Blackpool’s open air concert space passed its biggest test to date with flying colours when 20,000 packed onto the Tower Festival Headland to watch Will Smith perform.
The crowd for the final night of the Livewire Festival was the biggest yet that the seafront venue has hosted.
The success of the event, which will return until at least 2019, has been hailed by both organisers and local businesses as fans travelled from across the world to see global superstar Will Smith.
And in a message to fans, DJ Jazzy Jeff, who headlined the festival alongside long-time pal Will, was full of praise for the resort.
Posting a picture of the crowd on social media, he said: “There were people who told us this was the wrong place to do a show. Why Blackpool?
“This was one of the greatest moments of my life. Thank you Blackpool.”
Claire Smith, president of hoteliers association Stay Blackpool, said: “What a fabulous weekend.
“The whole town was chock-a-block and there was a wonderful atmosphere, even to be experienced by people at the concert itself.
“These are global names and all credit to the organisers for bringing them to Blackpool – it provided a huge boost to hotels, restaurants and the local economy generally and let’s hope there are more like this to come.
“A week before the Illuminations Switch-On, visitors are looking for the best possible value for their spend and these kind of nights certainly provide that. It’s events that bring people to town.”
Speaking backstage after Sunday night’s show, a spokesman for organisers Piper Music Management said they had ‘learned a lot’, adding: “All the feedback from audiences and from major figures in the music industry is extremely good.”
And the distance travelled by some of the thousands of fans on Sunday shows attracting such a well known name has helped widen Blackpool’s appeal as a tourism destination.
Eescha Rasiah, 18, came with sister Hanisha, 16, from Switzerland for the show.
She said: “Now I’ve seen it, I wish we had come yesterday, I couldn’t believe the Tower, the piers, the sunshine. It’s amazing.”