ORGANISERS of Portsmouth’s first-ever ukulele festival say they hope it will put a smile on people’s faces.
For three days in August the small Hawaiian guitar will be everywhere across the city – there will be concerts, workshops and even a mass ukeathon at Trinity Methodist Church in Southsea.
Any profits from the event – called Pompulele – will be donated to The Rowans Hospice and it will kick off on Friday, August 26.
Organised by local ukulele fans the Pompey Pluckers, the festival is also being supported by the Musicroom, in Commercial Road, and the Southern Co-operative.
Founder of the group Linda Wilson said she had been astonished by its success since she started it two years ago.
‘It has been remarkable,’ she said. ‘So many people have asked to join we’ve had to put on another weekly session for beginners.
‘So we thought it was time to see if we could do something bigger and get loads of people involved.
‘I expect it has caught on because it is such an accessible instrument, and much easier to use than a guitar.
‘And the sound of more than one playing together just makes people smile, it’s wonderful to see.’
More than 40 people now attend regular meetings at the Old House at Home pub, in Milton, twice a week.
Two years ago Linda took part in a successful attempt to get the most people in history playing the ukulele together – managing 851 in London – and said Portsmouth could stage its own record attempt in the future.
She said: ‘Right now we want to see how successful the festival is, and then we might give the record a go.
‘I hope people come along and give it a try. Maybe they’ve tried an instrument before and given up, so assumed they weren’t musical. The uke could change their minds!’
For more information about Pompulele visit pompey pluckers.webs.com.