The ‘Ukuleles are Coming!

The fifth, annual

West Coast ‘Ukulele Retreat

May 28 - June 1, 2014

At Asilomar, on the beautiful Monterey Peninsula


Heidi Swedberg * Daniel Ward * James Hill * Stuart Fuchs * Rick Turner

And, the usual suspects:

Andy Andrews * Dave Egan * Elaine de Man * Kumu Pomaika’i


Eighty-six hours of ‘ukulele music, instruction, fun, camaraderie, and general ‘ukulele mayhem!

Nestled along the shoreline of California’s famed Monterey Bay, Asilomar is a tranquil oceanfront retreat, cradled by pine forests and white-sand beaches–the perfect place to unpack your ‘ukulele, meet new friends, and make beautiful music together. The West Coast ‘Ukulele Retreat will be occupying one significant corner of this 107-acre historic state park, from 4:00 p.m. on Wednesday, May 28 to 1:00 p.m. on Sunday, June 1. Through-out the weekend participants will be able to rub shoulders with some of the most notable ‘ukulele instructors in the world, enhance their skills with classes and workshops, and have a jolly good time participating in impromptu jams and camp-fire sing-alongs, while enjoying the camaraderie of other ‘ukulele-minded individuals.


We will be based in two of Asilomar’s lovely historic buildings, designed by acclaimed architect Julia Morgan. In addition to sleeping rooms, each building includes a common living area–perfect for late-night jam sessions in front of a cozy fire. Single (very limited), double (with two double or two single beds), and a few triple rooms are available, each with a private bathroom. All arrangements for accommodations will be made directly with Asilomar, using the ‘Ukulele Retreat’s housing form, which you will receive after registering for the retreat. Those who choose not to stay at Asilomar can register for the West Coast ‘Ukulele Retreat as “walk-ins,” (see below) though registration is for the entire retreat only, and not on a day-to-day basis.


Most meals (breakfast, lunch, and dinner) will be served (semi-cafeteria-style) in the Crocker Dining Hall and are included with the price of your Asilomar accommodations. Meal service begins with dinner (6:00 p.m.) on Wednesday, May 28, and ends with lunch (12:00 – 1:00 p.m.) on Sunday. (Be sure to request a box lunch for Sunday if you want to hit the road early!) If you are staying off the grounds and attending the retreat as a “walk-in,” lunch and dinner and any special catered events we plan will be included in the price of your retreat registration. (Walk-ins are on their own for breakfast.)

Classes and Workshops

Classes and workshops will be held in various meeting rooms located close to our accommodations and will begin Thursday morning at 9:00am. Some of the classes and workshops will meet for two or three consecutive sessions. Enrollment in individual classes and workshops will be limited to enhance the learning experience. No guests are allowed in the classes or workshops.  In addition to classes and workshops there will be myriad learning and playing opportunities all around you from sunrise to well after sunset. And, there will plenty to do for non-players, as well.


Registration is now open and you can register on-line. Registration to the West Coast Ukulele Retreat is limited and we encourage you to register early to ensure yourself a space at the retreat and the opportunity to get into the classes of your choice. Advance registration, with payment in full, is required. Registrations and class requests will be processed in the order in which they are received (referring to postmarks if necessary). If the retreat is full when your registration is received, you will be notified immediately and may choose to be wait-listed or to receive a full refund. Remember, your registration is not complete until payment in full has been received.

Companions: “Companions” of retreat participants are very welcome, but they must register for the retreat and also register for housing. Breakfast, lunch and dinner are included with housing registration and companions are also welcome to join us at any of the retreat’s special meals and social events, unscheduled jam sessions, and performances.  There are also a limited number of workshops open to companions. Otherwise, only registered students are allowed in the classes and workshops.

Walk-ins: You do not have to stay at Asilomar in order to attend the retreat. However, you must still register for the retreat, in advance, in order to participate. “Walk-in” registration includes Asilomar’s daily use fee; all classes & workshops; lunch and dinner on Thursday, Friday, and Saturday; and all retreat special events. It does not include breakfast.


Retreat Registration: If you are staying at Asilomar, registration for the retreat, including all classes, workshops, evening events, and other activities is $599.  The fee for “companions” of festival attendees who are staying at Asilomar is $399 . If you are staying elsewhere (aka “walk-in”), the registration fee is $799.  Registration will close April 14.

Housing Registration: Housing registration and special housing requests will all be handled by Asilomar. Housing Fees for those staying at Asilomar (participants and companions) are approximately $845 each for a single room; $565 for a shared, double room; and $485 for a triple. These fees cover your sleeping accommodations for four nights and all meals, from dinner Wednesday evening through lunch on Sunday. Single accommodations are very limited and will be available on a first-come, first-served basis. If you are registering as  double or triple, Asilomar will help you find a roommate. Remember, you must register for the retreat BEFORE you can register for housing. Please remember that the earlier you register, the better chance we all have to accommodate you.


If you cancel your registration before February 21, 2014, your registration fee is 75% refundable. If you cancel your registration before March 21, 2014, your registration fee is 50% refundable. If you cancel your registration before April 21, 2014, your registration fee is 25% refundable. No refunds are available if you cancel your registration on or after April 21, 2013. There will be a $75 administration fee if you transfer your registration to another party. If we have to refuse your registration for lack of space, your entire deposit will be returned.

Still on the Fence?

Take a look at the video from 2012 and see how much fun we had:

You can see what past participants have to say by clicking here.


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