Independent 17,000-capacity festival, Standon Calling has announced its biggest partnership with BBC Introducing yet, with 18 local acts added to the lineup.

The partnership is now three times bigger, with BBC Introducing in London and Essex now curating a lineup of local artists, along with the existing three counties of Bedfordshire, Hertfordshire and Buckinghamshire.

The platform returns to the Hertfordshire festival for the first time since the pandemic. Standon has previously worked with BBC Introducing for several years with the Beds, Herts and Bucks show on Three Counties Radio.

The festival returns for its 17th year from 20-23 July. The main stage is headlined by Years & Years, Self Esteem, Bloc Party and The Human League.

Since launching in 2007, BBC Introducing has helped break high-profile UK artists – including several who have performed at Standon through the years, including George Ezra, Florence and the Machine and Loyle Carner.

This year it will bring artists such as Wunderhorse, Finn Foxell, Arthur Hill, Amy Lauren, Connie Campsie, Monstrr Florence, Ruti, Eleni Drake, Elodie and Mychele to the festival.

Standon Calling founding director Alex Trenchard said, “Supporting new artists and celebrating talent from the local areas has always been a big part of what Standon Calling is all about. It’s been a few years since we’ve officially partnered with BBC Introducing to spotlight this, and we couldn’t be more excited to see this develop into something even bigger than before, with three fantastic BBC Introducing teams coming together to reach a massive amount of new music fans this summer.”

For the first time, BBC Introducing will also bring DJs to Standon Calling’s dance arenas. Leena Punks and Amy Lauren from Essex will be joining the all-female and non-binary bill on Friday at the Electric Willows, as part of Standon Calling’s fully gender-representative bill this year, whilst Saturday on the same stage sees TIBASKO, Model Man and KIIMI (DJ) also perform. Hip hop producer Genesis Elijah also joins the inaugural ‘FutureFlow’ night for UK rap and grime on the Cowshed stage.

Elsewhere this year’s main music lineup includes Anastacia, Katy B, Dylan, KT Tunstall, Melanie C, Shygirl, Faithless DJ, The Big Moon and Rick Astley.

Standon Calling also hosts age-inclusive activities including a dog show, costume parade, yoga classes, a swimming pool, comedy shows, games and creative workshops.