The 3rd Annual Kaua'i Steel Guitar Festival was held on Friday and Saturday, February 2nd and 3rd, 2018, at the Courtyard Kaua'i at Coconut Beach. This festival was presented in the days preceding the annual Aloha Music Camp as an extension of the Hawaiian Steel Guitar experience that is offered at the camp. In addition to steel guitar performances by Hawaii steel guitar masters, the festival included workshops, jam sessions where festival guests played along with the steel guitar masters, and Open Stage sessions where amateur and professional Hawaiian Steel Guitarists presented their own programs to festival guests. The emcees of the Saturday Ho'olaulea were Alan Akaka and Lady Ipo Kahaunaele-Ferreira.
In a departure from prior year programs, the 2018 festival was held completely indoors, avoiding the inclement weather that plagued Kaua'i during the festival. Open stage sessions were held on Friday beginning at noon, and Saturday's ho'olaule'a was held from noon to 6 P.M.
A pre-festival KIKA PILA jam session was held at Keoki's Paradise in Poipu Beach Thursday evening between 6PM and 9PM. Festival featured musicians and Next Generation steel guitarists and members of the Ke Kula Mele ensemble were joined by guest performers for a fun evening. Click here for an area map.
The festival was presented free to the public by Hawaii Institute for Music Enrichment and Learning Experiences (HIMELE) in association with the Ke Kula Mele Hawai'i School of Hawaiian Music, with grants and support from the Hawaii Tourism Authority's Community Enrichment Program (CEP) and from the State Foundation on Culture and the Arts through appropriations from the Legislature of the State of Hawaii and by the National Endowment for the Arts.