The Hukilau adds new band, symposium to lineup for June’s ‘final aloha’

UPDATES: The Hukilau says ‘Aloha’ but not goodbye, adds more entertainment (May)
The Hukilau announces return for 14th year in 2015 (April)

With tickets rapidly selling out and Tikiphiles flocking from around the world for the 13th and final edition of The Hukilau, organizers could certainly rest on their laurels. Instead, the annual Tiki event in Fort Lauderdale is getting an injection of new entertainment to add even more value (and fun) to the festivities.

The Sweet Hollywaiians perform at the Bahia Mar during The Hukilau in June 2010

The Sweet Hollywaiians perform at the Bahia Mar during The Hukilau in June 2010. (Photo by Hurricane Hayward)

The Hukilau: June 11-15, 2014, at the Bahia Mar Beach Resort and The Mai-Kai in Fort Lauderdale. Get tickets and make hotel reservations now at TheHukilau.com. Get updates on the Facebook page.
Previous post: Schedule announced for The Hukilau’s ‘Final Aloha’ in June

The Sweet Hollywaiians, one of the most memorable bands in the history of the event, will be making the trek from Osaka, Japan, to perform for the second time. The ensemble, formed in 2002 by a group of street musicians, carries on the 1920s and ’30s string band tradition with their all-instrumental arrangements. They seamlessly combine a smorgasbord of vintage styles such as Hawaiian, Swing, Ragtime, Blues, Calypso and Italian. The foursome plays an array of string instruments, such as lap steel guitar, banjo, tipple, ukulele, mandolin, and bass.

The band first wowed The Hukilau faithful in 2010, when they performed at the Bahia Mar and The Mai-Kai. They will return to both venues in 2014, headlining the Friday night Main Event at the hotel and making a special Mai-Kai appearance on Saturday. Previously announced entertainment includes The Left Arm of Buddha from Belgium, The Smokin’ Menehunes from California, and Florida bands The Intoxicators, Skinny Jimmy & The Stingrays, Slip and the Spinouts, and Gold Dust Lounge. Click here for more info on the bands and special guests.

Create Your Own Suburban Savage Paradise

Educational symposiums have always been a trademark of The Hukilau, and for the final event The Hukilau’s organizer, Christie “Tiki Kiliki” White, has assembled a who’s who of Tiki bar designers for a special event that was just announced. “RetroRenovation.com presents: Create Your Own Suburban Savage Paradise” will feature hosts Pam and Kate from the website that offers tips and advice to help you remodel and decorate your mid-century homes in retro style.

The pair will present a slideshow of Tiki bar renovation photos, then moderate a panel of some of the biggest names in modern Tiki bar design: Bamboo Ben, Danny Gallardo (aka Tiki Diablo), Jamie Wilson and Anjy Cameron of Cheekytiki from the United Kingdom, and David Wolfe (aka Basement Kahuna). Attendees will get tricks and tips to save time and money, plus get a chance to ask questions of the experts. The panelists will also show photos of some of the projects they’ve worked on, including Frankie’s Tiki Room (Las Vegas), Don the Beachcomber (Huntington Beach, Calif.), Tonga Hut (Palm Springs, Calif.), Trader Vic’s (Los Angeles and London), Mahiki (London), Kahala Barcelona (Spain), Taboo Tiki Room (Berlin), and many more.

Tickets are expected to sell fast, so it’s encouraged that you click on the tickets page to order yours today. Jeff “Beachbum” Berry’s symposium on the Tiki cocktail de-evolution and revival, “Tiki’s Dark Ages: From Fern Bars To Rebirth,” has already sold out. Another one likely to sell out is “Cocktails and Fishtails: The Untold Story of the Porthole Cocktail Lounge,” hosted by Vintage Roadside and special guest Marina the Fire Eating Mermaid (Medusirena).

Jetsetter Reunion: Intergalactic A-Glo-Glo

The other seminars still available are: “To Have and Have Another – A Hemingway Cocktail Companion” hosted by Philip Greene, co-founder of the Museum of the American Cocktail in New Orleans; and “Mark of the Beast – Animal Spirits Tattooed,” presented by tattoo artist and historian Paul Roe of Washington, D.C. Also still available is a special cruise of the Intracoastal Waterway on Fort Lauderdale’s famous Jungle Queen.

Some event tickets have also sold out, but you can still pick up various single- and multi-day passes. Check the website for availability. Also, the first Saturday night dinner show at The Mai-Kai has filled up, but there are seats available at the second show. Attendees must call The Mai-Kai directly to reserve a spot: (954) 563-3272. As an added bonus, the late show will include a special performance by Meduserina and members of the Sweet Hollywaiians.

Check the online schedule for the latest day-by-day rundown on all the events, including the Thursday Night Kickoff Party, the daily Tiki Treasures Bazaar and the Sunday finale at The Mai-Kai featuring a showing of the film Plastic Paradise and exhibit of vintage memorabilia. Beachbum Berry will be doing several book signings over the weekend, and you won’t want to miss the official (and unofficial) late-night parties. Last but not least, Friday night’s Official After Party at the Bahia Mar (aka “Jetsetter Reunion: Intergalactic A-Glo-Glo”) will reunite former restaurateur Mike Jones (Jetsetter Lounge) with simian surf band the Disasternauts, plus other guests and surprises.

Past Atomic Grog coverage
* Schedule announced for The Hukilau’s ‘Final Aloha’ in June, tickets selling fast
* The Hukilau announces entertainment lineup for ‘final aloha’
* The Hukilau’s Tiki Kiliki announces ‘The Final Aloha’ in 2014
* The Hukilau changes hotels, expands to five days
* PBS stations say aloha to long-awaited documentary on Tiki culture
* All posts on The Hukilau | The Mai-Kai Cocktail Guide | All Mai-Kai posts

About Hurricane Hayward

A professional journalist and Florida resident for more than 30 years, Jim "Hurricane" Hayward shares his obsession with Polynesian Pop and other retro styles on his blog, The Atomic Grog. Jim's roots in mid-century and reto culture go back to his childhood in the 1960s, when he tagged along with his parents to Tiki restaurants and his father's custom car shows. His experience in journalism, mixology, and more than 20 years as an independent concert promoter make him a jack-of-all-trades in the South Florida scene. A graduate of the University of Florida's College of Journalism and Communications, Jim is a longtime web producer for The Palm Beach Post. In his spare time, he has promoted hundreds of rock, punk, and indie concerts under the Slammie Productions name since the early 1990s. In 2011, he launched The Atomic Grog to extensively cover events, music, art, cocktails, and culture with a retro slant. Jim earned his nickname by virtue of both his dangerous exotic drinks and his longtime position producing The Post's tropical weather website.
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