Festival FAQs

Nugget Casino Resort, 1100 Nugget Avenue, Sparks, Nevada 89431
From the intersection of the 80 and 395/580 freeways, head east on 80 and exit at Rock/Nugget. You will see the Nugget towers.
From the east, as you are traveling westbound on I-80, you will see the towers just past the McCarran offramp.

Once at the hotel, find the hotel front desk. Over your left shoulder there are escalators, down the hallway to your left opposite the gift shop are elevators. Both will take you directly to the festival on the 2nd floor.

Dates & Hours:
Noon, Thursday, April 14 through 11:30 AM Sunday, April 17.

What is free, what is not?
The public area
at the top of the escalators is free and open to the general public from noon to 5pm of Thursday and 9-5 on Saturday and Sunday. This area includes the Public Stage, the Vendor Marketplace in Pavilions A&B, and the Open Mic stage inside the Vendor Marketplace.

Premium workshops
are offered in Pavilions C, D, E, in the Rose Ballroom adjacent to the escalators, and in the Alpine and Tahoe rooms at the far end of the long hallway against the windows. A workshop pass badge lanyard is required to attend premium workshops. Festival staff scans workshops in progress to make sure everyone in attendance is wearing a lanyard. Please wear your lanyard/badges at all times when in a workshop so we don’t interrupt a class by asking you to leave due to no lanyard.

Celebrity Showroom concerts
These are ticketed events through the Nugget. See ticket information in the Concert section of this page.

Thursday evening reception
From 6-8pm on Thursday, April 14, we have a no-host cocktail reception with entertainment in the Rose Ballroom. This is open to all workshop pass holders and their guests. Please have at least one person in your party wearing a lanyard. In addition to the cocktail bars, an initial supply of chips and salsa will be available until exhausted. (Fair warning: These chips are apparently made of 24k gold, so once they are gone…) And like movie theaters, while covertly smuggled in snacks will most likely be ignored, please don’t bring in outside food. I am contractually obligated to that for use of the ballroom.

Sunday morning strumoff:
From 9:30-11am on Sunday morning, we wind down with a strum and group lesson/jam. This is open to all workshop pass holders and their guests.  If you are a coffee drinker, bring your coffee! The Starbucks counter near the hotel front desk will be very busy at this time. If you are headed there, I suggest you get in line early!

At the Registration Table, which will be on the 2nd floor against the windows. It will open at 11:30AM on Thursday, 7:30AM on Friday, and 8AM on Saturday.

Full Festival & Two Day Passes, One Day Passes, and Beginner Passes all have distinctly different appearances. Beginner passes are only valid for the two beginner classes by Dani Joy on Friday and Saturday, and John Nash’s Beginner and Newbie Classes held on the Public stage.

There are two different color One Day Passes. If you have this pass, whichever day you register, you will be given the appropriate color pass. (A Friday pass is not good on Saturday.)

All passholders of any kind may attend the Sunday morning strumoff and the Thursday evening reception.


Where do I pick up my concert tickets?
If you purchased an Earlybird All-Access pass last autumn, your concert tickets will be provided to you when you pick up your festival workshop badge at the Registration Table.

If you purchased concert tickets through the Nugget, you may pick them up at the Will Call table at the entrance to the showroom, beginning at 6pm night of show OR you may pick them up at the ticket window which is located immediately to the right of the hotel front desk.

How do I purchase concert tickets?
You have three options:
Purchase by phone at 1-800-648-1177
Purchase at the ticket window which is located immediately to the right of the hotel front desk.
Purchase online here: http://www.nuggetcasinoresort.com/nugget-en.html

When are the concerts?
8PM Friday and Saturday nights. Doors open at 7PM.

Where is the Celebrity Showroom?
At the opposite end of the casino floor from the hotel front desk. Look for a large display window of postcards of performers over the decades. The entrance is to the left of that.

About the Concerts
Each year we offer one ukulele-only show and a second show featuring an act that has not previously played ukulele but who will be including uke in their act for this special occasion. This show attracts the general public and hopefully will entice them to investigate our ukulele community and join us!

This year, our uke-only show will be Friday, featuring Sarah Maisel, Craig Chee, and Abe Lagrimas Jr. performing as a band, and traditional and contemporary Hawaiian stylings by Steven Espaniola and Faith Ako.

Our Saturday night show will feature three historic celebration/acknowledgements: 1) The Sun Kings, a terrific Beatles “sound-alike” band, (no wigs and false accents) will celebrate the 50th Anniversary of Rubber Soul & Revolver, the two albums largely credited with changing the direction of modern, popular music. 2) They will also, as a tribute to George Harrison’s love of ukulele, add uke to their mix throughout the evening, (and we’re all invited to join in with our ukes in an encore-finalé!). 3) Del Rey will perform her blazing blues uke in between “Beatles” sets, as we acknowledge Tessie O’Shea doing the same with her uke-weilding performance on that ground breaking Ed Sullivan Show, February 9, 1964. And… we’re going to have a dance floor! Whether you boogie down or just want to get a close up view of the band, we encourage you to come down front at some point in the evening!


IF I HAVE NOT ADDRESSED a question that you have. PLEASE email playukemail@gmail.com and I will add to this FAQ page!