A MAJOR free music festival will start in Monmouth today.

The 32nd annual Monmouth Festival will be held over nine days and will close on Saturday, August 2.

A Busking Festival will be held all round the town on Saturday and Seth Lakeman, Folklaw and Hattie Briggs will be performing on the main stage. Carnival Sunday, attended by 3,000 people last year, will see a party atmopshere descend on the town the day after.

Organisers said it is the celebration of the town and its community and a chance to see musicians performing all different genres – rock, classical, pop, folk, jazz, ska, punk and world music.

The festival is run entirely by volunteers and it costs about £50,000 to organise every year. Money is raised through advertising, sponsorship and through the festival’s bucket babes.

Last year performers included Sugar Mama, Young Kato, Peasants King and Our Tomorrow. Caldicot’s Rusty Shackle played the festival in 2012 and headlined it in 2013.

For more information visit monmouthfestival.co.uk.