THE inaugural Downley Up Festival has been hailed a roaring success by its organisers who are already plotting for the next one.

The three-week festival kicked off with Downley Day and closed with hundreds of people enjoying the Concert on the Common.

In between, villagers enjoyed daily talks, events and live performances by Downley groups and schools – as well as Edinburgh Fringe performers Jonny and the Baptists and TV magicians Morgan and West.

Pat Wheedon, who headed up the organising committee, said the response was hugely positive and it is a case of when, not if, the Up Festival returns for a second outing.

He said: “It went extremely well and the feedback has been 90 percent positive with the other ten percent making suggestions on how we could improve it, as opposed to anything negative.

“I think it will be a bi-annual event for the next few years, as we would literally have to start the whole process again now to get it on next year.

“But we do need to take advantage of the good will, now that we’ve demonstrated what can be done, and hope other people will contribute and volunteer their services to help us organise the festival.”

But there is one feature of the festival that looks set to become an annual Downley tradition – the scarecrows that were designed and made by groups, schools and residents to promote the event.

Mr Wheedon added: “The scarecrows are still up now!

"We gave awards to the best scarecrows and I think they will be out in force again next year without any prompting from us.”

If you would like to volunteer or provide any feedback about the festival, email Pat via