THEY came in their thousands to flood a town with the timeless sound of Rhythm and Blues.

For the 30th time Colne was swamped by musicians and fans to celebrate the beat that inspired modern music for the masses and the connoisseur.

Organisers of the Great British Rhythm and Blues Festival has hoped that 20,000 fans would attend the event with more than 170 acts and 22 stages.

Their hopes were far exceeded as she sun shone over the Bank Holiday weekend.

The 2019 festival programme headlines included Anthony Gomes, the Danny Bryant Big Band, Geoff Achison, Mike Sanchez, Rufus Black, and Sari Schorr and the Engine Room playing at the main venues of Colne Muni and the Pendle Hippodrome.

Big draws on Saturday afternoon were local East Lancashire country blues band The Hiding Magpies and Ma Bessie and the Pig Foot Band inspired by legendary US singer Bessie Smith.

Festival creative director Paddy Maguire said last night: “I have been coming to this festival for 27 years and I think this has been the biggest and best ever,

“It has been just tremendous - magnificent even.

“This year’s event has exceeded my expectations both creatively and in every other way.”

Festival publicity officer Alison Hildyard said: “It has been crazy busy this year.

“We expected around 20,000 people to come but the actual number has far exceeded that.

“The view down Albert Road from the Town Hall has been amazing - just packed so you can hardly move.

“The people of Colne and East Lancashire just love the Rhythm and Blues Festival The warm sunny weather has really helped this year of course.”

This year’s festival is third run by Cone Town Council.