Rye ukuleles get strumming


The Rye Ukulele Experiment was “invented'”three years ago by Hugh Kermode amongst others and put together partly as an “experiment” to see if it would take off.  It did.  Three years later we are bigger than ever with around 14 regular players and usually 10-12 going out for bookings and busking sessions (in support of St Michael’s Hospice) around the Rye area.

The Rye Ukulele Festival was the inspiration of our Musical Director, Ian Burford, and is now about to take place at the Cinque Ports pub, Cinque Ports Street, Rye on Sunday May 24.  The response to the festival has been astounding and we have 12 groups descending on Rye to strum on the Bank Holiday.  All the groups come from East Sussex and Kent, including East Grinstead, Lewes, Folkestone  and Hastings. We had many other requests which we could not accommodate this year, but hope to in the future.  The bands vary in size from only two people up to an 18 piece group.

The festival kicks off with each band playing a short set followed in the late afternoon by a Big Busk – anyone with a ukulele can join in.  The song sheets are available to download on our website. Just look under the festival heading.  Part of the Big Busk will include our well publicised attempt at the World Record for Kazoo and Ukulele played together.  This will create an “interesting” and exciting sound we are sure.

There will be a barbecue, an outside bar and a variety of stalls selling musical stuff, crafts and arts, and of course an amazing raffle with prizes kindly donated by local businesses.  There is no entry fee, but donations to St Michael’s will be gratefully received.  Our festival badges, kazoos and songs books will also be available to purchase on the day.  We are also very grateful to EDF, Rye Town Council and Rother District Council for their sponsorship. We have several other dates coming up over the summer months all highlighted on our website diary. We are really looking forward to the day and are keeping our strumming fingers crossed for amazing weather

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