World Music - De La Soul will be the headline act at this year's Womad, the festival's organisers have announced. Other highlights at the world music festival will include Tinariwen and folk music band Bellowhead. Festival director, Chris Smith said: "I'm really excited about De La Soul, hip hop is a big thing for Womad." Last year the event sold out for the first time since it relocated from Reading in 2007 to Charlton Park near Malmesbury, Wiltshire.

Hearing Health - People should listen to music for no more than one hour a day to protect their hearing, the World Health Organization suggests. It says 1.1 billion teenagers and young adults are at risk of permanently damaging their hearing by listening to "too much, too loudly". It said audio players, concerts and bars were posing a "serious threat". WHO figures show 43m people aged 12-35 have hearing loss and the prevalence is increasing. In that age group, the WHO said, half of people in rich and middle-income countries were exposed to unsafe sound levels from personal audio devices. Meanwhile 40% were exposed to damaging levels of sound from clubs and bars.

Dr Etienne Krug, the WHO's director for injury prevention, told the BBC: "What we're trying to do is raise awareness of an issue that is not talked about enough, but has the potential to do a lot of damage that can be easily prevented."

Fringe Matters - Long-running Edinburgh fringe act The Ladyboys of Bangkok has lost out to Underbelly in a competitive bidding process to use a site on The Meadows at this August's fringe. The Ladyboys' show was first brought to the fringe by producer and artistic director Phillip Gandey in 1998. Its tented pavilion has been situated east of Middle Meadow Walk at every fringe since then. The company has always been a favourite with Edinburgh residents according to Gandey, who told The Stage they make up at least 80% of the fringe audience.

But the site, on which the performers also camp, has been the subject of controversy, with the company winning a ruling from the City of Edinburgh Council in 2009 that it could stay on The Meadows for up to four weeks at a time. Local association Friends of the Meadows argued that the Ladyboys had been leaving the park in a state of disrepair. A commercial tendering process was started last August following the launch of an Edinburgh parks events manifesto. Concerns were raised that a commercial rent was not being charged for use of the Meadows site. Underbelly has now been announced as the preferred bidder for the site and will still be required to apply for licensing of their use of the Meadows, according to the city environment convener Lesley Hinds.

Tapestry - Beautiful - The Carole King Musical has extended its West End run by eight months. The show - which stars Katie Brayben in the title role - was previously booking until 13 June, but will now run at the Aldwych Theatre until 26 February next year.

Euro-Punks - A punk band made up of musicians with learning disabilities is to represent Finland at the Eurovision Song Contest. The quartet, named PKN, was chosen by Finnish TV viewers and has now been ranked by bookmakers as among the favourites for the contest. The group, whose members have Down's syndrome and autism, will perform their 85-second song Aina Mun Pitaa (I Always Have To) at the event in Vienna in May. Heavy metal band Lordi gave Finland its only Eurovision win to date with Hard Rock Hallelujah in 2006.

(Jim Evans)

Latest Issue. . .