Ukulele Hooley Festival 2024 line up

It’s our 13th festival, and we’re really excited that in 2024 we will have an amazing line up of ukulele stars to entertain and inspire you; with both new faces to the festival, and some old friends that have helped us make the festival what it is, joining us for what promises to be a memorable experience for all who attend. We will post the 2024 line-up here in the coming months.

WE WERE THRILLED TO HAVE THE FOLLOWING AMAZING LINE-UP IN 2023

The Lava Birds

One afternoon in late September 2020, 3 women happened to coincide on a terraza in the neighborhood of Lavapies, Madrid. Over drinks and tapas, they discovered that they shared a passion not just for playing ukulele, but also for swing and early jazz from the 20’s and 30’s.They decided to get together one afternoon to jam together and that’s how The Lava Birds took flight!

The Lava Birds play vintage tunes from the golden age of swing; mixing lush vocal harmonies with a variety of ukuleles – soprano, concert, tenor, baritone and bass ukulele. Many of the songs they play are inspired by strong women from the blues and jazz era such as Bessie Smith,Trixie Smith, Julia Lee and Sister Rosetta Tharpe.

Phil Doleman

Phil’s love of vintage blues, swing, and jug band music shines through as he blows the dust off obscure old songs and gives new life to classics. With just his big voice, stomping foot, and driving rhythms on both ukuleles and banjos he’ll take you back to the juke joints of the 20s. His original songs blend in seamlessly, with many believing them to be old songs that had passed them by.

“massively entertaining… If you think blues can’t be done on a banjo or ukulele, think again” Blues Matters

“Genuinely good-time music from ukulele stalwart, who also plays a mean banjo” fRoots

Phil has travelled all over the UK and to Europe and the US performing and leading workshops at festivals, theatres, and clubs. He has performed on BBC radio and TV, and shared stages with some of the world’s finest players. He is a regular contributor Uke Magazine, has composed pieces for the London College of Music ukulele grades, and is the author of several books, including “How Music Works On The Ukulele”, “How Songs Work”, and “Blues Ukulele”.

Previous gigs include The Acoustic Festival of Britain, The Great British Rhythm & Blues Festival, Derby Folk Festival, Tenby Blues Festival, Aberjazz Festival, Upton Blues Festival, Off The Tracks, Grand Northern Ukulele Festival, The Ukulele Festival of Great Britain, The Ukulele Festival of Scotland, Whitwell Festival, and Exile Festival.

Del Rey

“Del Rey, One of the Ukulele’s Most Important Players and Teachers” Ukulele Magazine 2016   

“Rey is one of the greatest modern players of the metal-bodied resonator guitar.” Acoustic Guitar Magazine

I started playing guitar when I was four. At the age of thirteen I was introduced to the world of traditional acoustic music, when a friend and I stumbled into a concert at Folk Arts Rare Records in San Diego. About 20 people were sitting on the floor under the record bins listening to a kid named Tom Waits play his original songs.

Lou Curtiss, proprietor of Folk Arts and artistic director of the San Diego Folk Festival suggested I quit wasting my time playing “Stairway to Heaven” and listen to some Memphis Minnie. He put me on stage with Sam Chatmon when I was fourteen, and introduced me to Lydia Mendoza and Howard Armstrong. Lou gave me recordings that still influence everything I do on solo acoustic guitar. I soaked up country blues, stride piano, classic jazz and hillbilly boogie. It was a musical education hanging around the record shop.

Thirty years later, I became fascinated with the ukulele. I try to play the same kind of complicated rhythmic blues and ragtime on four strings as on six. I expect a lot out of the little instrument.

“The ‘ukulele taken to a new level of musicianship”. John Book

“Virtuosic in just the right way, which is to say, in order to realize a musical idea. A very nice unlikely blend of things, accessible, slightly nostalgic, but fresh and thoughtful. ” CD Baby review, “At The Ukeshack #1

I collaborate and tour frequently with Adam Franklin who will be joining at this years Ukulele Hooley.

George Elmes

George first gained popularity from his Youtube channel which showcased his technical playing skills and varied musical styles. Since then he has performed and given workshops around the world, including China where he developed a reputation as a popular ukulele teacher and performer.

George has released two solo albums and continues to work on new Ukulele projects.

Fred Goossens

Ukulele Hooley is proud to present the iconic, symbolic, explosive Fred Goossens!

Frederik discovered the ukulele through his love for old jazz and tin pan alley songs of the 1910s/20s His ukulele career find him playing solo and with his bands Winin’ Boys and the Left Hand Band.

