Rock legends are set to welcome a new generation of budding superstars to Birmingham when the Town Hall hosts the UK heat of the world's biggest live music competition.

Rick Wakeman, Jean-Jacques Burnel of the Stranglers and top producer Louie Nicastro will be among the judges in the Global Battle of the Bands national heat on October 28.

The event will be held as part of the celebrations to mark the landmark building's £35 million refurbishment.

Organisers hope the competition - in its fourth year - will eventually become as popular and successful as the Eurovision Song Contest.

It brings in artists from 40 countries across the world competing for the top spot.

The winners and runners-up from five regional English finals will compete for a place in the world final in London in December where the victorious band will win $100,000 (£50,000) and a world tour.

Last year's final was won by American hip hop rock band Heavy Mojo, who will also be performing in Birmingham.

The national final of the Global Battle of the Bands being held in Birmingham brings together the ten winners of the regional events held in summer this year.

The winner will go on to take on the winner of the 39 other national competitions being held around the world.

Acts taking part in the national final include Birmingham heavy metal four-piece Theory of All, who have been playing around the city for nearly four years, and the eclectic Moonfish, from Gloucestershire.

And they will be joined by local acts including rock band Midas and gospel singer Ladonna Kezia putting on a display of local talent. The evening is supported by Birmingham City Council, Marketing Birmingham and music events group Still Gigging.

Fay Goodman, producer at Birmingham-based Goodmedia, brought the event to the city as part of her role as ambassador for the creative industry at the Birmingham Chamber.

She said: "The GBOB national event coming to Birmingham is a major coup for us and will help to show the local talent we have to offer.

"I am delighted by the growing support of local companies and music groups.

"The imminent re-opening of the Town Hall after its renovation programme has added a new jewel to Birmingham's crown and the Global Battle of the Bands will be a superb early opportunity to show off the venue to an international audience."

Sir Bernard Zissman, former lord mayor of Birmingham, and a member of the planning team, said: "Birmingham and the Midlands have always enjoyed a reputation for enterprise be it in the area of business or innovation as well as in music of every kind.

"The unique setting of our historic and wonderfully refurbished Town Hall, whose audiences have been thrilled by the music of Elgar to Count Basie and Led Zeppelin, will once again stand and cheer the Global Battle of the Bands.

"This is a real coup for our city and we should welcome the bands and their supporters with open arms and the warmest of welcomes."

Still Gigging will be making the evening particularly special for a group of children from the Acorns Hospice, who will get a chance to meet the stars and enjoy the music.

Robert Jinks, head of corporate fundraising at Acorns Hospice, said: "The Global Battle of the Bands is a great event and we're delighted that it will help support Acorns by increasing our awareness and helping us to raise much-needed funds from collections.

"Events such as Global Battle of the Bands help Acorns to spread its message to a wider audience."

* The bands competing for the chance to represent England at the international final in December are: Caution (Reading), Never Means Maybe (Essex), Isotopia (Richmond), Silent Sundays (Sheffield), Heist (Westcliff-on-Sea), Little Black Number (Glastonbury), Sizen (Kent), Moonfish (Gloucestershire), The Rumur (Devon) and Theory of All (Birmingham) :