うたの日 uta-no-hi: Songs Day
Every year in Okinawa in late June is Uta no hi “Songs Day” concert, featuring the famous local band BEGIN, as well as other popular local bands. And every year, my halau (hula group) performs with them!
Tickets are purchased online or at convenience stores. It is easy enough I think. But I am lucky, I do not need to buy tickets since I perform with the halau.
I cannot comment as to the full experience, since for a major portion of the day I am getting ready, prepping, etc. But it is a really nice event, and I got to enjoy it once the sun was setting and our part of the performance was over. Everyone around me was having such a good time, it was easy to get into the party spirit of things. People were dancing, drinking, and just really enjoying the evening. There were some new songs, some old songs, a little of everything; though most were Japanese or Okinawan songs, so I only recognized some of them. I really like the band BEGIN and I feel that most of their songs embody the Okinawan spirit (kinda like aloha spirit). Overall, it was a really great experience, and as always I felt a little more bonded to the Okinawan people afterwards.
I also bought a souvenir tenugui (towel)– it is so cute, though I am sure I didn’t need another one. There is no photography in the event (you can have your phones but you are not supposed to take pictures of the performances since they air them on TV at a later date). It didn’t seem very strictly enforced, probably only if you were close up to the main stage.