The humble ukulele’s popularity has waxed and waned through the decades. The four-string instrument is currently on a high, and many festivals have sprung up to bring together fans and new converts. Seaside festivals are fitting nods to the ukulele’s Hawaiian roots.
One such event is held in Dun Laoghaire, a picturesque harbor town surrounded by rolling hills a hop-skip away from Dublin. On Aug. 20 and 21, its Ukulele Hooley by the Sea offers hours of listening and playing pleasure. On Saturday there are several workshops geared to all playing abilities (from 11 a.m.; 15 euros per session, or about $13), followed by an Open Mic Night at which solo artists and groups can perform in front of what organizers assure will be a supportive audience (from 7:30 p.m.; 10 euros).
Sunday is the event’s big day, with the Big Ukulele Hooley Concert set to kick off in the People’s Park at noon. Some of the world’s most talented ukulele musicians will perform during an eight-hour concert. Entry is free. The day’s agenda includes workshops for kids and ukulele newbies. The trip from Dublin to Dun Laoghaire is easy. A straight, half-hour ride on the DART commuter rail line from Connolly Station gets you there and back for less than 7 euros.
For more information, see http://ukulelehooley.com.