More than a thousand bands and artists from all over the world have applied to perform at Worcester Music Festival 2014 this summer in a record year for applications.

Festival chairman Ant Robbins said the standard was higher than ever before and the festival’s band of promoters had a real challenge ahead of them. “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.”

For those who are unfamiliar with the festival, which was launched in 2008, Worcester Music Festival is an annual, three-day celebration of live, original music, primarily that of Worcester and county-based musicians, but also that of under-the-radar talent from across the UK.

Crucially, everything is free.

Festival venues include pubs, clubs, cafes, restaurants and historic buildings through to boats, record shops and outdoor stages, with workshops as well as gigs on the programme.

Taking place from August 29-31 this year, it is the chance for music lovers to taste quality, original music, and helps musicians reach new audiences, gig at places they would not normally play and secure paid gigs, sell CDs and meet fellow musicians and venue owners.

The festival also raises money for local charities, this year’s good cause being 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.

To stay up-to-date with Worcester Music Festival, which is supported by Child Care Bureau,  Facebook and follow the fest on Twitter @worcsmusicfest.

• 1,098 acts have applied
• 164 list their genre as ‘alternative’
• 204 mention BBC Radio
• 42 are from outside the UK
• 61 have members under 18

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