Hawaiian Steel Guitar Association... encouraging the study, teaching and performance of the Hawaiian Steel Guitar

31st Annual

Hawaiian Steel Guitar Festival
Thurs-Sat, Sept 21-23, 2017

Featuring Alan Akaka

In Fort Collins, Colorado, home of Colorado State University and gateway to the northern Rocky Mountains. For the past 30 years, HSGA has held an annual gathering where members showcase their musicianship, teach each other, jam, and listen to world class Hawaiian Steel guitar. Public invited!

Saturday is Festival Day! Don't Miss It!

Stage Performances All Day ~ Seminars ~ Luau & Show 


Paper registration form option available here.

click flyer picture to enlarge or download the pdf


Festival Guest of Honor... Alan Akaka

Alan Akaka (steel guitar) - Alan Akaka is from a family whose roots are deep in Hawaiian music. His father Senator Daniel K. Akaka, former director of the famous Kawaiaha‘o Church Choir, played an important role in Akakaʻs music beginnings and encouraged him through his development. His family gatherings, which included lots of music making, and music education at Kamehameha Schools and the University of Hawai‘i further expanded his base in music. Alan established and directed the Kamehameha Middle School Nā 'Ōpio Singers and Hawaiian Ensemble. He was the director of the Performing Arts Academy at Kamehameha for 16 years. In 2009, he established Ke Kula Mele - School of Hawaiian music to provide a special environment where anyone (children through adults) who want to learn to play ‘ukulele, steel guitar, upright Hawaiian bass, and guitar are most welcome to pursue their dreams of playing an instrument and learning to sing Hawaiian songs.

As for the steel guitar, Akaka created his own sound and style, incorporating ideas and styles from the masters of steel - David Rogers, Benny Rogers, Jules Ah See, Billy Hew Len, David Keliʻi, Jake Keliʻikoa, and his teacher Jerry Byrd. He recorded with a number of artists including Genoa Keawe, Benny Kalama, Sonny Kamahele, Raiatea Helm, Kuana Torres Kahele, Randy Hongo, Owana, Nohelani Cypriano, Nina Kealiʻiwahamana, and Karen Keawehawai’i as well as with Sweden’s Simons and a number of Japan artists and groups. “How Dʻya Do” featuring the Islanders was a finalist at the 1987 Nā Hōkū Hanohano Awards and his solo album “Simply Steel” was a finalist at the 2010 Nā Hōkū Hanohano Awards.

Akaka led “The Islanders” featured at the Halekūlani's House Without A Key for over twenty years while concurrently performing with Genoa Keawe and the Keawe ʻOhana at the Waikīkī Beach Marriott Resort. He travels throughout the world as an artist and conducts Hawaiian music and steel guitar workshops through his “AkakaClub”. In 2012, Akaka was inducted in the Hawaiian Music Hall of Fame along with fellow members of the Hawaiian language music group “Ka Leo Hawaiʻi”. In 2014, he was invited as a guest soloist at the International Steel Guitar Convention in St. Louis. In 2015, he traveled to Kolkata, India and was presented with an award at the India International Guitar Festival.

In 2015, Akaka established HIMELE – Hawai‘i Institute for Music Enrichment and Learning Experiences that supports music education and enrichment for people of all ages. Its purpose is to educate, promote and perpetuate Hawaiian music, Hawaiian culture and Hawaiian musical instruments by organizing and sponsoring annual Hawaiian steel guitar festivals on Kauaʻi, Oʻahu, Maui and Hawaiʻi.

Akaka performs weekly at Duke‘s Waikīkī.


Hilton Fort Collins Hotel, 425 W Prospect Rd, Fort Collins, CO 80526


Step 1: Reserve Your Room at the Hilton Fort Collins

We are no longer using a hotel registration form for our club festivals. We recommend that you make your reservation online or call the hotel directly.

  • Online registration for the Hilton Fort Collins: http://www.tinyurl.com/HSGA2017-HiltonRes
    The online registration will automatically give you the HSGA rate.
  • Hilton Fort Collins Reservations Direct Line: (970) 482-2626. If you call the hotel directly, make sure you request the “Hawaiian Steel Guitar room block” (group code AHG) to get the discount price.
  • Your reservation must be made by September 1, 2017 to get the HSGA group rate.
  • Here’s the rundown on rooms:
    • Price per day: $125 plus tax for a standard double room—the rate is good from September 20 through September 24.
    • Bedding options: One king bed, king with sofa bed, or two double beds • Smoking options: Smoking or non-smoking rooms available
    • Check-in time: 3 PM
    • Check-out time: Noon

Step 2: Register for the Festival

Advance registration is not required unless you would like to play on stage.

