The 5th Annual Hawaii Book & Music Festival (HBMF) is this weekend, and we’re all abuzz with excitement here at HBB! Although we won’t have a table set up we’ll definitely be around wearing our “Shaka for Books” t-shirts and handing out fliers. If you see us around, stop us and say hello, we’d love to meet you!

HBMF is one of our favorite literary events of the year because it’s literally two straight days of awesome music and book related activities. What’s really a treat is that there are different things going on simultaneously so there’s something for everyone in the family to enjoy. It seems every year the festival gets bigger and bigger with more to do and see. Well, this year is no exception!

For example here are a couple of new areas that will be running continuously with programs every hour ALL DAY Saturday and Sunday:

The ALANA (Awakening) Hawaiian Culture Program Pavilion will feature panel discussions and presentations on how Hawaiian Culture is evolving and expanding. With special guests like author Dan Kois (whose book we review here), Peter Apo, Puakea Nogelmeier and storyteller Lopaka Kapanui, topics range from hula and music history to the Akaka Bill.

There will also be an area specifically for storytelling at the new Café Talk Story Stage featuring an impressive two-day line-up of  local story tellers, comedians, poets and playwrights.

In addition to the annual Bank of Hawaii book swap, this year Read to Me International has started a Used Keiki Book Sale. How’s that for adding more fun to the fray? pretty impressive!

Also new this year but not running continuously, Hawaii Sustainability:  panel discussion and selection of Hawaii-Specific Carbon Offsets with Gov. George Ariyoshi, Erwin Hudelist of Hagadone Printing Co. and Jeff Mikulina of Blue Planet Foundation.  James Koshiba of Kanu Hawaii will moderate. There will also be a Publishing Workshop with local publishers and professionals discussing how to navigate the world of publishing and self-publishing. You can download a copy of the schedule via

And that’s just what the festival has lined up, publishers and literary organizations have booths set up where you can meet and greet MORE authors and find tons of great book deals! Here’s who you might see, just to name a few…

  • Kathleen Norris, nationally published poet and best-selling memoirist
  • Dana Reinhardt (HOW TO BUILD A HOUSE), best selling YA author from Random House
  • Dan Kois, New York Magazine writer and author of a controversial book about Israel Kamakawiwo’ole
  • Todd Shimoda, author of the acclaimed OH! A MYSTERY OF ‘NO AWARE.’”
  • Douglas Corleone ex-NY defense attorney, now living in Hawaii (who recently did an author interview with us!)
  • Bob Hogue, popular sports figure, broadcaster and ex-state senator with a popular novel, SANDS OF LANIKAI
  • Duane “Dog” Chapman, with his newly published book.
  • Kaui Hart Hemmings, whose best-selling novel, THE DESCENDANTS, is being adapted for a major new film, now being shot in Hawaii, and starring George Clooney, is joined by the film’s producer, Jim Burke

I also had to include festival favorites…

  • Target Keiki Stage and Keiki Activities Pavilion with 28 acts of nonstop entertainment, keiki authors and illustrators and free activities.
  • Hawaii Chorus Showcase, emceed by Shari Lynn and enlarged this year to nine choruses from around the island, both days at the adjacent Mission Memorial Auditorium.
  • Bank of Hawaii Book Swap:  Update your library by bringing in up to five gently used books and trading them in for a new one. Hundreds of titles for adults and children.
  • Outrigger’s Hawaiian Music CD Swap: Trade your gently used or unwanted CD for a different one from the Outrigger collection.
  • Free Kani Ka Pila Sunset Concert:  Sponsored by Outrigger Enterprises Group on Saturday, 6:00 to 8:00 p.m.  In true island style, artists Mailani, Sean Na`auao, and Maunalua will take the Main Stage for an evening of jamming Hawaiian music.

The non-profit Hawaii Book & Music Festival beneficiaries are Hawaii Literacy and Read To Me International

Event Details: Saturday and Sunday, May 15 and 16, from 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. each day. Frank F. Fasi Civic Grounds at Honolulu Hale. Attendance FREE and there is plenty of FREE parking in several nearby locations.  Visit the website for more details.