MORE than 1,000 bands and artists from all over the world have applied to perform at this year's Worcester Music Festival.

The record year for applications has seen a total of 1,098 acts bid for a place on the bill of the free celebration of music which brings live sets to a variety of venues in the Faithful City from Friday to Sunday, August 29-31.

As well as the best from Worcester and Worcestershire, the festival has attracted under-the-radar talent from across the UK and 42 acts from outside the UK.

Festival chairman Ant Robbins says the standard was higher than ever before and the festival’s band of promoters have a real challenge ahead of them in picking the final line-up.

Mr Robbins said: “Applications are now closed and picking the acts to fill around 250 slots at venues across the city over the festival weekend is going to be an exciting, but difficult, job - the standard is that good this year.

“We have already picked just under 50 bands and artists, covering everything from folk-pop and sultry blues through to punk, reggae and rock, all original music, no covers.

"We’d like to thank every band and artist who applied, some from as far as Japan and Mexico.”

Live, original music will be played in pubs, clubs, cafes, restaurants and historic buildings through to boats, record shops and outdoor stages, with workshops sitting alongside gigs on the programme.

The festival also raises money for local charities and this year’s good cause is Worcestershire Young Carers, which supports seven to 25-year-olds who might be looking after a disabled relative or helping to raise siblings in a home where a parent has mental health problems.

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