If you can only join us for one day, may we suggest Saturday, September 23. All-day performances and seminars and a wonderful festival atmosphere! $25 ($20 for members)(or $10 with student ID) includes all performances and seminars from 9am-4pm. Bring your instruments! Luau tickets sold separately.

$70 ($60 for members) buys you a complete 3-day festival pass, including all stage performances, talk story, seminars and jam sessions. This does not include meals, lodging, or the luau on Saturday night (tickets sold separately).

Click here to visit the BrownPaperTickets.com page to buy your tickets in advance. You may buy tickets at the door, too. If you prefer to register by mail, please download this form and mail by September 1.

Saturday Night Luau Tickets are sold separately at a cost of $50 per person, available in advance or during the festival.

If you wish to play on stage, you must register in advance. If you want to do a set on stage during the weekend, please sign up as you purchase your ticket online. For those registering by mail, paper registration forms will be included with the Winter 2016/2017 HSGA member newsletter and are available for download right here. Please mail in by September 1.

Playing slots are assigned on a first-come-first-served basis. We'll try and take your preferences into account. All stage playing slots are planned and scheduled by the festival committee. All players will have 25 minutes to perform, and must bring at least two sets of charts for the backup musicians. You will need to round up your own backup folks from volunteers at the festival. Don't worry - there will be many folks willing to play guitar, or uke or bass for you. Or you can bring your own backup folks. AND, all performers MUST purchase either a day or weekend pass.


Daily Schedule





9am - Opening ceremony
Steel Guitars on Stage feat. HSGA members - 9am to 4pm
After the dinner hour: "Talk Story" with our Guest of Honor Alan Akaka
Evening jam sessions

9am - General Membership Meeting
Steel Guitars on Stage feat. HSGA members - 9am to 4pm
No evening program planned... enjoy an evening in Fort Collins

Steel Guitars on Stage featuring HSGA members - 9am to 4pm

Saturday Only! Workshops by HSGA members and invited experts... included with your ticket!

Bring your instruments and join in these sessions:

  • Beginning/Basic C6th Steel with Chris Kennison
  • Advanced Steel, Backups and Fills with Guest of Honor Alan Akaka
  • Ukulele with Stuart Yoshida
  • Slack-Key Guitar with Mark Kahalekulu
  • Hawaiian Culture / Olelo with Phil Swain

Attend as many as you like!

Saturday Night Luau in the Main Ballroom $50 per person - tickets available for purchase during the day
6pm Cocktail/social hour with cash bar
7pm Delicious Polynesian style dinner! Kalua Pig, Huli Huli Chicken and traditional Hawaiian sides.
8pm Luau Show featuring Festival Guest of Honor Alan Akaka

Saturday Night Luau with Guest Artist Alan Akaka - Not to be missed!
Join us at 6 for pre-luau musical entertainment, cash bar and social hour. At 7:00 enjoy a Polynesian-style dinner, then sit back and enjoy the Luau Floor Show at 8:00pm. Note: There is a separate $50 charge for the luau. Luau admission is not included with your festival registration. Luau tickets are available for purchase in advance and during the festival. Guests are encouraged to wear their finest Aloha wear! Lots of fun - do NOT miss it. Luau is open to the public, too, as is the entire festival. Please purchase your ticket online.

Hotel Reservations
Call the Hilton Fort Collins at (970) 482-2626 - mention the HSGA Hawaiian Festival in September for special block room rates. OR reserve your room online. Book by August 25.

DIA in Denver is the fly-to location. Many options exist out of DIA for transport to Ft. Collins. There are shuttle services, and rental cars.

Green Rides Airport Shuttle
Transportation to and from the airport to the Hilton. Reserve your ride online now or call them at 970-226-5533 and mention the HSGA Steel Event.

Can I join HSGA?

Please consider becoming a member of HSGA if you are not. Membership gets you a regular quarterly newsletter and price breaks at convention hotels and events.