The Ukulele community of Newcastle first came together in 2011 to begin planning the inaugural Newcastle Ukulele Festival. Held in October 2012 on the grounds of the Croatian Club in Wickham under a big, beautiful circus tent (thanks to Circus Avalon) the first Newkulele Festival was born.  The festival featured professional artists as well as giving local, statewide and interstate ukelele players and group a platform to perform.  It was estimated that about 2000 people attended the event, giving the Newcastle ukulele community a great sense of achievement.

The Committee aimed to produce the Festival once every two years and in October 2014 moved to a bigger location (The Newcastle Jockey Club). This featured both international and Australian artists. Again the festival used the Circus Avalon tent, and an enthusiastic and well organised team of local volunteers.

October 2016 was the third Newcastle Newkulele Festival, again at the Newcastle Jockey Club, and this time featuring more international artists - James Hill and Anne Janelle (Canada), Nico'o and the Kapiolani boys (France), The Nukes (New Zealand), Peter Moss (England), Mark Nelson (USA), and Ukulollo (Italy). It provided a wonderful weekend of domestic and international music making, teaching and sharing.  Newcastle’s ukulele community felt proud to showcase our achievements, skill and passion for community music and ukulele wizardry.

In 2017 a new committee was established and the Festival became the Newkulele Festival Incorporated Association. The fourth Newkulele Festival was held in 2018 in the Newcastle City Hall and was the most successful festival to date, with over 3000 attendees recorded. There were over 60 community groups performed and 2 open mic areas were available.  More than 20 workshops were run which allowed attendees to explore new things on their ukeleles and gain new skills in a collaborative teaching environment.  Two evening concerts with interstate and international artists were sold out. The festival wrapped up in grand style on the Sunday afternoon with a huge One Song Sing event held in the main hall.

Plans were well advanced for the fifth Festival in 2020 before, like many other events, it was postponed.  The Committee remained intact and committed to providing a festival when the opportunity arose.  The decision was made to run the Festival once again in the Newcastle City Hall in September 2022.  3 evening concerts were scheduled and 11 international, interstate and local professional artists entertained the audience.  The day time activities 57 community group performances including a session featuring local school performances.  16 workshops were scheduled throughout the weekend, once again providing attended the opportunity to work with world class teachers to improve their skills.