THE SUN shone down on Prestwich during a riproaring weekend of heavy metal-themed fun.

Across Saturday and Sunday, almost 15,000 packed into St Mary’s Park for the third annual Festwich cover bands festival — and organisers have hailed it as the best yet.

Revellers gave the event a big thumbs up, though some complained about bar waiting times.

Dozens of bands performed on three stages on both days and there was a funfair and children’s entertainment.

Tickets were free, though most paid a £2.50-per-ticket booking fee.

Temperatures almost broke the 25c barrier and many music fans brought along picnic blankets to relax in the sun.

Organisers said they brought in more staff to man the bar on Sunday after long queues the previous day.

They said two park neighbours complained about parking problems and one expressed concerns about noise.

On Twitter, local trader Ebba Brooks wrote she was unhappy that “Festwich has effectively blocked off access to St Mary’s Park. It’s supposed to be a public place.”

Organiser Jools Taylor said: “You are never going to please everyone, but we did our best to respond to the complaints about parking and noise.

“Overall, it has been an absolutely brilliant weekend. We struck it lucky with the weather and the weekend went even better than we had hoped.

“My fellow organisers have done a wonderful job.

“Our main emphasis is on this being a family weekend and the pictures certainly show we achieved that.”

He added: “As far as the music is concerned, it was a step up on last year, with better lighting, better stage production and just an all round better experience.”

Despite the success of the event, Mr Taylor said he does not expect Festwich to get any bigger, though he is hoping to increase the entertainment for older people next year.

Litter pickers worked in the park on Sunday evening and Monday afternoon to ensure it was left in a decent state.