'The Nation's Ukulele Orchestra'
BBC News, Radio 4, 23rd September 2014
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  • NZ Tour Video

    We have just returned from another storming tour of New Zealand. We had a fantastic time playing 7 concerts on both islands and want to thank everyone that came out to see us.

    While we were on tour we took a little time out from performing to chat to Emma Page at Stuff.co.nz about the Ukes and the bonsai guitar. Watch the interview here

    Stuff also came to our first show, Read the review here

  • The United Kingdom Ukulele Orchestra, TUKUO

    This group is not The Ukulele Orchestra of Great Britain, which has been delighting audiences for 30 years. The Ukulele Orchestra of Great Britain (UOGB) was founded in 1984. A German producer has, however, recently hired other British musicians and booked venues to put on shows with a “look alike” and “sound alike” act they call The United Kingdom Ukulele Orchestra (UKUO).

    In July 2015, after becoming aware of a significant number of instances of consumer confusion, we, The Ukulele Orchestra of Great Britain brought legal proceedings against UKUO to prevent further damage being sustained to its reputation as performers. The English Court acknowledged that confusion had arisen and found in UOGB’s favour, granting an injunction that prevents UKUO from performing under that name in England and Wales.

    The Ukulele Orchestra of Great Britain (UOGB) was founded in 1984 by George Hinchliffe, who coined the name and concept behind the ensemble.  The UOGB soon became famous for its unique and distinctive characteristics, which remain the cornerstone of the orchestra to this day, namely: a consort of the same instrument with an act based on widely different music genres, dressed like a classical orchestra, light-hearted rapport with the audience, where each instrument plays a different part.
    For 30 years The UOGB has blazed a trail around the world, performing at sold out shows in iconic concert venues such as the Royal Albert Hall and gathering millions of fans along the way.  The UOGB has delighted audiences with its eclectic mix of music: from rock to pop with classical in-between, UOGB combines musical entertainment and humour with virtuosic ukulele solos, singing and whistling.

    The Orchestra is proud to have encouraged and inspired players, singers and ukulele manufacturers, and to have prompted the formation of ukulele ensembles all over the planet.  A German producer has, however, recently hired other British musicians and booked venues to put on shows with a “look alike” and “sound alike” act they call The United Kingdom Ukulele Orchestra (UKUO).

    Please note that we are not, and never have been, affiliated or otherwise connected with the United Kingdom Ukulele Orchestra.  In fact, in July 2015, after becoming aware of a significant number of instances of consumer confusion, we, The Ukulele Orchestra of Great Britain brought legal proceedings against UKUO to prevent further damage being sustained to its reputation as performers.  The English Court acknowledged that confusion had arisen and found in UOGB’s favour, granting an injunction that prevents UKUO from performing under that name in England and Wales.  The Court held that use of the name UKUO would constitute a misrepresentation to a substantial proportion of the public in England and Wales that UOGB and UKUO are the same group or are otherwise commercially connected.

    A copy of the Court’s judgment can be found here: http://www.bailii.org/ew/cases/EWHC/IPEC/2015/1772.html.

    The judge said:
    "I am satisfied that the evidence adduced in support of the likelihood of confusion pursuant to art.9(1)(b) establishes that Yellow Promotion's use of the trade name 'The United Kingdom Ukulele Orchestra' misrepresents to a substantial proportion of the public in this country who recognise 'The Ukulele Orchestra of Great Britain' as the trade name of a particular musical group, that UOGB and UKUO are the same group or are otherwise commercially connected".

    We do not take such action lightly, but do so to protect our fans, who are the overriding reason that we still have the privilege to perform 30 years on.  While we actively encourage all musicians, all groups and in particular all ukulele orchestras, we have an obligation on behalf of our fans to ensure that the risk of future confusion is minimised and that the reputation in our name and act is protected.
    If you have any questions or concerns, please contact us at customer@ukuleleorchestra.com

    National and International press coverage includes:

    New York Times:

    Ukulele Orchestra Wins UK Court Ruling Against Upstart Rival

    By THE ASSOCIATED PRESS
    JULY 2, 2015, 12:20 P.M. E.D.T.
    LONDON — A judge has delivered sweet music to the Ukulele Orchestra of Great Britain, ruling that a rival ensemble can't call itself the United Kingdom Ukulele Orchestra.
    Judge Richard Hacon said Thursday that similar names had confused fans of the Hawaiian stringed instrument and "caused damage to the Ukulele Orchestra Of Great Britain's goodwill."
    The Ukulele Orchestra of Great Britain, founded in 1985, took legal action against its rival, founded in 2009 and made up of British musicians based in Germany.
    Ukulele Orchestra Of Great Britain founder George Hinchliffe said the ruling made it clear "that copycat musical performances cannot trade off the reputation of established groups."
    The orchestra says it has played more than 1,000 concerts and performed alongside Robbie Williams, Cat Stevens, Madness and the Kaiser Chiefs.

