Steel Trappings

What is the Open Stage?

What is the Open Stage?

October 24, 2018 • Addison ChingFestivals and Conventions

All outer island Hawaiian steel guitar festivals produced by HIMELE feature Open Stage programs. But what exactly is the Open Stage?

The Open Stage is similar to the Open Mic—providing performance opportunities for anyone desiring to share their talents with an audience. In the case of the steel guitar festivals, the Open Stage provides a performance venue to steel guitarists to showcase their talents with an audience that appreciates the sounds of the Hawaiian steel guitar. Each program is about 30 minutes in length, sufficient for several songs and "talk story" between songs if the performer is so inclined. Many performers also include vocal selections in their presentation.

The Open Stage also provides an opportunity for performers to overcome their performance anxieties, perfect their stage persona in front of a performance-friendly audience, and build performing confidence. The entire Open Stage production team—the emcees and the backup musicians—comprises seasoned steel guitarists who have all experienced performance anxieties and have developed their own performance comforts through the Open Stage.

But who signs up for the Open Stage?

Anyone who is willing to share their music and talent with a live audience can sign up. Anyone who is looking for a performance venue that otherwise doesn't exist can sign up. Anyone wanting a chance to develop their public performance confidence can sign up. Or simply, anyone wanting to play for no other reason other than to have fun can sign up.

Hideki Hattori and Los Hawaiianos at the 2019 Hawai'i Island festival
Japan's Hideki Hattori and Los Hawaiianos at the 2019 Hawai'i Island festival
Photo by Don Touchi
Jess Montgomery and Dennis Chun at the 2019 Kaua'i festival
Jess Montgomery and Dennis Chun from Kaua'i at the 2019 Kaua'i festival
Photo by Don Touchi

Open Stage performers can reserve a performance slot by filling out the online form on the festival's website. Performers are responsible for developing their own programs to fill approximately 20 minutes of performance time and can chose to either use their own pre-recorded backing tracks or request assistance from live backup musicians. The second option can produce some surprises at performance time since master steel guitarists and musicians have been known to join in the performance as members of the backup band. At a recent Open Stage performance at the Maui Steel Guitar Festival, Open Stage performer Troy Brenningmeyer was surprised to have steel guitar masters Greg Sardinha on guitar and Bobby Ingano on steel guitar among his backup musicians.

Troy Brenningmeyer at the 2019 Maui festival
Troy Brenningmeyer and backup musicians at the 2019 Maui festival
Photo by Don Touchi

"I'm afraid to sign up because I'll probably make mistakes." Treat the Open Stage experience as a learning experience. If you happen to make a mistake, perhaps you can do a little extra practicing so you won't make the same mistake the next time. However, the audience is there to enjoy your performance and your willingness to share your talents with them, mistakes and all. Treat the Open Stage as an experience that will help you gain confidence in your playing.

Feature

Archives

January, 2023
December, 2022
November, 2022
October, 2022
September, 2022
August, 2022

Complete Issue Archive
Complete Series Archive


Categories
Education and Training
Entertainment
Equipment
Festivals and Conventions
Instruments and Luthiers
News
Steel Guitar History
Authors
Author Index
HIMELE Events
2023 Festivals and Workshops
Hawaiian Steel Guitar Festival at Ka Makana Ali‘i
February 18, 2023 – Ka Makana Ali‘i Shopping Center, Kapolei

Kona Steel Guitar Festival
March 23-25, 2023 – Outrigger Kona Resort and Spa, Keauhou, Hawai‘i

Kaua‘i Hawaiian Steel Guitar Symposium *
May 3-4, 2023 – Sheraton Coconut Beach Resort, Kapa‘a, Hawai‘i

Kaua‘i Steel Guitar Festival
May 4-6, 2023 – Sheraton Coconut Beach Resort, Kapa‘a, Hawai‘i
May 7, 2023 – Kukui Grove Center, Lihue, Hawai‘i

Hawaiian Steel Guitar Festival at Windward Mall
June 10, 2023 – Windward Mall, Kāne‘ohe

