CROWDS lapped up the sunshine as thousands flocked to the Forever Sun Festival in Dorchester at the weekend.

The festival kicked off on Friday night and with more than 30 acts performing on four stages, an estimated 3,000 music enthusiasts descended on the site near Came Down estate during the week end.

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Top performers included Toploader and the Happy Mondays, who delighted fans when they took to the main stage last night.

Jack Daniels, stage manager and compere of the main stage, said the whole weekend had been ‘brilliant’.

He said: “We made the site smaller than last year but it’s looked very busy the whole time.

“The reaction from the crowds have been fantastic, they all seemed really pleased with the acts, both the local ones and the bigger names we have headlining.

“Local acts are really important to the festival, because they bring in local people.

“We can’t be a festival that wants to go massive, our maximum capacity is 5,000 people so it's important we use the small bands to attract local people as well as the big bands.

“We haven't had a single complaint, we have ironed out the small ones we had last year. The infrastructure is the same as the big festivals, such as Glastonbury and Reading, just on a smaller scale. It has just been brilliant.”

Saturday night was headlined by 70s punk-pop band Buzzcocks, who took to the stage after Glen Matlock, formerly of the Sex Pistols.

There weren’t just musical acts to keep the crowds entertained, with comedians also taking to the stage and a variety of food and drink stalls kept the festival-goers, mostly from the local area, fed and watered.

Helen Rowe, 24, from Dorchester and Lucy Lambourne, 25, from Weymouth, were camping at the event.

Miss Rowe said: “I didn’t know what to expect as this is our first year here and it’s like a really small version of Glastonbury, it’s really lovely.”

Miss Lambour ne added: “We got here about 11.30 on the Saturday and watched our friends, who perform in a band called Koast and they were really good.

“We’ve really enjoyed it, it’s been great.”

Julie Blade, Amy Ferris, Jacob Grantham, Rosey Bickle, Tess Ardley, Josh Blake and Adam Ferris were part of a 24-group of friends who had bought weekend tickets for the event.

Miss Ferris said: “This is the first time we have been but it’s been great.

“We were talking about making it an annual event that we all come here, the weather has made it really."

Miss Ar dley added: “It has been amazing so far, I like it because it is so small and compact and the atmosphere is really good. It has been well worth the money.”

Anna Youngs and Adam Goddard, from Broadmayne, kicked off the music performing in their four-piece band Koast in the Garden stage.

They were joined by their friends Chris Swain and Becky Curtis.

Mr Goddard said: “We enjoyed it, it was nice to perform in front of friends and family at such a great event.

“I really like seeing all the local, unheard of bands and they're all great."

Jerome Retter and Rachael and Elwyn Craig arrived at the festival on Friday night, and Mr Craig said: “It has been brilliant so far and I think it will certainly get busier as the day goes on.

“It’s a great festival, and there are some really good local bands here which are great to watch.”