Wellington International Ukulele Orchestra - Destination: Scotland! By Gemma Gracewood

Pledgeme projects

About Wellington International Ukulele Orchestra - Destination: Scotland!

Project 2013-06-10 02:54:12 +1200

The Wellington International Ukulele Orchestra have been invited to the Edinburgh Fringe Festival this year. It's a real honour! Finally we get to put the "International" in our name. BUT! It's super-expensive to get us all there and we need a little help from our friends. Can you help? We will love you back, with these special rewards! >>>> 


We have a prestigious 6pm slot in the Gilded Balloon Debating Hall - (please share this link with your UK mates!) - playing a whopping 26 shows from 31 July - 26 August. We were invited there after the Gilded Balloon's Karen Koren saw us at the Melbourne International Comedy Festival. It might have been the John Farnham song we were playing, but more likely it was the saucy kilt and sporran that Age was wearing.  

The Edinburgh Festival Fringe is the largest arts festival in the world! We are going to invite loads of important people along to our shows, and they are going to book us for more shows and tours and festivals. 

Thing is, there are more than 2,500 different shows in a single month. It's lucky we have an excellent on-the-ground publicist to help us cut through the noise, because it's a long way to go to play to an empty room! (Hi, mum.) 


It is super pricey to get our crew of 14 (11 performers, 1 sound engineer and 2 tour managers working in shifts) to the other side of the world, put them in beds, feed them to make sure they don't fall over on stage every night, and get them home again. We have had some help with some of these things, but now we need your help with the last bits and pieces, like our internal UK travel (choo choo) and our excess baggage (lug lug). Most especially, we want to pay our super awesome publicist, Paul Sullivan PR. He's already scored us some great press - we are thrilled to have him. 


We've been putting the "wellington" and the "ukulele orchestra" into Wellington International Ukulele Orchestra since 2005, when we used to play around a wee table at Deluxe Cafe. Now we are taking this crazy show on the road to finally put "international" in there too, and we will take you in our hearts (and our suitcases, if it was legal). 

Please watch and share and pledge and partake, and help us raise this small portion of our Edinburgh budget, to put the "international" into Wellington International Ukulele Orchestra. 

We'll keep you up-to-date here and also on our Facebook and Twitter pages. And you can visit us anytime at www.ukulele.co.nz


We hope you like our rewards. We reckon they're pretty special and we are adding new rewards all the time. We also take reward suggestions! Email us at ukuleleorchestra at gmail dot com. 

Personally Autographed Puppet Photo. We'll send you a personally autographed photo of us-as-puppets. It will look a little something like this: 

Maidenlove Package! Our friend, Shortland Street star Amanda Billing is creating several maidenlove-creative pieces for us - necklaces, t-shirts and her wonderful floral headbands, which look like this: 

P.S. Video dolls made by Maiangi Waitai (aka Who Is Dead Martin?), everything else made with love and magic by The Wellington International Ukulele Orchestra. xx

P.P.S. If you prefer your fundraisers in person, we are playing at the Wellington Town Hall on Thursday 25th July. Book here! 

P.P.P.S. A small legal bit: all final decisions around logistics, travel, phone and skype timings, individual band member availability, cover song arrangements, outfits, hairstyles and everything else will be in the safe hands of the Wellington International Ukulele Orchestra - we'll do our very best to make things work for you!


The People Behind Wellington International Ukulele Orchestra - Destination: Scotland!

Logo Gemma Gracewood Project admin


    Operation Scotland = Success

    11:14PM Tue 03/09/13 on Wellington International Ukulele Orchestra - Destination: Scotland!

    Hi everyone!

    Wow. It's all over. We have well and truly "done" Edinburgh Fringe - 24 shows plus media appearances, street busking, BBC collaborations with KT Tunstall, a trip to the Highlands on our day off, friendships made, inspiration unearthed, new tricks attempted on stage (with success!). It's been incredible. You can check out our Facebook page (http://www.facebook.com/TheWIUO) for photos, and Gemma wrote a wee thing in the latest issue of Metro magazine (with a great photo by Andy, full-page!). 

    And then there was London! Union Chapel was a total sell-out and a brilliant way to end the trip. It sounded like a sports stadium as we climbed on-stage, and although it was a large venue with a huge audience, it reminded us of our very first shows at Chow Cabaret way back when: warm, supportive, enthusiastic, joyful, magical. Unforgettable. 

    We are now all headed home with some exciting prospects in hand, which we can't wait to share when the time is right.  

    By now, postcards should be arriving in mailboxes for those of you who chose those rewards. We've done our special "thank you very much" Skype calls from Edinburgh, and we are well on track to deliver all the other rewards. If you have any questions, please don't hesitate to email [email protected] 

    Thanks again! We can't stop thanking you for helping to make this possible, and we won't. 

    xxx WIUO xxx 

    Comment on this update:

    Ukes at the Halfway Point!

    12:34AM Fri 16/08/13 on Wellington International Ukulele Orchestra - Destination: Scotland!


    We are now officially just over halfway through our Edinburgh season, and things are really trucking along now. 

    Great news: we've had a couple of 4-star reviews, which is very, very fantastic:




    Our audiences are healthy, and we're getting out and about and seeing other people's shows, and making international friends along the way (we met the "Jon Stewart of Norway" last night! His name is Jon Almaas. Nice guy.). We've also had some great media coverage, and we'll be on BBC Scotland on Friday 16th, around 2pm Edinburgh time. So, all in all, we're happy we came, and happy that you all helped us to get here. 

