HUNDREDS of people went into Blackburn town centre to enjoy a free music festival on Saturday.

The words ‘Blackburn Beat’ were spraypainted on pavements, directing the crowds to King William Street where they enjoyed a day of free music and entertainment.

Double platinum selling group Dodgy headlined the event, which also saw the warm weather make a welcome return.

Also performing were Ella Shaw, The Retrosettes, the Chris Scott Band, the New York Tourists, and Jeremiah Ferrari.

Funded by the council, the festival comprised a plethora of delights, include stone-baked pizzas, Jamaican food grilled in barrels, hog roasts, and even pigeon paninis.

Visitors enjoying real ale sat on dedicated seating outside a beer tent, while others bought fresh coffee or traditional ice cream.

On artificial grass laid in the middle of the street, children enjoyed circus tricks performed by Blackburn Beat staff, had their faces painted for free, and danced beneath bunting and flags.

Great British Bake Off star Philippa James also held cooking demonstrations, while the various acts performed on the stage, which was erected just yards from the town hall.

Getting under way at 11am, the music was hosted by local radio station The Bee, with acts appearing on stage before the crowd – with many shoppers stopping to watch during their trip into town – until 6pm.

Borough leisure boss Damian Talbot said: “I was not there myself, I had family commitments, but it sounds like it went pretty well. The weather was good.

“The council is putting in a lot of effort to organise events that will encourage people to use the town centre, and I think that’s paying off because the town feels vibrant.

“It’s important for the local economy, and for jobs, and we will keep it up.”