THE FIRST ever Coast Roads Festival began with a bang as revellers descended on the sun-drenched Aldingham Fields site on Saturday.

The two-day event straddled Saturday and Sunday, and was organised by Barrow-based community art project The Lock In, who signalled their ambitions earlier in the year by announcing that legendary indie band The Coral had signed up to play on the main stage, along with Mercury Prize-nominated Everything Everything.

Being a community project, however, local musicians have been at the core of the festival's ethos.

Seven separate stages were set up on the site, with local schools and charities such as Mind, Samaritans and Drop Zone involved at the Cumbria Unity Festival area.

The Mail: The Unity/Bags of Love StageThe Unity/Bags of Love Stage

Michael Hedley was one of the first through the gate after travelling from Blackpool on Saturday with five friends to attend the festival:

"I didn't know what to expect to be honest, as obviously it's the first one - I go to quite a few festivals and this is right up there, and we were lucky with the weather, the sun absolutely belted down all day - I don't think I've ever seen sunshine in Barrow before.

"The highlight for me was Everything Everything, but I've got to say the whole thing's just had a friendly vibe to it - I'd definitely come back next year.

The Mail: These rappers were among the quirkier of the actsThese rappers were among the quirkier of the acts

"Considering it's the first one, they've done a cracking job putting it all together."

Jonny Swift, of local musicians Bags of Love, who had a residency on the Unity Stage, took to social media after Saturday:

"What an amazing first day at Coast Roads Festival 2022

"A HUGE thank you to everyone who played and attending the Unity/Bags Of Love stage at Coast Roads Festival it was such a special day.

READ MORE: 'It's going to be a cracker' - Unity Festival to welcome crowds at Coast Roads

Malcolm Lingard, one of the festival organisers, said in the build-up to the event:

"During the Covid years, the best of the area prevailed, as people rallied around and supported each other, providing support selflessly time and time again.

"It proved how generous this community is, and how strong the bonds really are.

"With this in mind, our idea of a local-led festival came to life - this idea only gained traction with the overwhelming community spirit, and Coast Roads Festival was born.

"Coast Roads is, and always will be, a melting pot of everything that makes us proud to be from this area.