A POPULAR music event will return next month, seeing many musicians and artists on display right across Cockermouth.

Cockermouth LIVE! will again last three days this year, from July 5-7, following the success of expanding the festival last year to cover the whole weekend.

This year, the organisers said there will be 'even more to see, take part in and enjoy for people of all ages'. The festival involves venues around town throwing open their doors over the weekend, inviting performers to show off their talents to everyone and anyone.

Dozens of local musicians and performers have put themselves forward once again to entertain the crowds. Ranging from a mini jazz festival at the Kirkgate Centre to pop-up shows in the bookshop, cafes, galleries and pubs, organisers have been keen to show off the local talent. Cockermouth Castle will also be hosting performances on both days, with marquees and a stage in place.

New this year too will be a fundraising buskathon taking place outside Sainsbury’s all day on Saturday.

Printing workshops in Market Place Print Studio are also new, and The Meanders art trail is also up and running already – local art by local artists in shopfronts around Cockermouth with this year’s theme being 'Window on the Arts'.

Two ticketed events are already selling well: Saturday evening’s Brass on the Grass, a unique and varied picnic concert in Cockermouth Castle by Cockermouth Mechanics Brass Band to mark national Brass Band Week.

Tickets for the fifty strong Cockermouth Community Orchestra’s Grand Festival Concert at Christ Church on Sunday evening are also available. Friday night’s headline concert at the Kirkgate Centre, where Blazin’ Fiddles will be performing, is already sold out.

The chair of Cockermouth LIVE!, Chris Bridgman said: "We’re delighted with what we’ve got planned for this year and to be keeping an expanded Festival, responding to the enthusiasm of audiences and performers alike.

"It's shaping up to be a packed weekend, with a rich range of activities across a wide variety of venues - including performances at Cockermouth Castle on both the Saturday and Sunday.

"Huge thanks to all the local businesses and organisations who have supported us once more.”

The full range and programme of events can be found at www.cockermouthfestival.org where you can also download the programme. Copies of it are also available around town from now.