Here is an assortment of ukulele festivals and events taking place around the U.S. during September, October, and November 2022.
September 7–11 | Port Townsend, Washington
For this year’s PTUW, the Centrum arts organization is presenting a hybrid festival. There will be an in-person gathering at historic Fort Worden State Park in the Olympic Peninsula town of Port Townsend, a short ferry ride from Seattle; and also an “online audit option” that will offer three classes a day on September 8, 9, and 10. Workshop offerings will feature a wide variety of styles—jazz, blues, swing, Hawaiian, pop, novelty, and jug band ukulele. The artist faculty includes Daniel Ho, Del Rey, Aaron Keim, Diane Nalini, Dani Joy, Greg and Jere Canote, Gracie Terzian, Hawaii’s Hula Honeys, and Brook Adams.
September 9–11 | Lexington, Kentucky
KYukefest is an intimate festival in downtown Lexington, Kentucky, known for its unique blend of local and national talent, vendors, workshops, flash mobs, and an upbeat atmosphere. The always-wonderful Danielle Ate the Sandwich will be headlining this year’s festival, and among the other notables appearing are Ohana artist Timothy James, Minneapolis troubadour Jeremy Messersmith, and the versatile and exciting solo instrumentalist Sho. As always, there will be numerous cool workshops on everything from chord melody to songwriting to improvisation to uke care to hula (!), with sessions hosted by Jonathan Piercy, Jenny Morse, Mick Jeffries, the irrepressible Mim, and others. There will be an open-mic, a sing-along, the beloved Ukulele Marketplace, and more.
September 10 | Simsbury, Connecticut
A single-day 13-hour festival conceived by Simsbury’s premier ukulele ensemble, the Kinetic Ukes, the first-ever Nutmeg Ukulele Festival (Connecticut being “the Nutmeg State”) will take place at the north-central Connecticut town’s lovely old colonial-style Eno Memorial Hall. The stellar lineup of teaching artists and performers include Marcy Marxer and Cathy Fink, Gerald Ross, Cynthia Kinnunen, Eve Goldberg, and Ben Hassinger. There will be workshops taught by all of the above (some of the best in the biz!), performances and, naturally, a community play-along. Also, local celeb Jumpin’ Jim Beloff will be on hand signing his recent book!
September 10 | Roseville, California
This marks the tenth year of what was formerly known as the Auburn Gold Pan Ukulele Festival, now relocated in the Placer County, California, town of Roseville, northeast of Sacramento. The PUF will actually kick off Friday, September 9, with a concert at The Strum Shop, the much-loved and regionally famous music shop founded a decade ago by Daniel Elliott Jr. and the late Stu Herreid. The main festival activity happens on Saturday (Sept. 10) at Roseville’s Eagles Hall. This year’s teaching program, aimed at beginning and intermediate players, includes Leonard Kaufer (of online and in-person UkeJams fame), John Sandoval (CaliUkulele), bluegrass uke specialist Dr. Dennis Fisher, and San Francisco Bay Area teacher Steve Kritzer. After the teaching sessions there will an open mic, uke jam, and more. Proceeds from the event benefit the local nonprofit Ukes for Schools.
September 16–18 | Camp Westwind, Oregon
We’d like to think that all good things don’t have to come to an end, but the sad fact is this year’s edition of Melany Berry/Fullheart Productions’ beloved Tunes in the Dunes is going to be the event’s grand
finale. Rustic Camp Westwind, located on the rugged and beautiful Central Oregon coast, will once again be the setting for “a ukulele gathering like no other,” and which, as usual, features a bountiful collection of A-list instructors/performers, including James Hill, Heidi Swedberg and Daniel Ward, Aaron and Nicole Keim (The Quiet American) and Steven Espaniola—plus Andy Andrews, Bryan Holley, and the Hood River Trio. There are workshops, jam sessions, a uke orchestra, and a concert. Tunes in the Dunes is where the sounds of the surf and crackling bonfires merge with the joyful plinking of a veritable sea of ukes!
