Ukuleles take over Rye

Rye Ukulele
Rye Ukulele

It may be small but the ukulele will be making a big noise this month when the first Rye Ukulele Festival is taking place at the town’s Cinque Ports pub.

The free Festival takes place on Sunday May 24 from 12.30pm in and around the pub in Cinque Ports Street.

It has been organised by the Rye Ukulele Experiment, a group of ukulele enthusiasts based in the town, and more than a dozen other bands from Kent and Sussex have already signed up to join them in performing at the event.

The Cinque Ports pub will be running a will be running a barbecue and outside bar during the event, which is sponsored by brewers Shepherd Neame.

Rye Town Council also donated £500 to support the festival.

Festival organiser Lorna Hall said: “The take-up has been fantastic for our first year. In addition to individual group performances, the highlight will be the last session when as many ukuleles as possible will join together and perform a dozen songs in unison.”

There will also be an attempt at a world record kazoo and ukulele rendition of the Bonzo Dog Doo Dah Band’s quirky 1968 hit Urban Spaceman.

Pub licensee Jonathan Breeds said: “When the Rye Ukulele Experiment mentioned the idea of the festival to us, we were delighted to offer our support. It should be a great community day for all ages to enjoy.”

Bands performing include The Brillos (Rye-based group), Wadhurst Ukulele Group, Vallelectro (Lewisham-based group), Headcorn Ukulele Group, Lewkulele (Lewes-based group), East Grinstead Ukulele Club, Sunshine Ukes of Deal, Doddington Ukulele Movement, Lewes Ukulele Group, Ruby in the Dust (Rye-based group).

Don’t miss out on all the latest breaking news where you live.

Here are four ways you can be sure you’ll be amongst the first to know what’s going on.

1 Make our website your homepage at

2 Like our Facebook page at

3 Follow us on Twitter @RyeObs

4 Register with us by clicking on ‘sign in’ (top right corner). You can then receive our daily newsletter AND add your point of view to stories that you read here.

And do share with your family and friends - so they don’t miss out!

The Rye and Battle Observer - always the first with your local news.

Be part of it.