    The start of the US chapter of the story is written up here:

    http://www.theguardian.com/music/2015/sep/29/great-britain-uk-ukulele-orchestra-shadow-tour

    The story is mentioned here:

    http://news.psu.edu/story/373311/2015/10/05/arts-and-entertainment/ukulele-orchestra-great-britain-strikes-chord-concept

    The start of the US chapter of the story is written up here:

    http://www.theguardian.com/music/2015/sep/29/great-britain-uk-ukulele-orchestra-shadow-tour

    The story is mentioned here:

    http://news.psu.edu/story/373311/2015/10/05/arts-and-entertainment/ukulele-orchestra-great-britain-strikes-chord-concept

    Previous report on the outcome of the High Court trial is here:

    http://www.theguardian.com/music/2015/jul/02/judge-rules-in-battle-of-the-ukulele-orchestras

    And from the year before when the court case began:

    http://www.theguardian.com/music/2014/oct/14/duelling-ukulele-orchestras-may-take-turf-war-to-high-court

    The same story was featured in many newspapers worldwide including:

    http://www.msn.com/en-us/news/other/ukulele-orchestra-wins-uk-court-ruling-against-upstart-rival/ar-AActA6M

    MSN

    http://www.telegram.com/article/20150702/NEWS/150709724

    Worcester, Massachusetts

    http://www.widih.org/news-detail/210990/ukulele-orchestra-wins-uk-court-ruling-against-upstart-rival

    http://www.sfgate.com/entertainment/article/Ukulele-orchestra-wins-UK-court-ruling-against-6363033.php

    San Francisco Chronicle

    http://wjtv.com/ap/ukulele-orchestra-wins-uk-court-ruling-against-upstart-rival/

    http://mmc-news.com/news-ukulele-orchestra-wins-uk-court-ruling-against-upstart-rival-4711.dbv

  • 2015 US Tour

    The Ukulele Orchestra of Great Britain have two dates left in their final tour of the US for 2015. They play at Hazleton, PA on Thursday  15th October and in Blacksburg, VA on Friday 16th October before flying off for dates in Germany, Austria, New Zealand and the UK before the new year.

    The fall tour included dates across New York, New Hampshire, Maryland, Pennsylvania, Georgia, Indiana and Virginia. Having already played Massachusetts, Arizona, California, Utah, Wisconsin, Kansas, Florida, Vermont and Maine the UOGB will have played over 30 dates across 16 states in 2015!

    The Ukulele Orchestra will return to the USA in 2016 with a special seasonal show, so if you missed us this year be sure to watch this space and see if you can catch us in 2016!

    Full details of all our concerts can be found on our gig list.

  • More Dates Added to UK Tour

    The Ukulele Orchestra continues to celebrate 30 Plucking Years of touring at venues and festivals across the UK. The irresistible entertainment juggernaut has announced new dates for 2015 at Birmingham Symphony Hall on December 14th and Victoria Hall, Stoke-on Trent on December 8th.

    The full UK tour for 2015 is:

    23 Aug 2015 - Beautiful Days, East Devon
    29 Aug 2015 - Shrewsbury Folk Festival
    02 Sep 2015 - Worthing Assembly Halls
    03 Sep 2015 - New Theatre, Oxford
    04 Sep 2015 - The Playhouse, Weston-Super-Mare
    05 Sep 2015 - The Octagon, Yeovil
    06 Sep 2015 - The Octagon, Yeovil
    12 Sep 2015 - De Montfort Hall, Leicester
    13 Sep 2015 - The Lowry, Salford
    17 Sep 2015 - The Anvil, Basingstoke
    18 Sep 2015 - City Hall, Salisbury
    19 Sep 2015 - Exeter Corn Exchange
    20 Sep 2015 - Windsor Festival
    23 Sep 2015 - The Alban Arena, St Albans
    08 Dec 2015 - Victoria Hall, Stoke-on-Trent
    09 Dec 2015 - Liverpool Philarmonic
    11 Dec 2015 - The Lighthouse, Poole
    12 Dec 2015 - Shanklin Theatre, IOW
    14 Dec 2015 - Symphony Hall, Birmingham
    17 Dec 2015 - Royal Hall, Harrogate

    Full details and ticket links can be found here

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