Ukulele & Languages

Different countries,
Different cultures
one common language... the ukulele.

A weekend at the FIUL, International Ukulele Fest. of Lerrain

28 2011

The FIUL, International Ukulele Festival of Lerrain was the first ukulele festival I’ve attended which didn’t take place in Paris, which, for a countryside dweller like myself, was just perfect. Here are some highlights of the weekend.

Meylie Mellow and Rel-Bar, the organisers of the festival have done a great job making ukulele players attending the festival very welcome. Upon arrival, all ukulele players who had registered on their site received a bag containing items that would help them look and sound good on stage (a set of strings from Aquila, a thick and neatly laid-out songbook, a toothbrush, toothpaste, mascara,  and other things, including some deodorant to make sure our playing didn’t stink). It’s worth mentioning that the bag was a world tour in itself with products from France, Italy, New-Zealand, the US and Germany.









The whole village of Lerrain seemed to have been converted to the ukulele before we all arrived. Gardens, walls, signs, everything spoke of the ukulele.











The FIUL started out at the campsite where a crowd of ukulele players joined to play songs from the FIUL songbook.












Xavier, a French ukulele player, has found a cunning plan to fight stage fright…
















The whole festival was very laid back which is something I really liked. Whether you were a party goer or a shy ukulele player, you had your place at the FIUL.

My friend Guillaume and I especially enjoyed playing in the old wash-house which gave a very good acoustic rendering. We met with a really nice little group (special mention to Frédérique and Vincent) and started playing together.












Herman Vandecauter captivated his audience there when he played several beautiful classical pieces. I was so focused on listening that I forgot to film while he played.













On the other side of the street, ukulele players could register to play open stage. Various YouTube ukulele players from Europe and the US performed.

Gus and Fin, the famous ukulele duo from Scotland warmed up the crowd with their wild strumming and cool vocal harmonies. Here are a couple of songs they played:

You can find many more pictures of the FIUL on their website here and videos here.

I’d like to end this post by thanking Meylie Mellow and Rel-Bar for organising this festival which I really enjoyed. I hope there will be more FIUL‘s in the years to come.



  1. Al on the 29th of June 2011 @ 09:29

    Thanks for the report, Armelle. Looks like a fun festival.

  2. Armelle Europe on the 29th of June 2011 @ 20:05

    Al: glad you enjoyed the report. The festival was fun indeed.

  3. FIUL on the 3rd of July 2011 @ 10:40

    Wahouuu merci beaucoup Armelle pour ce super article. tu nous as fait revivre encore un foi ce weekend incroyable. C’était un plaisir de te rencontrer ainsi que de rencontrer tout ces ukulélistes. Nous y repensons encore très souvent… c’est comme un rêve lointoin ! A bientôt.

    Meylie Mellow & Rel-Bar

  4. Armelle Europe on the 3rd of July 2011 @ 21:46

    Meylie Mellow & Rel-Bar: Contente de faire perdurer ce bon week-end ukulélé mémorable :)

  5. Vincent on the 14th of July 2011 @ 00:29

    Thanks for this message. The old wash-house was “the place to be”.
    I spend very good moments with all the uke players.

    See you next!!!


    PS : you’re on “uke hunt” website today. Waouhhhh. Felicitations!!!!!

  6. Armelle Europe on the 14th of July 2011 @ 18:51

    Vincent: the old wash-house was definitely the best place to be. We really enjoyed strumming with you and the others and we sure hope to see you next year.
    Merci pour les félicitations :-)

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