WORLD, European and UK premieres and more than 100 other spectacular shows which could be attended by up to a million arts lovers: The 42nd annual Ageas Salisbury International Arts Festival boasts a stunning array of events.

It got under way this week with a flurry of Faust and fireworks at a free launch event.

In 2013, the Festival celebrates the vibrant arts of Catalunya and includes the tradition of building outside the Cathedral spire by the Castellers of Vilafranca.

Salisbury Cathedral will host a combination of beautiful music and exhilarating acrobatic feats in How Like An Angel and the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra performing Mozart and Mahler, as well as the traditional picnic and fireworks which bring the event to a close.

There’s plenty more in the way of superb settings with King Lear by Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre at Old Wardour Castle and Mark Padmore performing Schubert’s song cycle Die Wintereisse at Wilton Church.

Ballet Black bring an episodic journey through the relationships built during the Second World War at Salisbury Playhouse, pictured.

Experience the loneliness of the women left behind, the aftermath of a soldier’s turmoil and the fun of the London dance halls against the sights and sounds of the Blitz spirit.

The 2013 literature programme boasts John McCarthy, Kate Humble and Dan Snow, plus a guest talk by Barcelona FC’s vice president Carles Villarubi.

Classical and world music share the limelight with international theatre, dance, film, visual arts, children’s events, free outdoor events and a full literature programme until Saturday, June 8.