The 2018 Festival will be held at the Mauna Lani Bay Hotel and Bungalows on September 7-9, 2018. The scheduling in September is necessary to accommodate the hotel's closing for major remodeling that is scheduled to begin in October, 2018. All of this year's performances will be held indoors in the hotel's ballroom to avoid any weather-related issues affecting the performances.
Evening Ho'olaule'a programs are scheduled for Friday and Saturday, with public kanikapila jam sessions following each evening's main program. Steel guitar workshops will be offered Saturday morning, and Open Stage performances are scheduled for Saturday beginning at 10 AM. Musical entertainment will be offered during the Sunday brunch.
Education is a key component of the steel guitar festivals. School visitations by master steel guitarists and Next Generation steel guitar players will be scheduled with local area schools. These visitations will include an introduction to the Hawaiian steel guitar and its importance in Hawaiian music and culture. A musical demonstration will be given by the visitation team, followed by hands-on opportunities for classroom students. Local area schools will be contacted about scheduling a visitation time on Friday, and information about any workshop offered at the festival will be posted when it becomes available.
If you or your Hawaii area public or private school has not yet been contacted and would like a visitation and presentation on Friday, September 7, 2018, please see the Contact Page and fill out the form indicating your request.
Public "kanikapila" jam sessions will be held on Friday and Saturday nights. Jam sessions are open to anyone and may include steel guitar masters and other musicians. Anyone is invited to participate and play along with the featured players and festival guest musicians. Musicians are advised to bring their own instruments, amplifiers and music stands if required. The location of the kanikapila will be in the hotel's ballroom.
Open Stage sessions will be presented on Saturday beginning at 10 A.M. These sessions will feature steel guitar players from the United States and worldwide in half-hour playing sessions. If you are a Hawaiian Steel Guitar player or a band with a Hawaiian Steel Guitar and would like to reserve an open stage session, please submit your request by filling out the form on the Contact Page. Due to the nature of the festival, your performance should be on the Hawaiian steel guitar but incidental use of other Hawaiian instruments is permissible.
Festival T-shirts and artists' CDs will be available for purchase at the festival information and sales tables in the Mauna Lani Lanai outside the ballroom.
Festival surveys will be administered at various times during the festival to collect information needed to be reported to the Hawaii Tourism Authority.