THE cheers that rang out as the team behind this year’s Confessional Festival took to the stage for a final bow said it all. Blackburn’s historic former cotton Exchange had played host to something very special.

For two days, a line-up showcasing some of the most promising bands and artists around had royally entertained. It’s likely that many in the crowd for the two days of the festival hadn’t heard of the majority of those taking part but that didn’t matter.

Confessional - this was the seventh - has gained a deserved reputation for quality and people had bought tickets trusting they would be rewarded.

Offering arguably its most diverse line-up yet including Saturday night headliners, the Incredible 7 Hip Hop and R&B Band, a covers band who threatened to lift the roof of the Grade II-listed building, Confessional more than delivered.

The chances are that many of the names on the line-up will soon be gracing much bigger stages. Look out for Wax Tree Cast, the soulful Brooke Combe and Blackburn’s own Strawberry Lemonade in the coming months.

Organiser Pete Eastwood said: “It takes our small team nine months to put Confessional together and, at times, it’s hard work.

“But when you see so many people having such a great time; when you see Blackburn buzzing over two days and you see bands of such quality on that stage it makes it all worthwhile.

“I am so proud of my team and of the hard work they put in.

“We want to bring some of the best new talent to Confessional so that people can say ‘I saw them first’. This year’s line-ups have been arguably the strongest yet and we have had some amazing performances.”