By Rebecca Skilton
With names like Mic Conway and Matthew Fagan on the set list, the 2017 Dandenong Ranges Ukulele Festival is back and bigger than ever.
Hosted by Emerald Primary School, the Dandenong Ranges Ukulele Festival (DRUKE) will fill the hills with all things ukulele this May. Spanning over both Saturday 20 and Sunday 21, the annual festival is a weekend of workshops, performances, markets and the crowning of ‘Golden Uke’ award winners.
ARIA award-winning singer, actor, musician, song writer, fire eater, magician, tap dancer and juggler Mic Conway will be among the performers taking the stage at this year’s DRUKE festival, the Captain Matchbox Whoopee Band front-man opening the festival weekend on Friday 19 May.
Having toured across Australia, Britain, the USA, New Zealand and Asia, Conway’s show are an eclectic combination of comedy, magic, juggling, jokes, sight gags and antics with props, fire eating, silly songs and general mayhem.
Accompanying Conway in opening the 2017 Dandenong Ranges Ukulele festival is ‘Lord of the strings’, Matthew Fagan, whose musical wizardry extends across instruments such as the guitar, banjo and ukulele.
Having recently returned from an extremely successful interstate tour to Adelaide where he received two four-star reviews, Fagan was a director of the original 2014 Emerald Ukulele Festival and has been working alongside fellow director Kellie Grattidge, offering co-direction, administration and support for this year’s festival.
Throughout the festival weekend, Fagan will also be conducting a workshop at 11am on Sunday 21 May; while at 9pm he will appear alongside his band, Ukuleleland.
Also featured throughout this year’s festival are talents such as Lucy Wise, The Thin White Ukes, Alex Burns and The Montgomery Brothers.
The DRUKE festival will be held 20 and 21 May at Emerald Primary School, Heroes Avenue Emerald. To find out more about DRUKE and to purchase tickets, visit www.drukefestival.org.au