Royal Hawaiian Center Presents Waikīkī Steel Guitar Week
July 10-15, 2023 – Royal Grove Stage, Royal Hawaiian Center, Waikīkī

Royal Hawaiian Center Presents Japan-Hawaiian Steel Guitar Festival
July 14, 2023 – Royal Grove Stage, Royal Hawaiian Center, Waikīkī

Royal Hawaiian Center Presents Waikīkī Steel Guitar Festival
July 15, 2023 – Royal Grove Stage, Royal Hawaiian Center, Waikīkī

Hawaiian Steel Guitar Festival Keiki Kine at Kāhala Mall
August 19, 2023 – Kahala Mall, Honolulu

2023 Northern California Hawaiian Steel Guitar Symposium *
September 24, 2023 – Odd Fellows Lodge, Cupertino, CA

Maui Steel Guitar Festival
October 14, 2023 – The Shops at Wailea, Wailea, Hawai‘i
11:00 AM - 4:00 PM HST
October 15, 2023 – Queen Ka‘ahumanu Center, Kahului, Hawai‘i
11:00 AM - 4:00 PM HST

2023 Hawaiian Steel Guitar Showcase Livestream Broadcasts

Facebook LiveYouTube
All broadcasts originate from the Hawaiian Steel Guitar Showcase Facebook Page and YouTube Channel. Festival broadcasts may also stream from the respective festival's Facebook Page.


Livestream Steel Guitar Saturday
January 28, 2023 – 3:00 PM - 5:00 PM HST

Hawaiian Steel Guitar Festival at Ka Makana Ali‘i
February 18, 2023 – 3:00 PM - 5:00 PM HST

Kona Steel Guitar Festival
March 25, 2023 Ho‘olaule‘a concert – 12:00 Noon - 3 PM and 5 PM - 8 PM HST

Livestream Steel Guitar Saturday - Live from Molokai!
April 22, 2023 (tentative) – 3:00 PM - 5:00 PM HST

Kaua‘i Steel Guitar Festival
May 6, 2023 – Ho‘olaule‘a concert – 12:00 Noon - 3 PM and 5 PM - 8 PM HST

Hawaiian Steel Guitar Festival at Windward Mall
June 10, 2023 – 11:30 PM - 4:00 PM HST

Royal Hawaiian Center Presents Japan-Hawaiian Steel Guitar Festival
July 14, 2023 Ho‘olaule‘a concert – 4PM - 6:30PM HST


Royal Hawaiian Center Presents Waikīkī Steel Guitar Festival
July 15, 2023 Ho‘olaule‘a concert – 11AM - 2PM and 4:30PM - 6:30PM HST
Hawaiian Steel Guitar Festival Keiki Kine at Kahala Mall
August 19, 2023 – 3:00 PM - 5:00 PM HST

Livestream Steel Guitar Saturday
September 9, 2023 – 3:00 PM - 5:00 PM HST

Maui Steel Guitar Festival
October 15, 2023 Ho‘olaule‘a concert – Queen Ka‘ahumanu Center, – 11:00 AM - 4:00 PM HST

Livestream Steel Guitar Saturday
November 19, 2023 – 3:00 PM - 5:00 PM HST


Other Events
HSGA Virtual Festival 4
February 4, 2023 Facebook LiveYouTube

2023 AISGC Hawaiian Steel Guitar Festival *
July 27-29, 2023 – Towne Square Community Center, Winchester, IN
Hawaiian Steel Guitar Association (HSGA) 2023 Festival *
September 21-23, 2023 – Odd Fellows Lodge, Cupertino, CA
* Registration Fee Required

Copyright ©2018 by Hawaii Institute for Music Enrichment and Learning Experiences, Inc., and Cyberventures Unlimited.Terms of Use

About HIMELE
HIMELE is a Hawai‘i non-profit corporation that supports music enrichment and education for people of all ages. Our purpose is to educate, promote, and perpetuate Hawaiian music, Hawaiian culture and Hawaiian musical instruments.