Double Brit award winner Ms Dynamite and indie stars The Wombats delivered storming sets in front of thousands of revellers as they took to the stage at the Shrewsbury Fields Forever festival.
The three-day music and comedy extravaganza made its return to the West Mid Showground following last year’s inaugural event – with organisers seeing a big rise in attendance.
Festival director Dene Edwards said the event would definitely return to the county next year following this year’s success.
Last year saw 4,000 people attended the event, but organisers said about 7,000 revellers turnout this year.
The festival got off to a thumping start on Friday night with a dance party featuring international DJs such as Sonny Wharton and Herve.
Then on Saturday, thousands of festival-goers basked in sunshine as local and international bands took to the main stage to entertain music-loving fans.
First up was Shropshire’s Next Big Thing winners Arcade Parade – for the biggest gig of their career.
The Wellington and Newport band – aged between 14 and 16 – got the crowd going with an impressive set which included a cover of Franz Ferdinand’s Take Me Out.
Later in the day Simon Fowler and Oscar Harrison from indie legends Ocean Colour Scene delighted crowds at the main stage with an intimate acoustic set which included ‘The Day We Caught The Train’.
Meanwhile, in the dance arena, award-winning hip-hop singer and rapper Ms Dynamite performed a swaggering 30-minute set in front of raving fans.
Her performance kicked-off with famous hit ‘DY-NA-MIT-TEE’ before closing with pumping drum and bass anthem ‘Wile Out’.
Back on the main stage, Shrewsbury’s biggest band The Sunshine Underground were given a warm reception ahead of indie stars The Wombats’ headline appearance.
The platinum award-winning band gave a powerhouse performance in front of thousands of fans – which included their breakthrough single ‘Kill the Director’.
It was the turn of the comedians on Sunday, as festivalgoers were treated to sets from well-established stars including Mark Watson, Andrew Maxwell and Lucy Porter to round off the event.
Porter’s show focused on motherhood, the perils of watching too much daytime television and the strange world of online Argos product reviews, while a freewheeling and hilarious set by Irish star Maxwell saw him having to deal with a precocious nine-year-old heckler for much of his performance.
It was up to TV regular Watson to bring the festival to a close, a task he tackled with aplomb as he spoke about his lightning phobia, as well as his fears about his two-year-old son being a racist.
And he attempted to bring a suitably rock and roll edge to proceedings by attempting a stage dive – a job he could only manage with the help of an audience member to get him over the barriers.
Festival director Dene Edwards said the number of campers at this year’s festival had doubled on last year and hailed the new three-day format for the event a success.
He said: “We had around 2,000 campers and it’s been a lot busier. We will definitely be back next year, the festival has a national profile now.
“Friday was a nice warm up and the dance tent was quite busy.”
Festival-goer Hannah O’Donoghue, 25, from Copthorne, Shrewsbury, said: “It’s great to have a festival right on your doorstep in Shrewsbury and they’ve bagged some really good acts this year. “
Mick Sharp, from Reabrook, Shrewsbury, who was at the festival on Saturday with his children, Ben, six, and April, 13, added: “Ocean Colour Scene were really great. It is very family orientated and the kids have really enjoyed it.”
Rachel Batty, 25, who lives in Shrewsbury town centre, said she enjoyed the comedy finale to the festival, with her favourite acts being Lucy Porter and Mark Watson.
“It was a fun, friendly relaxed atmosphere. It is a good thing for the town and something good for young people to do, but something people of any age can enjoy,” she said.
“I will definitely be coming back next year.”