THE crowds poured into Colne at the weekend as the town partied like never before to celebrate the 25th running of the Great British Rhythm and Blues Festival.

Blues aficionados arrived in their thousands for the milestone, with four-days of fantastic live music.

The festival, first run in 1990, is now one of the most famous of its kind across the world and hosts some stellar names from both sides of the Atlantic in venues across the town.

Organiser Alison Goode said: “I consider it a privilege to be able to put the festival on for people to enjoy. I would like to say a massive thank-you to the music fans who come back year after year and keep the event going so successfully and also to the artists who come along each year and perform so brilliantly.”

The artists have also been singing the praises of the festival.

Mike Sweeney and Paddy O’Hare, who performed on Friday, said: “Great crowd and amazing response at Colne Legion.”

Guitar legend Eric Sardinas managed to make his headline slot on the International Stage on Friday night despite a broken leg.

Rita Payne, who performed on the acoustic stage on Saturday night, said on Twitter: “Loved our set at @RandBFestival. It was rammed with the best audience ever.”

This year’s line-up included Eric Burdon, guitar virtuoso Eric Bibb, Andy Fairweather Low and Lucky Peterson. In total, more than 600 musicians performed on three official stages and five official roadhouse stages.

It concludes today with Dr Feelgood headlining the main stage from 9.15pm, with Andy Fairweather Low and the Low Riders on at 7.30pm. The Matthew Clark British Stage will be headlined by the Country Blues Band from 9pm, with Red Butler on before them at 7.30pm.