REVELLING families dodged the rain as the final chords rang out on the 28th Old Town Festival.

The popular festival finished last night with the now traditional concert in the Town Gardens Bowl.

Children enjoyed playing football and dancing in the rain, while their parents took advantage of the £2.50 beers.

Lyn Punter, 54, from Old Town, said: “I’m loving the music in the rain. There’s a good atmosphere and we’ve got ponchos.”

Korina Avenell, recently moved to Swindon, added: “It’s great family entertainment. It’s a great family day out.”

Around 1,000 people were expected to have partied at the festival over the day, with 300 packing into the sunken park by the Bowl at any one time.

The event was opened by Swindon rockers SexJazz, while headliners STAT-X closed it in heavy metal style.

Sarah Church, a former chairman of the festival and organiser of Saturday’s Bowl concert: “It was slow to start, but the bands have been brilliant as ever and people are having a really good time.

“It’s a lovely atmosphere, it’s free, it’s got a local focus and it’s quite low key. The bands are local, the food’s local and the bar is cheap and friendly.”

There was a stronger focus on local food this year, she added, with Old Town pop-up Streets of India serving street food-inspired treats together with Devizes Road favourite Rays Ice Cream.

The concert seemed to be proving another success with punters. Molly Fry, 28, from the town centre, said: “It’s the highlight of the year.”

Olly Urban, 32, said: “It’s cool. We came out for a quick beer and heard the music.”

Pal Sam Turner, 33, from North Swindon, added: “I’m loving it. We weren’t aware it was on. We heard it, followed the music and ended up here.”

And the rain wasn’t dampening Michelle Sole’s spirits. The 50-year-old told the Adver: “We came last year and it was fantastic dancing in the rain. We were all soaked to the skin. This year, we’re going to have lots of fun dancing - whether it rains or not.”

Wiltshire Search and Rescue was this year's official festival charity. Rattling a collection bucket on Saturday, the charity's Sue Coombs said: “We’ve had great support from the Old Town Festival and Swindon’s Old Town in general.”

Denise Rogers, acting chairman of the festival, thanked the efforts of the volunteers without whom the annual bonanza would not happen. “I think it’s all gone really well this year from start to finish," she said.

The committee was already planning for next year's festival, Denise added.