The 2nd UFO Festival took place on June 29th in Obermörmoosen in Bavaria, Germany. The festival is organized by Elisabeth Pfeiffer. In the last years she became an important actor in the ukulele scene in Europe and this charming festival is a perfect example of all the love she gives to this community.
I’m guessing that the name of the festival location already tells you a lot about the area, but there are a few words I want to say about it. The festival takes places in rural Bavaria – and when I say rural I mean it. The location is a former shed that was repurposed as a small theater. There is one farmhouse right next to it and well, that’s basically it.
I feel like the festival has the best of both worlds – it’s a community affair with international flair. Commnunity affair because they try to involve local schools. In fact, that’s how the programme started in the afternoon. There were two school classes showing off their ukulele skills on main stage.
Then it was time for some workshops. I only booked one, because it was so hot my brain was not ready to take on a lot of new things. So the workshop I booked was actually one I had done before:
Syncopation Station – Marc Gallagher
As you all know I’ve met Marc several times in the last year (and even did some videos with him). When he visited Vienna a couple of months ago he held this workshop at the monthly ukulele club. But since there are some quite difficult strumming patterns in the course, I thought it might be a good idea to participate again. Marc is getting a lot better at teaching and the workshop was a lot of fun. If only I wasn’t so lazy and would actually practice…
Sing along with Gabriela La Foley
This was not a sing along – it was an experience. Gabriela is one of the funniest and happiest people I’ve met recently and she did such a great job getting people singing, playing and humming along (without handing out or projecting one chord or lyrics). Unfortunately I couldn’t find a website but you can check her out in this youtube video. (Fun Fact: She knows the names of all the countries in the world).
Before the international artists hit the stage it was time for a short open-mic. There were just a couple of slots available and I was happy that Elisabeth asked me to fill one of them. I was in good company with Marc, Marius, Martin & Sabine and the local ukulele club.
Since I missed their performance in Graz, I was looking forward to finally see this amazing collaboration – and it was even better than I could’ve imagined. Charlotte and Elisabeth are such a lovely match – if you ever have the chance to see them live don’t miss it. Their set was mostly made of German text chanson songs – sometimes sad, sometimes fun but always beautiful to listen to.
Samuel is a German artist with a very philosophical point of view. He hit the stage with a band, though his interesting lyrics probably would be fine with just him and a ukulele. It might be difficult to get into his music if you don’t understand German. However, if you do, you should go and check him out.
Dani & Liam
I’ve been looking forward to see Dani and Liam live. I’ve met Dani last year at Austrian Ukulele Festival where she was performing as part of the Mersey Belles and her voice captured me. Together with Liam they offered a very intimate show with some original songs and covers. I would have loved to hear some more from them.
I know what you’re probably thinking – again? Yes, again. Tubadu played main stage at this years Austrian Ukulele Festival and I enjoyed their show a lot. However, their set in Graz was in the afternoon which made it difficult to really get the crowd crazy. In this small space their show got almost everyone on their feet dancing and it was soooo much fun.
All Star Finale
It’s common at ukulele festival that there’s an all star finale with everyone who played this day/weekend. If the festival has a special festival song that’s what they usually perform. Somehow the artists in Obermörmoosen had more fun doing a 90s boyband song, so the audience was in for a real treat:
I had an amazing time at the festival. Meeting friends, making new friends and just enjoying this day. If you’re in Germany or somewhere close make sure to join us next year.
PS: If you want to see more pictures and short clips from the different performances you can check out the story highlights on my Instagram.