Sunshine Coast Ukulele Festival 2021
Great to be back to live music and all the fun of a festival. SCUF was held at the Borumba Deer Park near Imbil (35kms south of Gympie and outside of the Greater Brisbane Area where COVID lurked). It cost $20 a day with a small fee for parking. There were plenty of BUMS there!
The Deer Park provided powered and unpowered camping and caravan sites as well as cabins. The SCUF organisers also provided glam-tents set up just for the festival. The facilities were first rate and staff were friendly and mostly invisible (allowing latitude to late-night revellers). It was kid and pet friendly with lots of activities to suit all ages of camper.
The festival ran from Friday 8 to Sunday 10 October under beautiful blue sunny skies. The Deer Park kiosk, a coffee van and pizza and fish and chips vans provided sustenance. It was BYO beer and wine.
Uke players came from far and wide – Bundaberg, Hervey Bay, Toowoomba, Gold Coast, Sunshine Coast and Brisbane – mostly from Queensland, of course.
There were three activity areas.
- The Big Tent which housed workshops, a daily Big Jam and concerts as well as a ukulele market.
- An undercover camp kitchen area called ‘The Stockyard’ which housed workshops and open mics.
- A smaller tent in ‘Sherwood Forest’ run by BUMS members which held jams, concerts, and open mics.
BUMS at SCUF
Mick Angeles (aka Friar Tuck), Marg Moynahan (aka Maid Marion) and Adrian Board (aka Little John) held court over Sherwood Forest ably assisted by many BUMS members.
The program focussed on getting us playing – jams, open mics and workshops – in preference to lots of performances. BUMS members gathered in throes with their caravans in a circle around open pit fires. Ukuleles and drums were tuned up to sing and play the night away. Laughter and frivolity were the order of the day. Seen around the grounds were Salli Chmura, Geoff Dancer, Cath McCourt, Tony and Sandy Richardson, Graham Hall, Trish Rodwell, Coady Brule, Narelle and Pat Burke, Peter Grace, Chris Slater, Leanne Williams, Andrew and Sylvia Hunt, Frank Buckley, Caroline Haig, and others who may have been missed.
The workshops covered the needs of absolute beginners, bass skills, blues, singing, rhythm and tempo, drumming, Mick Angeles’ Street Smartz music theory and popular chords in seven keys. Something for everyone there. Lazy Leis who were performing on Saturday night ran a workshop teaching a song for a ‘flash mob’ at their concert on Saturday evening.
Pineapple Crush led jams in the main tent each day playing songs from the Sunshine Coast Ukulele Members song book.
SCUF organisers asked Mick Angeles to run events at the festival. He was given two six-hour slots and a four-hour slot. With the able assistance of Marg Monaghan and Adrian Board they ran walk ups, jams and concerts in the Sherwood Forest tent to the delight of audiences. Lynne and Geoff were obviously also pleased – because they have booked them again for next year.
Informal jams popped up everywhere – around campsites and the rest of the park – uke players just can’t help themselves. After exhausting days of playing Mick and Marg just couldn’t stop on Sunday evening. They moved out of their tent so it could be packed up and played on – thanks for your understanding, Geoff.
The days got pretty warm with temperatures close to 30 degrees and the performances in Sherwood Forest in the cooling early evening were magic. Mick and Marg impressed everyone with their friendly banter and relaxed performances. Adrian Board pushed the limits with ukulele, didgeridoo and harmonica in a set of Zavier Rudd songs.
The headline acts in the big tent on Friday night featured Accidentally on Purpose (led by Tom Richter). They impressed with their musicality and originality. You’ve never heard Bad Moon Rising done the way they did it. Gypsy Rumble finished off the night living up to their reputation as ‘Australia’s quirkiest and possibly first Ukulele, Celtic/Folk, Reggae, Bluegrass band.’ They were full of energy and fun and their music very danceable.
On Saturday night, Joe Murphy from Gypsy Rumble took us through songs of his family history as well as covers. Lazy Leis are a four-piece party band. They played everyone’s favourites and finished off the night with incredible harmonies and musicality at a frantic pace. The dance crowd packed in near the stage and rocked!
Our camera man
Open mic tip picked up at the festival
To keep yourself safe from microphone nasties when using other people’s mic, carry your own mic sock. They were designed to reduce wind noise, clicks, pops and hiss sounds – but they also help prevent the spread of germs.
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