STEREO MCs, Billy Bragg, Sharon Rose, Dream Themes and the Turbans are among the first acts to be announced for Village Green 2016.

Organisers Metal, will be hosting the massively popular local event on Saturday July 9, at its usual home of Chalkwell Park.

It will, as per usual, feature a massive mix of local and international talent, of literature, art and music.

For the first time this year the Village Green Artist’s Village - a dedicated section within the festival - will consist of eight visual artists from around the UK, who will have been living and creating on site at Chalkwell Park in the weeks leading up to the festival.

Metal say revellers should expect “an array of visual art installations, performances and ‘interruptions’ across the site, curated and led by Southend artist, Jon Kipps”.

Sean McLoughlin, the Village Green festival director said: “This year’s festival is set to highlight some of the most eclectic international, national and regional talent. We are absolutely delighted to welcome back Mr Bragg to headline, a man who is regarded with both admiration and affection in this neck of the woods. There’s a huge amount more in the pipeline to announce in the coming weeks too.”

Tickets this year are £10 for an early bird purchase, available until midnight on Monday May 2; adult tickets increase to £12.50 until midnight on Friday July 8, then £15 for adult tickets on the festival day of July 9. Children’s tickets for 11-17 year olds are £5 while children under ten go free.

500 free tickets have been set aside for families and individuals on low income in Southend. These can be secured with the council through their Southend Advantage Card scheme.

Paid for tickets are available online 24 hours at or by telephone from the Skiddle Ticket Sales hotline on 0844 884 2920 (open Mon-Fri 9am-6pm; Sat 10am-5pm; Closed Sunday).

More acts are to be announced soon in the Echo.

Southend Standard:

Stereo MCs, who will be remembered for floor-fillers such as Connected and Step it Up, will appear on the Riverside Stage in the late afternoon. They have toured extensively and performed with bands such as U2, De La Soul and The Happy Mondays. 2014 saw them return to their roots releasing underground dance music and collaborating with the likes of Adam Port and Terranova.

Billy Bragg, will headline the Riverside Stage with a stunning festival set. Billy’s credits include: a number one hit single; having a street named after him; being the subject of a South Bank Show; appearing onstage at Wembley Stadium; curating Leftfield at Glastonbury; sharing spotted dick with a Cabinet minister in the House of Commons cafeteria; being mentioned in Bob Dylan’s memoir and; meeting the Queen. As described by The Guardian, at their best, Billy’s songs present ‘the perfect Venn diagram between the political and the personal’.

The Turbans are an eclectic bunch with influenced sounds from the regions the band members hail from - Turkey, Bulgaria, Israel, Iran, Italy,Greece and England - with an anarchic punk energy mixed in. They will be on the Riverside Stage in the early evening as the sun goes down over the Estuary. The band has grown from humble beginnings into a big name on the national and international music scene. They’re marked as one not to be missed.

Dream Themes promise to bring a bit of cabaret to the proceedings with their smorgasboard of terrestrial TV nostalgia. Rhodri Marsden of the band said: “In keeping with the “Village” theme, we're planning a full scale re-creation of the kids TV show Camberwick Green, with Paul (bass) playing the part of Windy Miller, me (keys) playing Dr Mopp, Rob (drums) playing Roger Varley The Sweep and Southend born Dicky (guitar) playing Captain Snort. If you're over the age of 40, it's going to provoke such massive nostalgia that you'll immediately burst into tears.”

Sharon Rose is a rising singer-songwriter star from Southend, and will be bringing her soulful gospel voice to the Village Green Stage. Since winning Essex Undiscovered in 2015 with The Arcaves, Sharon has appeared on the X-Factor and is currently in the West End musical, Beautiful the story of Carole King.