Ukulele Hooley returns to Dun Laoghaire for its tenth anniversary

by Gary Ibbotson

Ukulele players unite! The world famous Ukulele Hooley celebrates its 10th anniversary in Dun Laoghaire this August.

Since it began in the harbour town in 2009, the Ukulele Hooley has grown to become one of the biggest ukulele festivals in Europe attracting thousands of enthusiasts to Dun Laoghaire every summer.

The festival is free entry, non-commercial and family friendly.

The founder and organiser of the Hooley, Tony Boland says: “Because it’s our 10th anniversary everything is going to be bigger and better.”

Supported by Dun Laoghaire-Rathdown County Council, the festival takes place on Saturday, August 17 to Sunday, August 18 and traditionally culminates with the Big Concert in People’s Park which last year attracted approximately 20,000 people.

This year’s theme for the concert is ‘Songs of the Sea’ and it is expected that approximately 3,000 ukulele players will join in on the fun.

Another popular annual feature, The Busk Bus will bring ukulele music throughout the towns and villages of south county Dublin – including Dalkey, Blackrock, Killiney, Monkstown and Glasthule.

People can also learn how to play the ukulele or fine-tune their skills at the ukulele workshops or take part in the Ukulele Hooley Open Mic event which takes place on the Dun Laoghaire seafront on Saturday night. 

A star-studded bill will round off the Hooley at the Big Concert in The People’s Park featuring artists such as James Hill from Canada; Ukulezaz from Netherlands; Andy Eastwood from the UK and Bad Mouse from Germany.  

Popular favourites such as Liverpool’s Ukulele Uff Trio and the Dublin Ukulele Collective also return.

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