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THOUSANDS of music fans took to the turf to enjoy an array of local talent at an annual festival.

Football action was replaced by top bands when around 5,000 people descended on Hartlepool United’s ground for this year’s Pitch Invasion festival.

The two-day event, organised by town-based talent-nurturing charity Red Dreams, was held at Victoria Park for the first time having taken place at Seaton Carew Cricket Club for the past four years.

For Red Dreams founder Dawn McManus, who recently changed her name to Red Dreams, with a middle name consisting of the organisation’s 79 acts, the event could not have gone better.

The 41-year-old, who set up the organisation with husband Ian, 42, following the death of their son Kyle from a brain haemorrhage aged 16 in 2007, described Pools’ ground as a great venue for the event.

She added: ”It was a really good feeling.

“For moving the venue and charging for the first year, we were really pleased with the turnout.

“There was a lot of feedback from people saying ‘that was the best £3 I ever spent’.”

She hailed the pleasant change in the weather after last week’s downpours and added: “The amount of people that said to me ‘Kyle brought the sun out to you’, it brought a little lump to the throat and I thought it was really nice.”

Among the top acts to take to the main stage and marquee were members of the Whitby Street South-based Red Dreams, as well as more established Hartlepool bands.

The event was headlined by tribute acts Howaysis and Kings of Lyon, who followed bands including The Jar Family, The White Negroes and Mercedes.

Dawn, from Lennox Walk, Hartlepool, said lots of young spectators had now put their names down to join Red Dreams.

There was also a funfair, the chance to walk on water in inflatable spheres, stalls and crafts and some young people brought footballs and can now say they have had a kick-about at Pools.

 

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