    As for your rewards, stand by! Things are happening. Cover songs are being practiced, jingles written, phone calls coordinated, badges manufactured, and look what arrived today: the postcards! There's us, and a unicorn, and a castle. If you pledged for one of these puppies, it'll be winging its way to you sometime next week. 

    Thanks everyone! And please keep spreading the word about our remaining shows - we wouldn't want anyone you know to miss out, since it's not every day that we perform over here. 


    The WIUO xxx 

    Comment on this update:

    Hello from Scotland!

    10:07PM Thu 01/08/13 on Wellington International Ukulele Orchestra - Destination: Scotland!


    Last night, we played our first show at the Gilded Balloon.

    We're happy to say it went really well - impressive crowd for a preview night, and we didn't forget chords or fall off the stage or anything embarrassing, so that's one down, 20-something shows to go, not including all the extra press parties and Royal Mile performances we'll be doing here in Edinburgh. There's not been a lot of time for sight-seeing. Luckily, there is a giant castle right in the middle of town, which we get to see every day. 

    The difference in the city between Saturday, when we arrived, and today (Thursday) is vast: more people, more flyers, flags, billboards, costumes, people, noise, people, artists, people. And we're told this isn't even the peak. It's an incredible operation, this festival! Exhausting, yes, but inspiring too. 

    As for your PledgeMe rewards, we took the photo for the Edinburgh postcard yesterday, and Carmel has begun her vintage shopping odyssey.We'll be delivering different rewards at different times over the next three months, hoping to have most rewards delivered by the end of October, with a few depending on the timeframe of the pledger as much as us. We'll be in touch individually very soon to sort out all details. Just got a small festival to get through...  

    Word of mouth is our best bet for cutting through the noise, so if there's one more thing we could ask you to do for us, it would be to tell anyone you know who lives in or visits Edinburgh to come to our show! Here's a video you can send them (if you were at the Wellington Town Hall show, you might even be in it): http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UnKCfVsN_vE.

    And here's where to get tickets: http://www.gildedballoon.co.uk/tickets/performances.php?eventId=14:332

    If you know folk in London, we're doing a big show at Union Chapel after Edinburgh. Tickets are selling fast so we wouldn't leave it too late for that: http://store.unionchapel.org.uk/events/29-aug-13-wellington-international-ukulele-orchestra-union-chapel/Everything we're doing at the moment is better because we have your love and support. Thanks everyone. Have a brilliant day. Uke on. 

    xxx WIUO xxx  

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    Thank You from the Bottom of our Ukuleles!

    02:44PM Sun 28/07/13 on Wellington International Ukulele Orchestra - Destination: Scotland!

    You reached our PledgeMe target for us! 

    You are incredible. 

    You can go on with your day knowing that you are kind, thoughtful, generous, sexy, punctual, delicious, dressed in seasonally-appropriate attire, and deserving of that ripe, juicy peach that a stranger just handed you because they liked your smile. 


    We are in the Gilded Balloon sorting out our tech stuff, thrilled to know that with only 8 hours (at the time of writing) to go on this wee campaign, we have made it. Thank you, thank you, thank you. Nobody will have to share a bed (unless they want to) or eat from a tin of baked beans under a bridge (unless they want to). 


    The Wellington TRULY INTERNATIONAL RIGHT NOW Ukulele Orchestra 


    Comment on this update:

    This Is It!!!

    11:15AM Fri 26/07/13 on Wellington International Ukulele Orchestra - Destination: Scotland!

    Hi everyone!

    We are so close! Eternal thank yous for everything you have pledged on, shared, talked about, talked up, sat on, strummed along to, danced for in our name. 

    We are writing this update from the airport lounge as we are just about to board our second of four flights that will ultimately deliver us to Edinburgh. Och the nu! This is getting very, very real. 

    We'd love to land in Scotland and discover that our PledgeMe campaign has been a raging success rather than five dollars short, so if you have a friend or neighbour or aunty or dentist who has a spare $15 for a postcard, please give them a friendly nudge in our direction. 

    Meanwhile, here's a photo from the Wellington Town Hall last night. What a send-off! Thanks all and every single each one of you. 

    xxx WIUO xxx 

    Comment on this update:

    24 Days To Go! New Rewards!

    05:02PM Fri 05/07/13 on Wellington International Ukulele Orchestra - Destination: Scotland!

    Hi beloved supporters,

    A quick update from the midst of rehearsals. We have so much to do before we leave New Zealand, not least of which is play a massive show at the Wellington Town Hall to farewell our hometown and practice our new songs, and new arrangements of old songs. It's going to be a regular old knees-up, and a good excuse to dress up in a Wellington winter and get out of the house and see old friends. Come along if you are in town! Book here: http://premier.ticketek.co.nz/shows/show.aspx?sh=WUKULELE13#.Ubjz1PaUVr0

    Meanwhile, we are thrilled to be making such amazing PledgeMe progress thanks to you all. We are confident we'll reach our target well before we land on Scottish soil (mmmm, peaty Scottish soil, mmmm did somebody say single malt?), especially with your help. We have a wee way to go, though, so if you fancy sharing our campaign with some pals, you can let them know that we have added a few new rewards: 

    - a personally autographed puppet photo that you can put in a frame and pop on your bedside table and blow kisses to each night

    - two Maidenlove Creative packages of jewellery, t-shirts and necklaces, created by the epically talented Amanda Billing (aka Dr Potts off Shortland Street. We love our Pottsy, we do. She's a champion whistler.) 

    Righto. Back to practice. 

    xx WIUO xx 

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      This project was successful and got its funding on 05/08/2013 at 10:51 AM.