September 23–25, 2022 | Torrance, California
These folks manage to pack so many fantastic ukulele performances and workshops throughout Southern California’s Torrance Cultural Arts Center—a modern complex that includes meeting rooms, visual and performing arts studios, a concert space, two outdoor plazas, and even a Japanese garden. Among this year’s many uke world luminaries teaching and/or performing are Victoria Vox, Andrew Molina, Brittni Paiva, Abe Lagrimas, Jr., Neal Chin, Jenifer Cabrera, Marlowe, Alissa Hunnicutt, and more. There are workshops, play-alongs, Hawaiiian foods and treats (shave ice!), free activities aimed at kids (such as an ukulele puppet show!), and the Ukulele Marketplace featuring boutique builders, local retailers, and manufacturers showing (and selling) their wares.
October 7–9 | Boyertown, Pennsylvania
Put on by the popular Funky Frets music store in Boyertown (about an hour outside of Philly), this festival always has a strong lineup, and this year is no exception. Performers/instructors include Christopher Davis-Shannon, Jim D’Ville, Michael August, the Aloha Boys, Curt Sheller, Debi Velasco, Gwendolyn Fitz, and more. In addition to concerts and workshops, there will be open mics, jam sessions, vendors, uke raffles, and other activities!
October 12–15 | Reno, Nevada
The 14th edition of one of the West’s biggest ukulele fests will take place over four days at the Nugget Casino & Resort in Reno, in western Nevada. The festival features daily sessions of workshops, evening concerts, open mics, community performances, a raffle, and lots of shopping. Ukulele entertainers and instructors include Lil Rev, Gerald Ross, Victoria Vox, Jack Maher, Heidi Swedberg, Daniel Ward, Dani Joy, Perry Stauffer, Alissa Hunnicutt, and more. Concerts and jams are hosted nightly, with the Friday evening concert in Reno’s lavish and world-famous Celebrity Showroom. Informal jams stretch late into the night/early morning hours.
November 4–6 | St. Pete Beach, Florida
This has long been one of the most popular ukulele events in the Southeast U.S., and it’s easy to see why! Once again it’s taking place at the beautiful, waterfront Sirata Beach Resort, which is set on a barrier island west of St. Petersburg, on Florida’s Gulf Coast. For the TBUG’s 13th edition, the Tampa Bay Ukulele Society has put together another weekend packed with 12 workshop sessions (including six aimed at beginners), concerts, a dance party, play-alongs, an artist meet-and-greet, open mics, raffles to benefit local charities, and the justifiably famous Sunday afternoon beach luau concert. Entertainers and/or workshop leaders include Jim D’Ville, Ray Cygrymus, Uke 66, Tom Hood & Tropical Sons, Tiki Dave,Devin Scott, the Mungos, Jay Nunes, Mim, Greg Gent, andHui Na Aikane O Hawaii. Also, this year you don’t have to be there to join in the fun: There will also be a virtual version of the festival, allowing folks from far and wide to participate!
November 11-12 | Plymouth, Minnesota
Organized by the Twin Cities Ukulele Club, and since 2015 part of the Minnesota Bluegrass and Old-Time Music Association’s annual festival at the lovely and comfortable Crowne Plaza hotel in the West Minneapolis suburb of Plymouth, the Great Minnesota Uke Gathering (GMUG) draws ukers from all over the upper Midwest (and beyond) for a couple of days of performances and workshops and, no doubt, informal ukulele mayhem. GMUG headliners this November will include Gerald Ross, Petey Mac, Ukester Brown, and Dale and Brenda Moe from THUG—Two Harbors Ukulele Group. At press-time, more specifics about concerts, jams, open mics, and workshops were not available, so be sure to check the website listed below. But wait, there’s more! Buying a ticket to GMUG also gets you into all of the concerts, workshops, and activities of the Minnesota Bluegrass Fall Jam, happening concurrently at Crowne Plaza, Friday to Sunday of that weekend. So in essence, you get two festivals for the price of one. Sounds like acoustic music heaven!