String Theory: Second Brown County Ukulele Festival Nearly Sold Out

By Suzannah Couch | For The Republic

It’s cold out there, which makes January a rough month for Nashville businesses. But one local business owner has taken it upon himself to make the month a bit cozier — with ukuleles.

The Brown County Ukulele Festival will take place Jan. 26 to 28 at the Brown County Inn. It’s sponsored by Mainland Ukes in Nashville.

As of last week, all 250 tickets were nearly sold out and all rooms at the Brown County Inn were booked, said Mike Hater, who owns Mainland Ukes.

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Mainland Ukes owner Mike Hater poses for a photo with his wife Tookta in the ukulele shop on West Washington Street. Mainland Ukes is sponsoring the Brown County Ukulele Festival at the Brown County Inn Jan. 26 to 28. The festival will feature ukulele musicians from around the country hosting workshops and performing in evening concerts. As of last week, around 15 tickets were still available for the festival. Following the concerts, performances will take place in the inn's Corn Crib Lounge that are open to the public.
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A ukulele hangs in Mainland Ukes on West Washington Street. Mainland Ukes is sponsoring the Brown County Ukulele Festival at the Brown County Inn Jan. 26 to 28. The festival will feature ukulele musicians from around the country hosting workshops and performing in evening concerts. As of last week, around 15 tickets were still available for the festival. Following the concerts, performances will take place in the inn's Corn Crib Lounge that are open to the public.
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Ukuleles on display in Mainland Ukes on West Washington Street. Mainland Ukes is sponsoring the Brown County Ukulele Festival at the Brown County Inn Jan. 26 to 28. The festival will feature ukulele musicians from around the country hosting workshops and performing in evening concerts. As of last week, around 15 tickets were still available for the festival. Following the concerts, performances will take place in the inn's Corn Crib Lounge that are open to the public.
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Mainland Ukes owner Mike Hater poses for a photo with his wife Tookta in the ukulele shop on West Washington Street. Mainland Ukes is sponsoring the Brown County Ukulele Festival at the Brown County Inn Jan. 26 to 28. The festival will feature ukulele musicians from around the country hosting workshops and performing in evening concerts. As of last week, around 15 tickets were still available for the festival. Following the concerts, performances will take place in the inn's Corn Crib Lounge that are open to the public.

“Nashville is just a ghost town in the winter. There’s just nothing going on. Every year, we watch a couple of new shops that try to make it, and in the winter, they fail. I took it upon myself to stir something up in the meantime,” Hater said.

In 2016, Hater approached the Brown County Inn about hosting a “practice festival” in 2017 as a dry run.

“We had a huge response,” he said.

Hater’s friends played for free during last year. This year, musicians will be paid to perform.

Tickets are $50 for the whole weekend, which includes six concerts in the inn’s large banquet room and ukulele workshops.

“Last year turned out really well,” said Mary Curtin, a salesperson for Brown County Inn. “We’re trying to get more involved in music.”

“It’s January, so we’re always happy to have the business, too,” she added.

The festival features a lineup of ukulele musicians from around the country who will host workshops and perform.

The youngest performer is 13-year-old Emi Sunshine from Tennessee who is a singer, songwriter and multi-instrumentalist, according to the festival’s website. Sunshine has performed on “The Today Show,” at the Grand Ole Opry and in the Ryman Auditorium in Nashville, Tennessee.

Other musicians slated to perform and host workshops include Narciso “Seeso” Lobo, Lil Rev, Flea Bitten Dawgs and Barrett Hasselwood.

Curtin said many festival guests are arriving the day before. “They are just a really laid-back, fun crowd. A lot of their time they sit around the pool and jam together, kind of talk, hang out,” she said.

Activities begin at 3:30 p.m. Friday with a meet-and-greet in the pool area, followed by an evening concert at 6:30.

For those who aren’t able to snag a ticket to the festival, the music will carry into the night after the concerts, in the Corn Crib Lounge at the inn.

“The performances in the bar are open to the public, and you can hear it in the dining room too,” Curtin said. “We’re hoping that some of the locals will come out to hang out with them and listen to that.”

In addition to events at the inn, the Brown County Playhouse will host a “Blue Hawaii” ukulele play-along on Saturday at 2 p.m.

Hater said it’s never too late to pick up a uke and learn to play.

“The ukulele is an easy instrument to learn. People who are a little bit older, or a lot older, it’s still something they can start later in life and get a lot of enjoyment out it.”

Brown County Ukulele Festival

Friday, Jan. 26

  • 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Mainland Ukes open, 90 W. Washington St.
  • 3:30 p.m. Meet-and-greet in the Brown County Inn pool area
  • 6:30 p.m. Evening concerts start in the Brown County Inn banquet room: Barrett Hasselwood, followed by Flea Bitten Dawgs at 7:15 and Emi Sunshine and the Rain at 8.
  • 8:30 p.m. Ukulele performances in the inn’s Corn Crib Lounge (open to non-ticketed guests)
  • 9:30 p.m. Open mic in the inn’s banquet room after the concerts

Saturday, Jan. 27

  • 10 a.m. Yoga with Heidi Kline and Shruti Nadis in the inn’s Woodland Room
  • 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Mainland Ukes open, 90 W. Washington St.
  • 11 a.m. Beginner’s workshop with Pete McCarty in the inn’s banquet room
  • 12:30 p.m. Intermediate workshop with Barrett Haselwood in the inn’s banquet room.
  • 2 p.m. Percussion workshop with Lee Kram in the inn’s Woodland Room
  • 3 p.m. “Strumtastic: Learn different styles of strumming to improve your playing” with Lil’Rev in the inn’s banquet room
  • 4:30 p.m. ”The Blues and Boogie of Leadbelly” with Lil’Rev in the inn’s banquet room
  • 6:45 p.m. Concerts begin in the inn’s banquet room: Narciso Lobo, followed by Lil’Rev at 7:15 p.m. and Emi Sunshine and the Rain at 8.
  • 8:30 p.m. Ukulele performances in the inn’s Corn Crib Lounge (open to non-ticketed guests)
  • 9:30 p.m. Open mic in the inn’s banquet room after the concerts

Sunday, Jan. 28

  • 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Mainland Ukes open, 90 W. Washington St.
On the web

To learn more about the ukulele musicians hosting workshops and performing during the Brown County Ukulele Festival at the Brown County Inn, visit  browncountyukefest.com.

Festival tickets can be purchased on the website for $50. As of last week, about 15 tickets were available. Tickets include concerts and workshops.


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Source : http://www.therepublic.com/2018/01/11/string-theory-second-brown-county-ukulele-festival-nearly-sold-out/

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