LIVE performances are due to come to the streets of Eastleigh and Hedge End as an arts festival makes its return.

The Point theatre is asking residents to "unwrap the gift of shared live experiences" as its free arts festival Eastleigh Unwrapped returns this autumn.

For the first time, the festival will take place across two dates and two locations with events taking place on September 11 in Eastleigh and in Hedge End on September 12.

Residents are being told to keep an eye out for the Merry Maker and his one-minute rap on a three wheeled trike; follow The Puppet Van’s quest to find the pinkest pink paint on the planet with Half A String; and join in a foot-stomping ceilidh as Unwrapped favourites Folk Dance Remixed with their folk/street dance fusion are welcomed back.

Pop up activities and walkabouts will take place around Eastleigh town centre with Market Street, High Street and Wells Place due to be closed again for the day.

Live musicians will be in place all day on the High Street, live art in Market Street, participatory pavement art at Wells Place and an app-based story trail featuring artist-created videos and challenges will also be available.

As well as this, Eastleigh Business Improvement District (BID) has also arranged circus skills by the Railwayman statue and a market of community and business stalls.

This comes after last year’s event was cancelled due to the pandemic.

In 2019, over 7,000 people watched a variety of performances from "some of the most exciting artists and performers in the UK".

Charlotte Hall, Creative Director at The Point Eastleigh, said: “Our ambition is for 2021's Festival to take our work out to as many people as we can, this year in two locations across the Borough.

“We have a programme full of the most delightful, fun and unexpected creative experiences from some of the best acts from across the country here in Eastleigh and Hedge End for the weekend.

"It is so exciting to be back bringing people together for the festival and we can’t wait to see everyone there!”

Eastleigh Unwrapped is supported by Arts Council England and Eastleigh Borough Council and the council's cabinet member for health, Cllr Tonia Craig said: "Unwrapped is a real highlight in the Council’s events calendar, attracting visitors from a wide area. It is great to see it making a return – and heading to Hedge End where it will entertain residents in that part of the Borough.”