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Popular organ festival set to attract international crowds this summer

PUBLISHED: 10:21 05 May 2018 | UPDATED: 10:35 14 May 2018

Diss Organ Festival 2017. Photo: Diss Town Council.

Diss Organ Festival 2017. Photo: Diss Town Council.

Archant

The organisers of a unique music festival which aims to bring a note of European culture to Norfolk this summer have announced the headliners of this year’s event.

One of the Ruth fair concert organs which will attend this year's Diss organ festival.Picture: Alan SmithOne of the Ruth fair concert organs which will attend this year's Diss organ festival.Picture: Alan Smith

On Sunday, May 20 Diss will welcome more than 50 organs for the Diss Organ Festival.

One of the more unusual events in the region’s music festival calendar, last year the inaugural one day extravaganza attracted more than 6,000 visitors to the town - making it the largest event of its type in the UK.

Promising to build on last year’s success, organisers have announced that this year’s event will feature not one but two Ruth Concert organs and the famous Dutch Street Organ, De Hagenaar - a 90-key instrument which has not played in England for some years.

Event organiser Alan Smith said: “The Ruth Concert organs are the very best both in terms of quality and musical performance.

Dutch Street Organ“ de Jonker” with Alan Smith. Photo: Diss Organ FestivalDutch Street Organ“ de Jonker” with Alan Smith. Photo: Diss Organ Festival

“They’re are not normally in England and the ones coming to the festival are the best examples there are, so we’re delighted that they are coming to Diss. They’re magnificent instruments.”

Supported by The British Organ Grinders’ Association and partly funded by Diss Town Council, the festival will once again see organs travel from far and wide in order to take part.

More than 50 instruments including Fairground, Cafe, Busker and Concert Organs, together with Dutch Street Organs, gathered from all over the UK and Europe will form part of an “Organ Trail” guiding people through the Heritage Triangle, town and park.

Mr Smith said: “We were delighted with the response to last year’s festival. We had a huge turnout - people came from Diss, across the UK and the continent.

Dutch Street Organ “de Pijpenburger” visiting from Leiden,Holland, owned by Fabian Krul. Photo: Diss Organ Festival.Dutch Street Organ “de Pijpenburger” visiting from Leiden,Holland, owned by Fabian Krul. Photo: Diss Organ Festival.

“Fingers crossed for good weather and if we can repeat the success of last we will be delighted, it will be a lovely fun day.”

The 2018 Diss Organ Festival will take place from 10am to 5pm on Sunday, May 20, refreshments will be available throughout the day. The event will also 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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