairns Ukulele Festival is delighted to announce Los Angeles-based ukulele star Ukulele Bartt, one of the international ukulele community’s most enthusiastic, engaging and productive musicians. Bartt is the creator of the popular website,, with lessons, song charts, videos, and an online ukulele store featuring his instructional DVDs, CDs and books.

Ukulele Bartt Warburton is recognised around the world for his “Fancy Fingers” workshops and his dazzling musical performances. The Los Angeles Times calls him a “modern-day master.” In addition to his playing prowess, he is equally acclaimed for being as much fun as you can have with four strings. “Jumpin’ Jim” Beloff – author and publisher of the biggest range of ukulele books in the world, calls Bartt “a fearless uke player who combines his significant chops and wacky sense of humor to teach uke basics, as well as much more advanced techniques.”

Bartt will be the host of this year’s Eddy Finn Ukulele Mystery Tour, which will take to the seas of the Pacific Ocean, taking the punters to a new destination this year. The Cairns Ukulele Festival has chartered a catamaran which will be filled ukulele players who will be playing, jamming, enjoying concerts and a workshop by Ukulele Bartt and other headliners as well as doing some sightseeing.

“I’ll be rocking out to some Flamenco and Classical, and a bunch of my own romantic songs. Mozart and Beethoven will probably be involved, too. I love jamming on rock oldies with the other performers at festivals, so I’m pretty sure we’ll do some of that. I might sing “Zombie Love Song,” or “Pluck You,” or go with the mushy love stuff. We might even do a sing-along in Italian. I like to play it by ear and see what happens!” Bookings for this tour have opened and festival organiser Gaby Thomasz warns, “the Eddy Finn Ukulele Mystery Tour has a limited capacity and sells out every year, so please grab your ticket for this brand new festival experience now and don’t miss out on the early bird price”.

Bartt will also be performing during the festival’s Ukulele Party Night and conducting several workshops on the Saturday and Sunday mornings of the festival.

For more information on the tour and a booking link, please click here.

Cairns Ukulele Festival review in The Age and Sydney Morning Herald

Travel writer Helen Pitt reviews the 2013 Cairns Ukulele Festival in a full-page article: “In Australia, the Everest of uke fests is the Cairns International…Perhaps it’s the tropical backdrop, and the fact it’s held every winter when many want to escape the colder climes, but this is as close to Oahu as Australia gets.” For the full article, follow this link.

Cairns Ukulele Festival wins Hit Award

The Cairns Ukulele Festival is proud to announce it took out the Cairns Post’s Hit Award for “Best Festival or Major Event” this year. We’d like to thank all who voted and those who contributed to the festival!

Hit Award

KoAloha Uke Build


The Cairns Ukulele Festival is excited to welcome back the Hawaiian KoAloha Ukulele crew for a fun-filled Ukulele Building Workshop.

Uke Build with KoAloha Ukuleles

“When festival organiser Gaby Thomasz talked us into doing our first-ever for-profit ukulele build some years ago, I swore we’d just do it the one time to support the festival. However, we have such a good time in Cairns, and the festival is so inclusive, well-managed and complete programming-wise, that we just can’t resist. We look forward to returning again for our third year in a row”, said Alan Okami, president of KoAloha Ukuleles.

The workshop will be held at Cairns State High School Wednesday 2 and Thursday 3 July. For the very first time, participants are offered the a choice between a soprano, concert or tenor sized ukulele. The workshop is suitable for anyone aged 10 and up (under 14′s need to be accompanied by an adult), and woodworking skills are not required.

For more information and booking details, please follow this link.