YOUNG musicians from across the Tyne Valley are being given the opportunity to perform in front of thousands of people.

Tynedale Beer Festival, in conjunction with Hexham community music venture Core Music, is to run a Battle of the Bands competition for musicians aged between 16 and 18.

In the same year the beer and cider festival will return to four days, the new musical addition will take place on the family day, planned for Saturday, June 20.

The festival committee is inviting young bands to get in touch with Core Music ahead of auditions to be held at Tynedale Rugby Club, the home of the event.

Judges will then put through three bands to perform at the event, with a panel of judges and the crowd to pick the overall champion.

The competition is the brainchild of the festival’s music co-ordinator Chris Lloyd, who is executive treasurer of the event and a keen musician himself.

He said: “We were thinking, ‘what could we do to liven up the Saturday afternoon and build on the theme of family day?’, and we came up with giving the opportunity for young bands to make an appearance.

“From a business point of view, they will bring mates, parents, grandparents to watch to help make it a lively start to the festival.

“And it is a great chance for young musicians to play on a different stage and in front of a large audience.

“We are building on the music we offer at the festival and the Battle of the Bands is something a bit different for us.”

The competition has been announced as the beer festival revealed its full musical line-up.

Local acts include the Tyne Valley Big Band, Blistered Molly, Gaja, Stratosphonic and Shaun Fenwick.

Bands wishing to join the Battle of the Bands competition are asked to get in touch with Core Music directly. The deadline is April 11.