IT STARTED as a university project, but the upcoming Forthside Festival in Stirling could see a major "shake-up" of the city's music scene.

The festival is the brainchild of James Lafferty – a musician from the Top of the Town.

Despite its humble inception, the 37-year-old hopes the idea will take hold among music fans in central Scotland and evolve into a mainstay for years to come.

He said: "I started work on Forthside back in August and it's been pretty much non-stop since then. It initially was part of my course, but now it's just grown arms and legs.

"I wanted to do something that put Stirling on the map but also celebrated the unique array of musical talent there is in this part of the country.

"What's important is that it will have something for everyone, with folk, indie, pop and some dance thrown in there as well.

"There will also be local vendors on site, meaning this one event can offer something for a lot of business in the city.

"Bringing so many people together to enjoy great music, with local food and drink, in such beautiful surroundings, over two days, in what will hopefully be some nice weather – What's not to like about that?"

Stevie McCrorie was announced as this year's headline act, with the Alva star set to unveil some new material at his show at Alloa Town Hall next month.

Also signed on is Mark Morriss, from the Bluetones, singer-songwriter Pete MacLeod, and Blondie tribute act Dirty Harry.

James' own band Stop the Clocks – an Oasis tribute act – will also play a set, along with Ocean Colour Scheme and a host of others.

While he is concentrating on making the inaugural event run smoothly, James admits he is thinking of the future for the festival.

He added: "I don't want to get too far ahead of myself; there is still a lot of work to be done before this year's Forthside can even go ahead.

"But I'd be lying if I said I wasn't keen to see this go off every year. It would be such a big draw for the area and I'm positive we'll be able to expand and attract some more big hitters down the line.

"For me this is something that is needed for central Scotland; it would serve as a pretty massive shake-up of the local scene and could encourage more youngsters to pick up an instrument and give it a go.

"If there could be any kind of legacy for Forthside it would be that there should be no barrier to music – whether you want to play for yourself, perform for others or just go along and enjoy the sounds.

"I'm hoping the communities in Stirling, Clackmannanshire and Falkirk will rally behind it and make it a major part of the annual events calendar around here."

Forthside Festival takes place at Broadley's Farms, Millhall, just south of Springkerse, on Friday, May 3, Saturday, May 4.

Weekend tickets are priced at £30 plus booking fee and are available on Skiddle.