THE latest act has been announced for the popular Village Green festival - with The Voice winner Ruti set to take the stage.

19-year-old Ruti Olajugbagbe won ITV’s The Voice last year while studying at the Youth Creation Performing Arts School, in Stanford-le-Hope.

Southend Standard:

Grown - the festival now regularly attracts thousands of people

The teen, from South Ockendon, previously performed at Village Green in 2017 as a young unknown artist.

Ruti released her new single, Racing Cars, on April 5 and performed the single live on the final of The Voice the following Saturday.

She will join Busted at the festival, with the pop band announced as headliners earlier this month.

Ruti previously undertook work experience with Metal, the team behind Village Green, strengthening her links to the festival.

Sean McLoughlin, Village Green festival director, said: “We can’t wait to see Ruti performing at Village Green on the main stage.

“We have watched her career with great interest and we all remember her as a really lovely young woman with enormous talent.”

Only ten years ago Village Green was a small scale celebration of the arts and music of Southend attracting, 8,000 visitors.

Now, it regularly attracts over 20,000 festival goers and acts have included Rag N Bone Man, Nitin Sawhney, Beth Orton, Kate Nash, Nothing But Thieves, The Selecter, Billy Bragg, Dan le Sac v Scroobius Pip, Eddi Reader, Roland Gift, Wilko Johnson and more.

Another home grown-turned-internationally acclaimed talent confirmed for the 2019 programme is Snowboy, who will be appearing at the festival with his band, the Latin Section.

Brand new stages and areas for 2019 include: the N-Act Theatre Stage, run by Southend based theatre group, N-Act; The Space In-Between stage – which will have a varied programme throughout the day, featuring International beatbox artist Shlomo, who headlined the very first Village Green in 2008, Liverpool artist Ashleigh Owen who brings her new theatre show Hip Hip I’m Gay and Southend based comedian Pope Lonergan who will showcase his popular Addiction Clinic.

Returning for Village Green 2019 is the popular Artist Village, a programme of new contemporary pieces of art created especially for the festival.

Organised by Jon Kipps, an artist and curator from Southend, a group of four artists have been invited to spend time in Chalkwell Hall this spring, getting to know the area, before returning in the summer with their finished pieces.

Also back this year is the Village Green main stage, the Global Village stage, the Oak Stage for young performers and run by young people, Mini Green, a stage for children aged under 11, the Idea13 stage for emerging bands and promoting the regional music industry, and the Grrrlzine Stage, which will include zines, bands, workshops and talks celebrating DIY creativity by women, LGBTQI and non-binary people.

Village Green takes place in Chalkwell Park, Westcliff, on Saturday July 13, from 11am until 9pm, bringing thousands of people ten hours of arts, music and performance for all ages.

Southend Standard:

Headliners - Busted have already been announced