Fine, accessible songs, bathed in a humorous sauce, recognition, trip down memory lane, but above all: great fun to watch and listen!

Dublin Ukulele Collective

Dublin Ukulele Collective bring the party, with high calibre interpretations of pop and rock classics. This tight ensemble marry the humble Ukulele with harmonised vocals, pulsating bass, drums and strings. With as many as 30 players depending on the show, they create a powerful and infectious energy wherever they play live.

The band has flown the flag at festivals such as All Together Now, Electric Picnic, Kaleidoscope and Wild Roots and shook the floor of sacred Dublin venues Whelans, Sugar Club and Christchurch.

“… they build an atmosphere as hot as the sunshine.” – Golden Plec

Ukeristic Congress

Ukersitic Congress’ eclectic mix of personnel and material are always guaranteed to bring personality and fun to every gathering. A fourteen year span of success has seen them with a residency in Whelan’s, rocking Cheltenham, gigging from Derry to Dingle and romancing more weddings than you can shake a stick at. As the great world spins, you can rely on them to take you home.

THE UKULELE UFF TRIO

The Ukulele Uff Trio is comprised of Chris ‘Ukulele’ Uff on ukulele, Pete Price on guitar and ‘Brother’ Bill Leach on Hawaiian guitar. They specialise in obscure and wonderful 1920s/30s jazz, Tin Pan Alley songs and traditional Hawaiian music, performed with a skill and authenticity that is rare today.

The Trio was formed in 2014 and have been invited to perform and headline at some of the largest Ukulele and folk festivals across Europe.

When Ukulele Uff discovered the ukulele there was no stopping him. He practised day and night for years developing his own original style, until he felt ready to unleash his talents upon the world. Uff appeared on the ukulele scene overnight, when footage from his debut performance in a variety show at Liverpool’s Philharmonic Hall was uploaded to YouTube to much acclaim in 2012.

In 2014 Uff teamed up with lap steel virtuoso ‘Brother’ Bill Leach, who brought with him hair raising renditions of jazz age Hawaiian classics and beautiful traditional melodies and, together with Dave Searson on guitar, the Ukulele Uff Trio was formed.

Since 2021 the amazing international blues and roots guitarist Peter Price has temporarily replaced Dave on guitar. This is the sort of nice things people say about Pete:

His performances demonstrate a mind- boggling mastery of the acoustic guitar , a rich singing voice, and a relaxed yet compelling stage presence. Peter’s performances have delighted audiences worldwide.” THE INTERNATIONAL GUITAR FESTIVAL OF GREAT BRITAIN

The Ukulele Uff Trio were featured on the front cover of “Uke Magazine” in 2016 and have released two CDs which have received excellent reviews, as have many of their live performances.

“This joyous string band swing like the proverbial hairy clappers and are guaranteed to gladden the hearts of all but the most dedicated of miserable begrudgers. Vo do de o, vo doe doe de o, doe!” http://www.frootsmag.com/

“Have seen these guys twice now and both times they didn’t just get a standing ovation, they got a standing-on-chairs ovation.” Matt Warnes editor of UKE MAGAZINE http://worldofukes.co.uk/

UkuHooligans

UkuHooligans is Dun Laoghaire’s Ukulele Club which was establised in 2008 to enable ukulele players get together. It evolved into a weekly meetup for ukulele players in Dun Laoghaire and surrounding areas.

We meet every Saturday morning at the Eblana Club on Eblana Avenue Dun Laoghaire to play ukulele, jam together and share songs. It’s a great opportunity to meet other enthusiasts in a friendly and social setting. Anyone with an interest in playing, learning or just having fun with the ukulele is welcome (no matter where you’re from!)

Ukulele Tuesday

Ukulele Tuesday is the gigging offshoot of The Stag’s Head’s weekly ukulele session of the same name. They are a lively bunch, who mash-up contemporary and classic hits, and take the ukulele into uncharted waters. Guaranteed to melt some faces.

RUGS

Following on from their acclaimed pop-up performances at the 2022 Forever Young Festival, RUGS (Rathfarnham Ukulele Group) are delighted to bring their blend of foot-stomping tunes to the 12th Ukulele Hooley by the Sea.

From humble beginnings in Sheilagh Fox’s kitchen, RUGs weekly ukulele session now has up to 80 ukers jamming together on a Monday night. The group has a wonderful community spirit, with monthly performances in Our Lady’s Hospice in Harold’s Cross, and the National Rehabilitation Hospital in Dun Laoghaire. In addition RUGS has been involved in supporting organisations such as the Samaritans, Special Olympics Ireland, Crumlin Children’s Hospital, LauraLynn, Unicef Ireland and HIV Ireland.

