A POPULAR annual arts festival is going online to entertain its many fans.

Cockermouth Live! was due to take place next month but has had to be cancelled as a result of coronavirus.

More than 500 local performers took part in last year’s event. There was everything from classical, dance music and choirs to folk, rock and poetry spread across 18 venues in the town. The hope is that many of them will be able to take part in a virtual event.

Bob Pritchard, who organises the festival supported by a team of volunteers, said: “With no prospect of lockdown being eased sufficiently for the popular festival to go ahead this year, we are proposing an online version, ‘Cockermouth Virtually Live’, to be premiered on You Tube on July 4, the date the town should have been buzzing with live performances in shops, pubs, cafés and halls.”

Everyone who would have taken part in this year’s event is being asked to provide a video of a performance, no more than 10 minutes, which will be compiled into a two- hour broadcast.

“We’d also like to have some messages of support from traders, venues and our loyal audiences,” said Bob.

“We’ll be contacting all our regular performers with information about how to submit their material and instructions will be on our website.”

For more details, go to www.cockermouthfestival.org.