A RARE street organ that’s been lovingly restored to its former glory will be a star attraction at a top music festival.

New life has been breathed into the Dutch organ called Astrid by owner Francis Stapleton, from Bala, and it will be out and about on the streets of Bangor during the city’s two-day music festival.

The event, which takes place on Friday and Saturday, February 14 and 15, at Pontio Arts and Innovation Centre in Bangor, will showcase Astrid’s talents as part of a unique collaboration between the Vale and Glamorgan Festival and Bangor Music Festival, led by Welsh composer David Roche.

The organ was originally built in 1957 in Rotterdam and has been painstakingly restored and modernised to expand her range and sound.

Ten multi-award winning composers, including eight from Wales, were commissioned by the Vale of Glamorgan Festival to write short pieces for her in an exciting experiment and celebration of their artistry.

The works now form part of an exciting line up at Bangor Music Festival, which celebrates its 20th anniversary this year under the theme Music, Health and Wellbeing.

Astrid will be playing the new works during Saturday, February 15, first on Bangor High Street and later at Pontio.

Festival director Guto Pryderi Puw said: “The organ will certainly create a buzz and that’s what we want to bring to the festival.

"The event is for the people across the country to enjoy, but also we’re trying to expand both our audiences and the nature of the music performed within it.

“I think it’s really interesting to see and hear the different approaches towards the organ from each composer.

"Some have gone down the traditional route, bordering on being a pastiche of the more traditional organ music."

Francis, who owns 12 organs of various types, bought Astrid in 2001 and has been painstakingly restoring her ever since, including fitting her with an additional rank of pipes.

“I’ve made a few additions and restored the front as far as possible back to her original condition and the colour scheme, including replacing front panels which had disappeared,” said the 68-year-old, who embarked on his hobby while a young schoolboy.

To find out more about the Bangor Music Festival or for tickets, visit www.bangormusicfestival.org.uk