June 9, 2010 by Tim
What do you get when you have a bunch of ukulele players come to an old hippy commune to play a 8 hour open mic, camp, eat and jam all day long?
A FRICK’N GOOD TIME!!
I missed last year’s UWC and I was really bummed and I am so happy that I was able to go this year. The atmosphere is like nothing else. The thing is that it is not a festival but more of a large party to celebrate the ukulele and its community. There are no formal classes, but you learn a ton if you want to. There are no headliners waiting backstage to go on and wow the crowd. Trust me there were plenty of people there that could be the headline act at most any ukulele festival (Dominator, Ukulele Zoey and Jodi AKA Gigapus, Flea Bitten Dawgs, Shani Fawni, and Mike from Mainland Ukes to name a few)The great thing about the UWC is that the performers are everyone there. Everyone has a chance to go and play and get a big round of applause no matter how they did. I am a little embarrassed that I screwed up my set on Friday night. I got up there sang a Flaming lips song then tried to do doc of the bay and could not remember it at all and I really wanted to go back on Saturday to redeem myself but by the time I got back to camp the signup sheet was way to full. When I got off the stage I was greeted by Ukulele Zoey and a bunch of others who made me feel like I was not a total screw up and everyone applauded just as loud for me as every other person that went up there. It is a great place to get up and sing for people if you have never done it before.
Things to know about the UWC, a lessons learned if you will.
1. Come Friday; There are a lot of people there on Friday and the potluck is amazing. Also if you show up Friday you can explore Nashville and all that fun stuff Saturday.
2. Bring some food and plenty to drink, not just beer. At this year’s, like last years, there was a potluck that is made up of food that the locals bring. it was good. Saturday you will more than likely spend away from camp exploring so you can eat in town. So there is no need to bring full meals, just bring snacks and stuff to share with everyone.
3. Be prepared for any weather. If you are camping make sure that you have clothes for Hot, cold, and wet.
4. Sign up for open mic as early as you can. If you wait you will go on at 1am. People are allowed to stay up there as long as they like, most did 3-4 songs.
5. Be prepared to buy a new ukulele. You may tell yourself that you don’t need it. It is hard to not go to Weed Patch or Mainland and fall in love.
6. Be prepared to stay until 4 pm on Sunday. There was a ukulele class from 11 -4. I heard it was pretty cool
7. Get on Ukulele Underground and start participating in it. The UWC is also a place for many people who communicate on the forums to actually meet and have a “family reunion” of sorts. It will help when you get there.
I had a great time and hope that it happens again next year. One of my big highlights was going to David Gills house to see his workshop. That story is coming soon.
Please comment below with your experiences or go to the Ukulele Underground forum where people are already posting their favorite moments.
More pics on the facebook group page