We are both just about back to normal - I (Em) actually feel very old after this year's festival! I'm still on the early nights - even turned down a glass or two of wine on Friday night! If you knew me you would know this is NOT NORMAL!! But it was all more than worth it, and besides my school have now broken up for the holidays so I can nap at my leisure ;-)
Officially the best Summer Strum yet. And it's all down to all of you ... in no particular order:
Ian Davies for literally everything he does before, during and after the event;
Kev Founds, Tracey Forrester and their Fanatic friends for volunteering their time and efforts erecting and taking down tents, hanging lights, selling raffle tickets, rattling charity buckets - the festival functions so seamlessly because of you guys;
Ditto Sheila Ford, Barbara Woodward and Jean Pound - our three degrees on the information and merchandise table - the best saleswomen in town;
Ditto volunteers from the D'ukes and other groups - in fact EVERYONE who helped out selling and hawking;
Jack and Sue Kurton and their amazing family for letting us use the Rugby Club and its facilities again and for working tirelessly all weekend to feed and water the five thousand; same goes for Mary and all the volunteers behind the bar as we drunk you dry again!;
The Rugby Club members who run the Barbie and are there right from the start marshalling and looking after campers;
Dave the medic - your presence was invaluable;
Annie and volunteers from Wirral Hospice St John's;
Jules (Cools), Margaret and John for a spectacular Hootenanny Party Tent which will be talked about all year long - EVERYONE loves playing in there! We are lucky people to have you in our lives;
Garry V - the ONE and ONLY! The sound was surpassed this year! Top notch job. I notice everyone took our advice and fed and watered the sound man!! See - if you do that, you get great sound!;
Jess and Pete for excellent marshalling and generally being really really helpful - mwah, mwah;
Dave Cornett and Pete Barnes for taking the weight off our shoulders and being excellent stage managers/comperes - you couldn't get them away from the stage in the end! Thank you guys;
Chris Millard for kind use of his drums, even though we know that drummers are proper precious about their kit. Massive favour mate - greatly appreciated;
Tom Baker (graphic design extraordinaire) for his ever amazeballs posters, flyers, facebob graphics, programmes, tshirts, stickers - and for asking that his fees be split between the charities - TOP GENT!;
Karl Parry for an excellent Open Mic on Saturday - it was a bit of a gamble on our part but I think one that paid off! Brilliant job Karl (and Jules - again - for setting up the sound) - and really well attended. Same again next year folks?;
Which brings me to Toast and Jam - our breakfast sessions run by the lovelies from Wirral Ukulele Fanatics and D'ukes of Hazzard. Another unknown but I think they went down very well don't you? Thanks for the time and effort Kev, Dave and co - really appreciated - even Garry V joined in on Sunday :-);
Splintered Ukes for giving their time for free on Friday night playing us a bloody marvellous bodice-ripping party set - as you probably know by now: YOU GUYS ROCK! Thank you so much!;
Chester Ukes, Ukulele Club Liverpool and Wirral Ukulele Orchestra for donating busking proceeds and performance payments to the Summer Strum pot - and indeed EVERYONE who donated to the Crowdfund and bought tickets to the Race Night and Plink n Plonk fundraisers;
Elaine Kinsella for all her help and advice and for holding her Rock n Roll Workshop despite being at deaths door - you are a ROCK STAR lady!;
All stallholders and local businesses who donated raffle prizes and percentages of their profits to the charities;
Mary Agnes Krell for coming to see what all the fuss was about and bringing some pretty far out raffle prizes - congratulations Gary for winning the uke!! And whoever won the GNUF tickets - you are in for a great time!
Arto from Tropical Winter Ukulele Festival Finland who not only came to England to be with us but who also donated a ticket to his festival - it's well worth the ride!;
Uke East for their promo and tickets to their festival in September;
All our families for putting up with Summer Strum in their lives all year round and supporting us unquestionably!
Last but definitely NOT least - the players; the folk everyone comes to see ... everyone who gave their time for nowt to get up on stage and entertain the masses. Most special thanks to the Trellebelles who funded their own journey and stay just to be with us. They are beautiful, exceptional people with hearts as big as Liverpool!! We hope you all had as much of a blast as we did.
WANT TO DO IT AGAIN NEXT YEAR!?
Well put the 6th,7th and 8th July in yer diaries!
SUMMER STRUM FOREVER - well for one more year at least!
LOVE PAT AND EM xxxxxxx
P.S. We are still waiting for money to come in so that we can do the final tally but from the collection buckets, raffles, programme sales and contributions from the stallholders we have so far raised over £1000 each for Wirral St John's Hospice and Wirral MIND ... WATCH THIS SPACE!