Biggest Newkulele fest ever

NEWCASTLE'S iconic landmarks will be serenaded by the sweet sounds of ukulele music this weekend as part of Newcastle's inaugural ukulele festival.

More than 300 players from around Australia will descend on the city for the three-day Newkulele Festival 2012, which starts tonight.

The oldest player will be 92 and the youngest will be six.

"It's just like a huge extended family," festival director Kiri Hata said.

"This will be the largest gathering of ukulele players ever in Newcastle."

Much of the activity will take place in the specially erected big top circus tent at the Wickham Croatian Sports Club in Albert Street, Wickham.

Some of Australia's best ukulele acts will perform, including Azo Bell, Bosko & Honey, AJ Leonard & Mic Conway.

Doing Newcastle and the Hunter proud will be the Ukastle Ukestra, which will open and close the festival.

"They look like fielding their largest team, perhaps comprising of 100 arranged players," Ms Hata said.

The orchestra has performed at festivals in Hawaii, Melbourne, Brisbane and the Blue Mountains.

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