JOOLS Holland and Girls Aloud are just two of the top acts lined up to appear in Redditch's biggest and most ambitious music and arts festival ever.

More than 20,000 people are expected to descend on Arrow Valley Park for two huge concerts on June 4 and 5.

The Saturday night concert will feature Jools Holland, while Girls Aloud, Lemar and Jamelia will perform in a more family-orientated show the following day. There will also be appearances from Redditch's up and coming home-grown talent in a Battle of the Bands.

The shows will be the premier attraction in Redditch's first ever large-scale arts festival, called AIR (Arts in Redditch).

The extravaganza is due to take place across the town between May 28 and June 11.

In and around the Kingfisher Shopping Centre, there will be a host of unique exhibitions, street entertainment, a balloon launch, craft stalls and fairground rides.

Redditch school pupils will also be invited to take part in the fun with a children's procession through town and exhibition of artwork on the green outside St Stephens' Church.

During the Bank Holiday weekend Arrow Valley Park will be invaded by a display of giant inflatable sculptures, including a 15-metre long whale for children to walk inside.

And fun-lovers will also have the chance to take part in ghost walks around Redditch and enjoy smaller concerts featuring local talent at Kingsley College.

Councillors unanimously supported the event when they met to discuss details at a full Redditch Council meeting on Monday.

Council Leader David Cartwright said: "This is one of the biggest things Redditch has ever experienced.

"I am hoping the idea will evolve over the years and I'm aiming to make it one of the premier festivals in the region."

The council will initially cough up the £500,000 needed for the ambitious project but hope to recoup most of that through ticket sales.

The other events will cost the council about £50,000.

Councillor Debbie Taylor said: "I think this will really put Redditch on the map."

Tickets for the concerts are expected to cost between £15 and £20, with discounts for Reddicard holders.