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SPRUKE Wrap-up

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SPRUKE 2019 was Brisbane’s fifth ukulele festival. A festival with international, national and local talent. A festival for all, for schools, for beginners, and for ukulele players of all standards, seeking to step up and play, or to step up their playing.

SPRUKE 2019 was the last SPRUKE for this decade, and we wanted it to be the best. After each festival we listen to what festival goers have to say. Planning for 2019 was no exception… after SPRUKE 2017 we listened.

We listened … and in response to popular opinion, we avoided River Fire, grand finals, and city traffic or reliance on public transport … and moved SPRUKE to a world class venue in the Brisbane suburbs.

We listened … and knew that people come to SPRUKE to see high quality acts of international renown … we brought you the lovely Cynthia Lin, ever-popular Ukulele Death Squad who alongside the Thin White Ukes, the Loveys, the Gypsy Rumble, Vic Kena, and Mama Juju fronted our festival with high quality headline performances. Congratulations Liz Crunkhorn and the Program Committee.

We listened … and knowing people prefer affordable accommodation close to the venue we partnered with Quest Apartments, Eight Mile Plains to make it happen.

The aim of every Brisbane ukulele festival is to be as inclusive as possible and involve as many people as possible in the magic of music making. And we did it again in style! SPRUKE 2019 was jam-packed with opportunities to play — the AUTLA professional development day, free mass beginners workshops, jams, open mics, on stage performances and lots of workshops. Thank you to Megan Thomson for delivering our first ever schools concert, and Nathan Cahill for composing a splendid piece for the schools concert final mass ensemble — the kids were fantastic! Thank you to the many talented performers and presenters who made our festival such fabulous fun.

Thank you to our Media Manager, Jo Kunde, for orchestrating an exciting suite of festival competitions and contests. Winners were announced on the Competitions web page of the SPRUKE website, but a special thank you goes to the many local performers who in true Uke’n Make music style, entered our Sprukestar Contest (supported by Guitar Brothers) and Uke’n Parody Video Contest (supported by Binary Music). See all the songwriting entries here.

Congratulations to our new Sprukestar, Chan Hoo, whose rendition of ‘Autumn Leaves’ took first prize, and to Peter Ransom for winning the songwriting competition with his entry ‘Take it all away’ to the tune of ‘It’s Raining in my Heart’. Hear it here.

Thank you to the sponsors and ukulele suppliers who provided ongoing support and showcased their wares in the festival markets. A new venue is always a massive logistical challenge and Sunnybank was no exception. The feed back from sponsors has been extraordinarily positive. Thank you to Geoff Dancer and Chris Slater who with a dedicated team of volunteers, made the physical presence of SPRUKE 2019 work. They came early to set up, and stayed late to pack up. Thank you to venue staff who ensured things went smoothly throughout the weekend.

Thank you too, to our Festival Technical Director, Blair Marks and his eager team of technicians who arranged the lighting and sound.  Thank you to our photographers who captured all the fun over the weekend. Also, a special thanks to Keryn Henderson who with her extensive SPRUKE experience picked up the loose ends of many little tasks and tied them off. There are many more individuals I could name, but in true humble ukulele style, they won’t expect it. But thank you to the Festival Committee members for hours and hours and hours of dedicated planning and organising. And thank you to all of the SPRUKE Crew for a festival weekend peppered with volunteer shifts.

Lastly thank you to all those festival goers who came … and particularly those who stayed to the very end of our marvelous Morris Brothers Festival Finale … then helped pack up…

Max Borchardt
President
Brisbane Ukulele Musicians Society Inc