LIVE acts are being urged to set their sights on Purbeck Folk Festival’s annual talent contest this summer.

The contest, Purbeck Rising, is now an established fixture on the UK folk scene, and was started in response to hundreds of approaches from bands and artists desperate to play the August festival.

Purbeck Rising offers an opportunity for new acts to play the award-winning event, with a main stage slot and a day’s studio recording up for grabs.

Last year’s winners, Big Tent and the Gypsy Lantern, used their success as a springboard – having since toured the UK twice and been shortlisted for Glastonbury’s Emerging Talent showcase.

Big Tent’s George Kirkham said: “Winning Purbeck Rising meant so much to us. It has brought us closer together as a band and gave us a platform on which to go forward and tour.

“There are some very exciting things in the pipeline, including a European tour next year and our biggest national tour this autumn.”

Last year’s finalists have all been invited back to play the festival this year.

Festival director Cath Burke said: “Purbeck Rising worked brilliantly last year. We couldn’t believe it – not only the number of entries, but the standard was really high as well.

“One of the prizes was to come back and play at this year’s Purbeck Folk Festival, but the finalists were so good that we have invited them all back to play a formal spot.”

To enter this year’s Purbeck Rising, artists should email a link to a YouTube video to info@ before July 22, with the subject ‘Purbeck Rising’.

The best 10 acts will be put up for public vote between August 3-10, with the five most popular going through to the live final at Purbeck Folk Festival on August 23.

The festival, at Wilkswood Farm, Langton Matravers, near Swanage, takes place from August 21 to 24.

Visit for ticket information.