PHOTOS: Towneley Live 2011

MORE than 12,000 dedicated music fans descended on Burnley to watch the country’s top pop acts perform in Towneley Park.

The first Towneley Live festival on Saturday attracted crowds from across Lancashire and beyond as McFly, N-Dubz, the Saturdays, Scouting For Girls and dance group Diversity wowed audiences.

While wellington boots proved the footwear of choice, rain held off for most of the day prompting many to bring picnic blankets to sit back and enjoy the spectacle.

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Before the acts burst onto the stage Mayor of Burnley Coun. David Heginbotham had a few words for the crowds. “This event will show the people of this country that Burnley is on the map,” he said.

Boyband McFly opened the festival to Screams from fans, performing hits such as “One for the Radio.” They were followed by Nicole Talmer (14), from Hapton, who won a competition to win a place on stage alongside her music idols, girlband Fanfair, Juice, who have been billed as “the new McFly,” Girls Next Door, Diversity, Scouting for Girls and The Saturdays.

The stellar line-up was brought to a close with a show from hip-hop group N-Dubz. Mum and daughter Karen and Lucy Whitehead, from Burnley, went to the festival to see N-Dubz. Karen said: “We’ve both got our wellies on, you definitely need wellies here.”

Jill Barker, from Weir, who took her 13-year-old daughter Chloe, said: “This is the first time she’s been to a concert. It’s fantastic they’ve brought this to Burnley we had to queue for an hour to get in but there’s a great atmosphere.”

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Friends Emma Jones (24), Lucy Ellis (25), Amy-Jane Evans (22) and Lauren Evans (24), all from Burnley, said they were attending Towneley Live as a “warm-up” for V Festival.Emma said: “Having a festival in Burnley is great AS it brings people into town. Burnley gets a bad press but this goes to show there are plenty of good things happening.”

Emma Squire, at Towneley with her daughter Amber (12), added: “It was a great day for Burnley.”

Burnley Council leader Coun. Charlie Briggs, who was at the festival, said: “I think it’s absolutely fantastic. I’ve been asking people what they think about it and the majority have said it’s a good do.” Coun. Briggs said the festival is likely to return to Towneley next year, as an annual event.