A student is hoping to win a performance slot at one of the biggest music festivals in the North East.

17-year-old Joe Wallace of Ponteland said he was 'thrilled' to be through to the final of a competition, where the prize is a 30-minute slot at Hardwick Live in Stockton-on-Tees.

Joe has always been interested in music and took the chance to forward his career.

"I have played the guitar for ten years and singing for about five years," Joe said.

"It all began when I picked up a guitar in Year Three. Since then, I have had a real passion for music and have always wanted to pursue the dream of performing.

 "I found out about the Hardwick Live competition through a local busking Facebook group.

"I already regularly perform at buskers nights and wanted to take it to the next level with a competition.

"I am through to the final, and it has been a fantastic experience.

"It has been great to perform alongside other great performers in the competition.

" I wasn't expecting to get through to the final, but I was excited to progress and be one step closer to getting a slot at the festival.

The final round for the competition is on Thursday, August 4 - which Joe has to travel not from his home - but Europe.

He adds: "I'm on holiday in Spain, so for the competition, I will have to fly back on Thursday afternoon to compete and then fly back to Spain on Friday morning.

"My dad took no persuading, and both parents have been extremely supportive of my music, so they were more than happy to let me make the journey back home for the day.

"It would be the most amazing feeling to play in front of a festival crowd and show people what I can do.

"My gramps has always been eager for me to pursue my passion for music, so it would be amazing to feel as though I have done him proud.

"Additionally, I would like to make my parents proud, especially my dad, as he drives me to every buskers nights and gig."