A ukulele jam at the Concourse hosted by the UkeBoomers opened the Esplanade's annual festival, A Date With Friends, on Thursday. The festival for senior citizens, now in its 12th year, aims to provide senior artists or hobbyists with a platform to showcase their talents. It features popular music from the 1960s to 1990s as well, performed by veteran Singapore artists such as Veronica Young, who took the stage last night. This year marks the festival's first foray into theatre, with a commissioned production by The Necessary Stage's Theatre for Seniors, Rise Of The Phoenix. It also features free programmes such as a taiji workout and line dance at the Esplanade's Forecourt Garden. A Date With Friends will end tomorrow.