The first day of Darwen Live return was a success – despite the bad weather.

The free festival made a return yesterday and will continue today.

The rain did not let up for most of Saturday until headliners Black Grape arrived on stage an hour-and-a-half later than planned.

Black Grape members Shaun Ryder and Paul "Kermit" Leveridge joked about doing the track ‘Tramazi Party’ as they are now both pushing 60.

The Illicits appeared pleased as punch to be doing a show ‘on home turf’ and had plenty of family and friends in the rain-soaked crowd.

Earlier Millie Manders, appearing with her band The Shut-Ups, praised the sound engineers and backstage crew for getting the gig on while bars and clubs around the town were packed out with their own live music events.

Today will be headlined by The Hoosiers, famous for their hits Goodbye Mr A and Worried About Ray.

Also performing is Langho X Factor star Grace Davies, Jeremiah Ferrari as well as a several local solo artists and bands.

The event was cancelled last year because of the Covid lockdown, and was pushed from May 2021 to October due to lockdown restrictions still being in place.

Darwen Live first came on to the scene in 1999 and has seen some famous musicians on the main stage including the Bolton-formed punk and rock band, Buzzcocks.

It is a free-to-attend annual music festival and is organised and run by volunteers and funded by Darwen Town Council, Blackburn with Darwen Borough Council, and private sponsors.

There are no paper programme this year for events and people are asked instead to visit the website to see the line-up for the day.