Boy band Blue helped three-day music festival Judgestock end on a high note as thousands turned out to the see the popstars perform at a Black Country beauty spot.
Organisers declared the Sandwell festival a great success, as it came to a close with top British acts.
Thousands of screaming fans turned out to see Blue and R ‘n B singer Lemar end the event at Sandwell Valley. They were supported by a number of tribute acts from bands as varied as Iron Maiden all the way to ABBA and Michael Jackson.
Lemar was the first headliner to take to the stage with his rendition of Soul Man, followed by his own take on Daft Punk’s summer hit Get Lucky.
Re-united boy band Blue were the next and last act to take to the stage with their hit song All Rise that wowed the crowds.
The band, which formed 12 years ago, had lost none of their charm and showed off their old dance moves much to the excitement of the crowd. Fans young and old danced along to the band’s hits, which included One Love and Too Close, as well as Break My Heart, a song off their new album Roulette.
Simon Webbe was born in Manchester but revealed to many of his fans his love of the Midlands. He said: “It’s so nice to enjoy music in beautiful surroundings like this. The crowd were really welcoming. It’s nice to be doing something for Macmillan cancer nurses who do such a difficult job.”
Fellow band mate Duncan James added: “Hopefully this is something that can grow and grow.”
Lee Judge, the event organiser, has held the event for the last three years in memory of his late friend Simon Turton who died from a brain tumour in 2011 aged 36.
Originally created more than 16 years ago, the event has undergone a number of name changes and regularly grown in size having raised more than £110,000 for various charities.
Lee said: “It’s been a real success, the crowd have had an excellent time. It’s nice to see all the hard work come together, we’ve managed to do a lot in not a lot of time. I hope to keep the festival going and making it bigger and better next year.”
This year, organisers chose to raise money for Macmillan cancer support and Sandwell Mayor’s charities Birmingham Midland Eye Centre and Better Understanding of Dementia in Sandwell (BUDS).
The festival has been combined with the Sandwell Community Show, that saw thousands of people descend on Sandwell Valley Showground for two days of fun in the sun.
Georgina Mummery, aged 16, from Featherstone, Wolverhampton, was among those enjoying the festival. “This is the first music festival I’ve ever been too,” she said. “I used to love Blue when I was younger and its been really good seeing all the different bands. I especially liked the Madness tribute act, I’ve seen the real band and they were just as good.”
Midland Voice star Mitchell Emms was out and about meeting fans and enjoying music having already given a successful performance himself the night before.
“It’s been absolutely fantastic, its great to be here, I’ve really enjoyed my time at Judgestock,” said the singer from Burntwood. “It’s nice to see the Midlands have it’s own music festival that provides something for everyone.”
A team of 80 volunteers helped run the event with help from the council’s parks team. Ruth Willets works at Sandwell Valley Country Park and had been helping for the weekend and also enjoying the acts.
She said: “It’s been a really good event and I’ve really enjoyed the last few days. I loved watching Lemar but I was really looking forward to listening to Blue.”