The largest ukulele festival in Europe hit the right notes at the weekend when it took place in Huddersfield for the first time.

Around 1,400 people flocked to the The Grand Northern Ukulele Festival over the two-day event, which was held in the town hall and at record store, Vinyl Tap.

The second ever event of its kind, it was packed from morning until night, causing festival organiser, Mary Agnes Krell to declare it a new annual event for the town.

Click below for pictures from the festival

 

Enthusiasts armed with all manner of ukes big and small clamoured to hear their favourite musicians from across the country perform and enjoy mad-cap sessions featuring clown acts and even some off the wall musical bingo.

Dozens of workshops finely tuned players’ skills in jazz rhythm picking, recording and playing the hits of the UK’s most renowned ukulele players, comedian George Formby, whilst other lucky festival-goers had the chance to build and take home their own five-foot washtub bass.

Festival spokeswoman, Fiona Pattison, said: “It’s fantastic that the festival has expanded since last year following its move from Pontefract to Huddersfield.

“Bringing an unusual festival here really highlights the creativity on offer in the town.”

Visitors travelled across the length and breadth of Britain to watch mainstage performers, including a headline show by the quick-witted Ukulele Orchestra of Great Britain and jazz and blues maestro, Del Rey , as well as have their own half hour in the spotlight in several open mics.

Hazel Siddons, from Macclesfield, said: “I’m really excited to be here and it’s good to see that it’s got bigger in size, it just shows how popular the instrument is becoming.”

The washtub bassists stage an impromptu performance
The washtub bassists stage an impromptu performance
 

One of the bands who took to the stage were self-proclaimed ‘ukular fusionists’, Mother Ukers, who came from Bournemouth to regale their audience with ‘songs they know, in a style they don’t.’

Fans were also treated to a special look at some of the more weird and wonderful DIY creations by instrument-makers from across Europe, including Rob Collin’s Diddly Bow and Hamburg-based Nicolas Baginsky’s one-string and skiffle-style oil can ukes.

Baginsky said: “It’s great to be here, meet so many different people and showcase my own work.”

And after a jam-packed weekend, festival organiser, Ms Krell, said that the third festival will take place in just nine months time, next Spring Bank holiday.

She came up with the idea for the festival to turn more people into strumming stars.

She said: “We like Huddersfield so much we’ve decided that we are going to make it an annual event.

“We think it’s one of the biggest in the world and next year we’ve already got some great headliners confirmed from across the world, including USA player, Sarah Maisel, The Quiet American and Manitoba Hal.”