Ten of Birmingham's best new and unsigned bands have been given a platform within Arts-Fest to coincide with the launch of Birmingham's online music platform, birminghamusic.com.

Hundreds of bands entered the Birmingham Soundclash competition last month which came up with ten of the likeliest contenders to feature on the Chamberlain Square stage - The Mexicolas, 360, Hey Pablo!, The Gammatones, 35 Seconds, The Motive, James Summerfield, Kanopus, Stanley's Choice and D. Louis Baker & Friends.

"We've been overwhelmed by the response we've had to the competition to perform at ArtsFest," says Michelle Adkins, Project Manager, of Birminghamusic.com.

"Birmingham is an absolute hotbed of talent and it's critical that we nuture and develop local talent"

The selected ten certainly reflect a wide range of stylistic allegiances. The Mexicanos sandwich Wes Montgomery between The Police and The Stranglers in their list of influences, while 35 Seconds are described as "in essence a polyphonic face-off between Aphex Twin and The Smiths".

Kanopus (formerly Milo), who play Centenary Square at 10pm on Saturday as well as Chamberlain Square on Sunday afternoon, are a nine-piece soul/ funk outfit featuring vocalists Lizzy Parks and Leo Altareli which is used to strutting its stuff at venues like London's Jazz Cafe and Cargo, while The Gammatones, who cite Bo Diddley, TheVelvet Underground among their enthusiasms, have already had experience of playing as far from home as Chicago.

James Summerfield, former frontman of noted Birmingham band Buick 6 (later The Toques, later still Friends of the Stars) has a solo album to his credit on which he plays an extensive array of instruments.

The schedule for the two days on the Chamberlain Square stage is Saturday: The Mexicolas (12 noon), 360 (1pm) Hey Pablo! (2pm), The Gammatones (3pm), 35 Seconds (4pm), The Motive (5pm), Sunday: James Summerfield (1pm), Kanopus (2pm), Stanley's Choice (3pm) and D. Louis Baker & Friends (4pm).

Birminghamusic.com plans further showcase events across the city in October.