Uke to the people!
2019 was a big year for the Oslo Ukulele Festival. For the first time, we received public financial support to organize the festival. That meant we could aim higher than ever.
We had our own children’s and youth program, both professional and amateur ukulele artists from home and abroad, workshops, a fantastic location, great sound, great stands, an amazing bunch of volunteers and an enthusiastic audience.
However, this year’s festival was not as lucrative as we had hoped. We are a small niche festival, and even with free entry and an incentive, we cannot compete with other major cultural events going on in parallel with our festival. This resulted in significantly less audience than we had anticipated. Consequently, the festival had a financial loss of about NOK 20,000. Thanks to charitable actions from the Oslo Ukulele Orchestra and the Oslo Ukuleleklubb who donated their income from a bigger gig to us, we managed to just break even.
A ukulele festival does not arrange itself. There is a considerable number of working hours put in by the organising committee and all the volunteers. It is a passion to organise a festival, and to convey and further develop the interest and attention in the ukulele as an instrument. But we also depend on the audience.
The Oslo Ukulele Festival has decided to take a break in 2020. What the future may bring is uncertain. Maybe we will return in a different form? Keep following us!
A warm thanks to everyone who has been a part of the festivals in 2017, 2018 and 2019 – audience as well as volunteers! Keep on strummin’.
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