TAUNTON is gearing up for a three-day music extravaganza around the town centre next month.

The free Sound of the Streets festival returns to the town bigger and better around Castle Green, Goodland Gardens and High Street from Friday, July 8, to Sunday, July 10.

Some of the UK’s biggest names in street music are taking part, including Riot Jazz, Young Pilgrims, Kinetika Bloco and many more.

Festival organiser Tim Hill said the event will bring "three glorious days of music and celebration to the streets of Taunton".

As well as performances from a fantastic mixture of professional street bands, there will also be some brilliant local groups, from samba to town bands, as well as ancient horns, community street bands from around the UK and local schools' groups.

Mr Hill described street bands as "one of the musical wonders of the world" and consist of two main types - percussion bands and reed, brass and drum bands from all over the world from Ghana to Nepal, and New Orleans to Columbia.

He added: "Central to the festival are ideas of participation and communal celebration.

"To give people opportunities to enjoy live music, dance, make music themselves and sing.

"There will be many opportunities for people to join in, with workshops, sing-alongs and open sessions."

Mr Hill said: "We are bringing musical joy to the streets of Taunton, with bands all over the town and lots of opportunities to join in and make some noise.

"This vibrant and life affirming music is something we all need and we want to see people up and dancing.”

Special guests include the Kinetika Bloco, a remarkable group of young musicians and dancers from London, fresh from their appearance at the Jubilee Pageant. The festival also includes La Tromba from Chile making their first appearance in England.

The festival has also been working with local schools and young people, developing a parade with primary schools, creating a Taunton Youth Street Band and running music workshops.

The full festival programme can be found on The Sound of the Streets website.