MORE than 100 musicians from across the country are expected to make their way to the Isle of Wight next week for a barn-storming Acoustic Isle 2015 festival.

For the second year running, music lovers from across the south will be crossing the Solent to pack out the island’s pubs, bars, cafés and restaurants from February 26.

Among the many highlights this year are musical performances from such varied artists as the Cat Skellington jazz quartet, John Otway, British Blues guitar hero Marcus Bonfanti, London-based folk duo The Worry Dolls and others.

More than 100 live performances will take place across the 11-day festival at a variety of venues dotted across the island, providing an infectious mix of harmonies and rhythmic guitars.

Surprise guests and several top name acts from across the country will rub shoulders and grace the stage alongside the island’s own up-and-coming talented musicians.

Last year’s inaugural festival saw guitarist Simon Townshend who played from British rock band The Who – who is lead by his brother Pete – play an exclusive acoustic set at the Pavilion Bar in Ryde.

Visitors will have the chance to listen to music the moment they step on board the ferry.

During the first weekend there will be 14 live performances on ferry services heading to the island from both Southampton and Portsmouth. Petrol heads can enjoy darting around a go-kart racetrack, as well as getting some live entertainment.

Acts include Jim Elston of the Solent Inn, festival organiser David Thornton who has launched a new album, and Skin Deep who play regular gigs around the Island.

Other acts include Nick Cane, an established Isle of Wight singer songwriter, Music Craft, Tea ’n’ Biscuit Boys, Wihtwara, Jukebox Jazz and Rebel and the Hearts.

On the Wightlink route on February 28, there will be entertainment from Sam Sheasby who will be on board between 12 noon and 2pm.

He will be followed by Cornerstone Duo between 2pm and 4pm.

Joining the local talent is London-based singer songwriter Simon James who will perform between 4pm and 6pm.

Festival organiser David Thornton said: “I am absolutely delighted that we have yet another fantastic line-up of gigs that showcase and support a diverse selection of musicians and musical styles, from blues and country to rock and jazz.

“Listening to great music in good company is a perfect way to unwind and enjoy the buzz and atmosphere that Acoustic Isle is becoming known for.”