SPRUKE On The Square – King George Square, in the heart of Brisbane.
If you haven’t been to King George Square for a while, and a lot of people haven’t with COVID restrictions, it’s between Ann and Adelaide Streets in front of the Brisbane City Hall. Opposite City Hall is the Pig ‘N’ Whistle pub and just inside City Hall is the Shingle Inn (a stylish café and Brisbane icon).
On Saturday 11th June it will look totally different because Brisbane Ukulele Musicians Society (BUMS Inc) will take it over for a day of fun, fun and more fun with our ukuleles.
Our aim is to provide something for everyone, be they experienced uke players, beginners, people who just like the uke or people who want to find what it’s all about. How can such a little instrument generate such fun?
There will be four stages, beginner’s sessions and a ukulele market.
Main performance area
This will be right in front of City Hall. It will have two stages – the Morris Brother’s Stage at the Ann Street end will be used by our big community bands and for the evening event, Ukulele Under the Stars (UUTS).
The Binary Music stage will be at the Adelaide Street end. As a performance is happening on one stage, the other stage will be setting up so there will be minimal delays between acts. We’ll start at 9.00am and finish at 9.00pm – twelve hours of ukulele sounds mostly from bands based in SE Queensland.
There will be chairs laid out between the two stages and some shade cover under gazebos. In the afternoon, King George Square is in the shade of city buildings.
There will be a mammoth LED screen next to the Morris Brother’s stage. It will be used for the big jam in the evening – Ukulele Under the Stars. During the day will be used for public announcements, videos, sponsors messages, and telling you what’s on next.
Over the Pig ‘N’ Whistle pub is a ramp that leads to a space called the Deck. It is a perfect place to run jams. There will be seven 30-minute jams running on the hour from 10.00am to 4.00pm. They will run like the normal BUMS jams with a jam leader presenting 7-8 songs which will be displayed on a screen. Each jam will have a theme –like 60s rock and roll, Beatles, Seekers, or something like that. The promotional material will explain if the songs are easy or more challenging so you can choose which one(s) suit you.
Speaker’s Corner is between the Pig ‘N’ Whistle and Adelaide Street. It is a place where any orator can hector the crowds with their opinion on any subject. From 9.00am on Saturday 11th June it will be taken over by BUMS Inc as an open mic place. Just turn up and see the MC if you want to strut your stuff or put your name on the white board to book a time.
On the ramp running up to the Deck we will have a tent for beginners to try their hand at learning a few chords and playing a song or two. We will have ukuleles for you to try. Sessions will run on the half hour, starting from 10.30am to 3.30pm. We’re not going to make you a star in half an hour but do enough to show the magic of the ukulele.
No festival would be complete without the chance to buy a ukulele (or another ukulele) and other musical items. The market will be housed in the treed area at the Ann Street end of the square.
In case you were wondering, there are well furnished toilets just inside the front door of City Hall and a public toilet behind the Pig ‘N’ Whistle.
Bring a water bottle to keep hydrated. There is a place to replenish your water at the Ann Street end of the square.
The Pig ‘N’ Whistle will be open for drinks and special deal meals from 11.00am. They will also provide coffee and tea for a gold coin. The Shingle Inn just inside City Hall will offer special deals on meals from 9.00am to 3.00pm.
Obviously being in the centre of the city means there are other shops and eating and drinking places close by.
We will set up a cloakroom tent, so you have somewhere to safely leave your gear.
There will be two security guards patrolling the square to ensure everyone is safe and unwanted bystanders or skate boarders are encouraged to move on.
Ukulele Under the Stars (UUTS)
At about 4.30pm, the outer stages will start shutting down in preparation for the finale of SPRUKE on the Square. There will be performances by some of our top bands and ukulele stars from SE Queensland.
The main event will be a jam with the words and chords displayed on the giant LED screen. As well as a range of simple and challenging songs to play, there will be a segment like a ‘pub choir’. The leader will coach you to sing the parts of a song and play along at the same time. It’s a first – and promises to be fun.
SPRUKE On The Square is a FREE event for BUMS members, anyone who plays ukulele, anyone who’d like to play ukulele and the general public. Come back into Brisbane city for a day of fun and ukulele.