Popular organ festival set to return - with Bon Jovi tunes

PUBLISHED: 16:38 16 January 2018 | UPDATED: 08:22 18 January 2018

Dutch Street Organ de Jonker with Alan Smith. Picture: Diss Organ Festival

Dutch Street Organ de Jonker with Alan Smith. Picture: Diss Organ Festival

Diss Organ Festival

An unusual music festival which brought a slice of European culture to Norfolk and proved to be a huge success, is set to return for a second time this spring.

Dutch Street Organ de Vondeling at the Mere, Diss. Picture: Diss Organ FestivalDutch Street Organ de Vondeling at the Mere, Diss. Picture: Diss Organ Festival

Last May, the normally quiet streets of Diss were transformed as 40 organs from around the UK and Europe arrived at the market town for the inaugural Diss Organ Festival - the UK’s largest musical event of its type.

And now, due to popular demand, the festival will be returning - with organisers promising a festival that will be even bigger and better than last year.

Alan Smith, one of the event organisers, explained how those involved had been blown away by the success of last year’s event, which attracted more than 6,000 visitors to the town in just one day.

Mr Smith said: “I can confirm that there will be an organ festival this year and it will cover the whole town and park.

Diss Organ Festival 2017. Picture: Alan SmithDiss Organ Festival 2017. Picture: Alan Smith

“We were delighted with the response to last year’s festival. We had a huge turn out - people came from Diss, across the UK and the continent.

“We’ve had so many requests from organ owners and members of the public for another festival. We’ve even had confirmation from people across Europe saying they have already booked their flights for this year’s festival.”

Supported by The British Organ Grinders’ Association and partly funded by Diss Town Council, last year’s festival saw organs travel from Cornwall, Wales and Holland to take part.

Whilst the exact details of the organs that will appear at this year’s event are yet to be finalised, Mr Smith said: “We are looking forward to so many more instruments

“Last year what did surprise us was that the festival genuinely appealed to people of all ages and everyone enjoyed the day.

“Come along - the instruments really are wonderful and musical, they are amazing and of course it’s not all old music. There are organs playing Bon Jovi too.”

The 2018 Diss Organ Festival will take place on Sunday, May 20 and will coincide with an open day on Saturday, May 19 of The Grange Collection in Palgrave, the private mechanical music collection of Jonny Ling.

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