2012 Midwest Uke Fest recap (Posted by Richard Ash on 8/16/2012)
Folkcraft put on its first annual ukulele festival this year. The Midwest Uke Fest had a successful inaugural event. Instructors were Peter "Madcat" Ruth, Bing Futch, Butch Ross, and Ehukai Teves.
Our guests took a chance on us, and from all reports, they were happy they did. We're already looking forward to next years Uke Fest, and planning on making the event even more fun!
The concert hall the day before the festival - Richard Reprogle (our sound guy) setting up the mic stands
Festival guests (right before the first class started) welcoming the instructors to the festival
Butch Ross on stage
Madcat on stage
Ehukai Teves on stage
Ehukai Teves and Bing Futch
Madcat, Ehukai, Bing, and Butch
Bing Futch on stage
By the end of the weekend, people were weary of sitting, so at least one guest chose to stand up during the concert.
Our sound guy is also a musician - Richard Reprogle jamming on a guitar in the showroom (no - Folkcraft does NOT make guitars) You may notice that he's wearing a Dulcimer Gathering (the Folkcraft Hammered Dulcimer Festival) t-shirt.
Festival registration fees included all-you-want snacks and beverages. Here's a photo of our fully stocked soft drink refrigerator. Another fridge was filled with bottled water.
Meals were held in our loading dock. You can see the forklift sitting behind the table...
Our Sunday evening concert was (in Folkcraft festival tradition) interrupted by a tornado alert. We evacuated the concert hall, and put all of our guests in the office part of our building (which has cinder block walls instead of the pole-barn construction of our concert hall). After all guests and artists were safe, the concert went on as scheduled.
Worried faces as the Uke Fest guests checked their cell phones for tornado updates
Smiling faces as they realized that Ehukai was going to serenade them
Ehukai continuing his interrupted set. The audience was packed into a tight hallway, and Ehukai stood just outside the door. Ehukai was the ultimate professional - the show DID go on!
Jam sessions were held both Saturday and Sunday evenings at the official hotel. The artists all took part, and everyone had a great time.
Thank you to the Midwest Uke Fest staff, instructors, and guests. We're looking forward to next year's festival already, and hope to see plenty of repeat attendees.
When people think of heirloom-quality instruments, they think of Folkcraft. Here's why: Our instruments are handmade in the United States of America, not in a cheap overseas factory. Our instruments are crafted one at a time, not on an assembly line. Our instruments are made of solid woods, not out of plywood.
Folkcraft instruments are made with pride and tradition, using the same methods as our founders used in 1968. Folkcraft Instruments is a family business, with two generations of luthiers putting their skill and experience into every instrument they create.