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Hawaiian Steel Guitar Festival 2018
Fort Collins Hilton
Fort Collins, CO
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Aloha - see you in September! Mahalo! and Aloha!


Hawaiian Steel Guitar Festival 2018
This year's festival will again be held in Fort Collins, Colorado, home of Colorado State University, Fat Tire beer, and gateway to the northern Rocky Mountains. For 32 years, the Honolulu-based HSGA organization has held this annual mainland gathering where members showcase their musicianship, teach each other, jam, make friends, and listen to world-class Hawaiian Steel guitar. The festival is open to the public.

This year's Guest of Honor is the legendary Bobby Ingano! Bobby's mentor was the great David 'Feet' Rogers. Regarded by many as Hawaiis best steel guitar player, he is one of the most in-demand lap steel players in Hawaii, Bobby has played with the top names in Hawaiian music including Bill Kaiwa, Kekuhi Kanehele, Martin and Cyril Pahinui, Jake Shimabukuro, Ho'opi'i Brothers and BB Shawn.

We are also pleased to announce that Alexis Tolentino will be joining us! Alexis is a recipient of the HSGA scholarship for Hawaiian Steel Guitar Studies. She has studied with Alan Akaka for over six years and has been featured at many Hawaiian festivals. Do not miss this rising star!


Date: Sept. 27, 28, 29  2018
Location: Fort Collins, Colorado
Venue:  Hilton Hotel, 425 W. Prospect Rd., Fort Collins, CO 80526

Cost: 3-Day Pass for HSGA members is $60, Non-Members $70
Single-Day Member Pass is $20, Non-Members $25.
Students presenting College ID - FREE ADMISSION AT DOOR

The Saturday night Luau is $50 per person and is NOT not included in ticket prices above. No discounts for the luau, sorry! You can let us know if you are vegan or have other dietary restrictions when answering the luau survey question when registering.



Thursday, Sept. 27
9:00am to 4:30pm Steel Guitars on Stage

1:00pm Beginning Steel Guitar with Alexis Tolentino
Alexis will discuss bar and pickup technique, sitting position, intonation and harmonics or chimes. C6 and B11th tunings. Alexis spent 6 years studying with Alan Akaka.

8:00pm "Talk Story" with our Guests of Honor

Evening jam sessions

Friday, Sept. 28
9:00am General HSGA Membership Meeting

9:30am to 5:00pm Steel Guitars on Stage

10:30am Hawaiian Music of the Golden Age with Chris Ruppenthal
Chris will be back this year with some of his vintage 78 rpm recordings. Between 1915 and 1925 more Hawaiian records were sold than any other genre of music, resulting in important firsts in the history of recorded music. If you missed him two years ago youll be in for a treat. Chris will add historical context and significance to the original, early 78 rpm record issues youll hear, played on a circa 1910 Victor Monarch IV horned phonograph and vintage portable tube-powered record player. Step back into the Golden Age of Hawaiian Music for some antique aloha!

1:15pm Ukulele 101 | Al Nip
Visiting from the island of Maui, Al will be conducting the ukulele workshop. In Als words: Aloha and welcome to Ukulele 101! Well cover Hawaiian mele (songs) in the keys of C, G and F. Youll learn to play a few Hawaiian songs in those keys, and youll gain more knowledge in performing Hawaiian music in a relaxing atmosphere.

Evening jam sessions

Saturday, Sept. 29

9:00am to 4:30pm Steel Guitars on Stage

1:00pm Intermediate/Advanced Steel Guitar with Bobby Ingano

Evening Luau in the Main Ballroom (Additional Charge/$50 per person)
6pm Cocktail/social hour with cash bar
7pm Delicious Polynesian style dinner!
8pm Luau Show

Polynesian-style fare and great entertainment. Open to the public - a very nice event.



What is the Steel guitar showcase? Musicians sign up to play a 25 min. set of steel guitar. It's kind of like an open stage but pre-planned, with assigned playing slots each day. HSGA members get priority on all showcase stages, non-members will be assigned a slot to play once all members have been scheduled. (Join HSGA today for only $30!) ALL styles are welcome, but you will hear a lot of Hawaiian music.  This is typically not a pedal steel showcase. The art of Hawaiian-style steel playing on electric lap steels, resonator guitars, and acoustic instruments is the main focus of our event and organization. You will be asked what time slot you'd like to play during checkout on this website. We want you to share your music!

What is the Luau?  A luau will be held on Saturday night with a Polynesian-style dinner, cash bar, and show - $50 per person. Excellent food, and Hawaiian entertainment.

I need Hotel Reservations, is that included?
Hotel reservations must be made separately. They can be made by calling the Fort Collins Hilton at (970) 482-2626 - mention the HSGA Hawaiian Festival for special block room rates.

OR reserve your rooms online Hilton HSGA reservations.  

What is the Playing Schedule?  Schedule posted at HSGA.org website.

Please note that you will be asked for your stage time slot preferences during checkout on this website. We encourage you to play! We want you to share your music.

Playing slots are assigned on a first-come-first-served basis. We'll try and take your preferences into account. All stage playing slots are planned and scheduled by the festival committee.  

If you want to do a set on stage during the weekend, please sign up as you purchase your ticket here (you'll see the sign up form during the checkout), or check the HSGA website for sign up information that you can print and mail it. A paper registration form will be mailed to all members in the next newsletter.

All players will have 25 minutes to perform, and must bring at least two sets of charts for the backup musicians. You will need to round up your own backup folks from volunteers at the festival. Don't worry - there will be many folks willing to play guitar, or uke or bass for you. Or you can bring your own backup folks. AND, all performers MUST purchase either a day or weekend pass.

What AIRPORT do I fly into? DIA in Denver is the fly-to location. Many options exist out of DIA for transport to Ft. Collins. There are shuttle services, and rental cars. We recommend Green Ride out of Ft. Collins.

Can I join HSGA? Please consider becoming a member if you are not. Visit HSGA.org to sign up. Membership gets you a regular quarterly newsletter, priority for stage time at Ft. Collins, and really nice price breaks at our biennial convention event in Honolulu. Next one in 2019.

What to Bring?  The stages will have backline amps, so bring your instrument, cables to plug in, tuner, charts for backup players, your good self and a smile. Colorado in the early Fall can have dramatic weather changes, but it's usually warm during the day, and cold at night. Bring a warm coat if you want to explore the mountains and foothills trails close to town. Elevation in Ft. Collins is 4,982 ft above sea level.


Fort Collins Hilton (View)
425 W. Prospect
Fort Collins, CO 80526
United States


Music > Festivals
Music > World

Kid Friendly: Yes!
Dog Friendly: No
Non-Smoking: Yes!
Wheelchair Accessible: Yes!



Catherine K.
Fort Collins, CO United States
Sep 26, 2018 8:58 AM
Wayne K.
Fort Collins, CO United States
Sep 26, 2018 8:58 AM
Cheryl N.
Olympia, WA United States
Sep 25, 2018 10:22 PM
Lois W.
Olympia, WA United States
Sep 25, 2018 10:22 PM
Steve T.
Idledale, CO United States
Sep 25, 2018 10:31 AM

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