Hundreds of people flocked to Oddicombe Beach on Saturday 3 June to enjoy the 4th annual Babbacombe Ukulele Festival in glorious sunshine and with a fly past by the Red Arrows.
With 17 different ukulele bands performing, the live music started at 10am and finished around 8pm playing to a very full Festival Marquee all day long.
Organised by John Ayres, who is the Chairman of the Babbacombe Cliff Railway Community Interest Company and also a founding member of the Babbacombe Ukulele Strummers, it was the biggest and best so far.
John said “We had a really fabulous day on the beach. I can’t believe how popular this event has become and how many bands now want to take part. We actually had a waiting list for extra bands that we just didn’t have time to include in this year’s line-up.” He added “There really is nothing else like our festival in the area and the enthusiasm for it among all the ukulele bands involved is a real pleasure. We are delighted with how the event went and will no doubt start planning for 2018 very soon.”
This year’s bands were Babbacombe Bay Rollers, Babbacombe School, Dawlish Ukulele Band, Marldon Musketeers, Ukulele Vagabond, Plymouth Ukulele Players, Ukeabillies, Hatherleigh Ukulele Bashers, Sunnyside Up, Sidmouth Ukulele Strummers, Yealm Ukulele Club, Exeter Ukulele Band, Shades of Grey, Torbay Ukulele Band, Babbacombe Ukulele Strummers, Jeff Sharland and Friends and Newton Abbot Ukulele Club.
Nicky Allen, Marketing Manager for the Cliff Railway said “Along with our other beach partners, including the team at Three Degrees West, we like to have a few events each year down on Oddicombe for various reasons. It’s a fabulous location and our Festival Marquee really sets the scene. The events are also a good way to introduce new people to Oddicombe Beach and the Cliff Railway. But, finally, and most importantly, we all consider ourselves very much part of the community in Babbacombe and to be in a position to provide some great quality, free events for everyone to enjoy is something we are very proud of.” She continued “The next event we have planned is our family fun murder mystery on Saturday 16 September. This is another lovely day out that has grown each year and for 2017 we have a new mystery to solve and culprit to find. There will be plenty of interrogating to be done by all concerned and we’re hoping for a bumper turnout of willing sleuths.”