A York festival centred on a small Hawaiian stringed instrument is to return to the city for a second year after being catapulted in to the spotlight last summer.

Following the success of its launch event last year, which saw more than 150 people from across the world turn out for the first ever Ukulele Festival in York, events to celebrate the four-stringed instrument are back.

Organisers have announced the date of the festival as July 12 and have said it will follow a similar format to last year.

Steve Morrison, managing director of Red Cow Music in Goodramgate, is hoping that this year’s festival can top the inaugural event.

“We are looking forward to seeing some of the best players and groups around – we have already had requests to play from around the world,” he said.

“It will have a similar format to last year, but hopefully a little better and bigger.

“We will once again encourage young people from schools and colleges to take part, but will also hopefully see small to large groups of beginner and intermediate players coming to perform, or just for the day as we believe that the ukulele is for everyone.”

Through the interest of Bruno Mars, Frank Skinner and Eddie Vedder of Pearl Jam, the popularity of the ukulele has soared.

The festival hopes to boost that popularity even more and last year hundreds of people in York took part in a ukulele flash mob.

The full line-up for the festival will be announced in June but Steve said that the events will start at St Sampsons Square from 11am.

All of the money raised on the day will be donated to Martin House Hospice, which cares for children and young people who have life-limiting illnesses.

To get involved, email Steve on redcowmusic@hotmail.co.uk