THE Nordic lands of the midnight sun will be celebrated at this year’s Ageas Salisbury International Arts Festival, which gets under way today.

The festival, which runs until June 7, will explore the tensions between light and dark, city and nature, and land and sea in a region of contrasts where the endless darkness of winter gives way to a summer of constant daylight.

Some of the finest artists from the Nordic region will bring poetry, music, dance, photography, film and folk to the festival.

Voices From No Man’s Land, a special installation including more than 100 male voices in Salisbury Cathedral’s Cloisters, will open the programme, marking the centenary of the Christmas truce of the First World War.

Tomorrow will see a host of free events in the Cathedral Close, including outdoor street theatre, art and sporting activities for children, and a fireworks finale.

The following day will see a new free event, City Encounters, featuring street theatre, circus and dance around the city, and more than 80 food stalls in an international market.