2013 world record attempt
Thousands enjoyed the festival’s activities in Fogarty Park on Saturday, including ukulele playing, ukulele performances, workshops and food stalls, including over 1,000 festival-goers playing Waltzing Matilda in an attempt to break the world record for the most people playing the same song at the same time.
“We didn’t break the world record but we had fun trying,” said festival director Gaby Thomasz. “It was great to see the community and visitors alike from all walks of life and age groups enjoying a day of music and ukulele playing together.”
Cairns again proved an ideal setting for a ukulele festival which is gaining an increasing profile on the international festival scene, according to Ms Thomasz.
“The festival gives people the opportunity to enjoy beautiful concerts on Green Island, and in other locations as varied as the Cairns Botanic Gardens, Fogarty Park and Queenslander pubs and of course, excellent venues like the Cairns Hilton and The Jack.
“The Sunday session had the Crown Hotel filled to the brim, and the footpath packed with people listening to the open mic and jamming with Cairns’ Bad Boys and Girls of Uke.”
Ms Thomasz said the Hilton finale concert was a sell-out and a beautiful climax to another successful festival with Hawaiians Bryan Tolentino and Hale Seabury bringing the spirit of ‘Aloha’ to Cairns, followed by a tasteful jazz performance by American Sarah Maisel and band.
“Closing the festival finale were the sensational Sweet Hollywaiians from Japan, who showed why they have been the talk of the event ever since their first performance in 2011 with a top class set, resulting in a seemingly endless standing ovation,” she said.
A quote on the festival’s Facebook summed up the event’s appeal according to Ms Thomasz. “Had such a buzz at the world record attempt! Talk about bringing people together…in my grid I was standing next to a Japanese couple who were about 70 dressed in traditional kimonos, a teenager in a wheelchair, a bunch of hot European backpackers and two little girls of about six…and all of us jamming out Waltzing Matilda together!…gotta love that!”
While the core festival dates are now behind us, the Uke Art Exhibition will remain on display at The Pier until July 12. Until 6.30pm that same evening, people can place bids on all of the pieces of art, with profits going to the Cairns Branch of the Salvation Army.