THOUSANDS of singers and dancers from five continents are heading to the North Wales town where King Charles got down to the bhangra beat.

This year’s Llangollen International Musical Eisteddfod, starting on Tuesday (July 4) will be the first full length festival since before the COVID-19 pandemic.

The event was established in 1947 in the aftermath of the Second World War as a way of bringing the nations of the world closer together in a colourful, multi-cultural melting pot.

Ever since then the picturesque town in the Dee Valley has been known as the little town where Wales meets the world.

The popular festival helped launch the careers of opera superstars Luciano Pavarotti and Sir Bryn Terfel.

In 2015 King Charles – then Prince of Wales – paid a visit when he was accompanied by Queen Camilla, then  Duchess of Cornwall, and he was captured on camera dancing to a bhangra beat with the Sheerer Punjab Bhangra Dance group from Nottingham.

The Eisteddfod’s royal connection stretches all the way back to 1953 when it was one of the first of the then newly-crowned Queen Elizabeth’s official engagements after she succeeded her father, George VI.

70 years later, an extension has once again been added to the famous international pavilion to increase capacity to 4,000 seats in the canvas-covered auditorium.

Also back will be the spectacular floral display at the front of the pavilion stage, lovingly created by a band of dedicated volunteer flower growers and arrangers.

Each day features a full programme of competitions in the famous pavilion and a line-up of stalls and exhibitions on the field along with the competitors from around the world, many in colourful dress while three open-air stages run a stream of live performances.

Entertainment on the outside site includes workshops, talks, international showcases, outdoor theatre performances, circus skills, sound bath sessions, yoga, belly dancing, beginner’s Welsh and  salsa.

The Globe Stage will feature music acts spanning folk, jazz, world and indie.

There will also be an international flavour to the cuisine available in the new Globe Food Court.

Visitors will be able to “go around the world in 80 minutes” with stalls serving food from different countries including India, Greece, Jamaica, Mexico, Germany and Italy.

There is a new look to the final day of the Eisteddfod on Sunday with live final which sees rising vocal stars battle it out to claim the title Voice of Musical Theatre, and Cân i Llan, a new song-writing competition for unsigned acts aged 14-22, providing a platform for emerging voices in contemporary popular music.