The off-shoot RUGs Performance Group has been slowly building a loyal fan base over the past few years, with performances at Bloom, the Cobh Ukulele Festival, Darkness into Light, Battle for the Bay and most recently the Forever Young Festival. Their setlist includes a diverse range of covers from Snow Patrol, American Authors and George Ezra to David Bowie, Marc Almond, and The Beatles – all performed with our own unique RUGs twist.

For many of the group, the ukulele odyssey began at the Hooley so it’s an absolute pleasure to return to the Main Stage.

Bangor Ukes

Bangor Ukes have been together since 2016.  And play in Fealty’s pub in Bangor every Thursday evening from 7pm.
Bangor Ukes are a diverse group of players who have become great friends who have the best craic on a regular basis.  They have played at choral concerts, business award events, care homes and regularly busk for RNLI (Bangor) and Samaritans (Bangor).

Polythene Jam

Inspired by George Harrisons love of Ukulele, Polythene Jam have performed the seminal Beatles Album Abbey Road on ukulele.

Polythene Jam have performed at the Great Northern Ukulele Festive, All together Now Festival and the Dublin Beatles Festival.  Delighted to be bringing this act to the Eblana Cabana at Ukulele Hooley, prepare to get polyjamorous and join in.

Andrea Booth

Andrea Booth & Niall Toner have been singing and writing songs together since just before the outbreak of covid. They have appeared at the Bluegrass Festival at the Ulster American Folk Park in Omagh, the Seantai Bar in Waterford, Kilkenny Roots Festival, Howth Roots Festival, and many other music venues in Ireland. Andrea plays Ukulele and Tenor Guitar and Niall plays Guitar, Banjo and Mandolin.

Andrea with Niall will be performing on our Saturday Stage ‘Eblana Cabana’ at the Eblana Festival Club HQ.

It’s Chill Creek

Its Chill Creek, aka, Martina & ukulele Saz, are a duo based in Glasgow Scotland. Together they combine their love of acoustic folk, indie soul, and some mellow surf rock.
Martina, an Italian multi instrumentalist provides the groovy bass lines and those sweet harmonies, and Sarah, a full time ukulele teacher loves a funky riff and adding some spicy sounding chords!”

It’s Chill Creek will be performing on our Saturday Stage ‘Eblana Cabana’ at the Eblana Festival Club HQ.

RWC

In February 2020, the best possible time to start a new live performing act, a German, a Frenchie, an Italian and a Portuguese walked into a pub and formed a band. No joke, this group of mischievous music makers are hell bent on bringing good mood and great tunes to the island of Ireland. You’ll be surprised how much ukuleles can rock, and their harmonies will leave you wanting more.

RWC will be performing on our Saturday Stage ‘Eblana Cabana’ at the Eblana Festival Club HQ.

Almost Pi

Almost Pi are Darren, Joh and Seán. They performed for the first time together at the 2019 Ukulele Hooley! They headlined Whelan’s in April 2022 at The Night of Too Many Ukuleles.

They combine a number of different musical styles in their quest to bring ukulele music to strange, new places. Recently, they have been joined by Jenny, who has helped them square their musical circle.

Almost Pi will be performing on our Saturday Stage ‘Eblana Cabana’ at the Eblana Festival Club HQ.

The Sunday Stage

Sunday 25th August, in the People’s Park, performers take to the stage

Join us in the People Park, Dun Laoghaire, for the main performance event of the festival, on Sunday 25th August.

Proceedings kick-off before midday – 11:30am.

We will be continuing our tradition of presenting talented ukulele performers and groups from around the world.

Big Hooley Jam

A must for ukulele players – grab your uke and come along to be part of the “The Big Jam @ The Hooley“!

Festival Raffle

Try your luck in our ever popular Ukulele Hooley festival raffle, with some fabulous ukulele related prizes to win.

Retail Therapy

Check out our ukulele merchandise and instrument stalls, to find that perfect gift for you or the ukulele people in your life.

Relax in the Park

Relax in Dún Laoghaire’s magnificent People’s Park, a beautifully landscaped oasis of calm, enhanced with the sounds of ukuleles.

Children’s/Beginner’s Workshop

Children’s Workshop will at the dlr LexIcon, Saturday 26th August.

Uke Factor Competition

Enjoy the ‘Uke Factor‘ competition winners, performing on the festival Sunday stage. Such a treat to experience the talent of the future.