KNUTSFORD Music Festival is set to return in a similar format for a second year, with organisers deeming the inaugural event a hit.

Early ideas of an all-day event on The Heath were dismissed on the grounds of keeping the weekend manageable, as planning gets underway for next year’s festival.

More than 40 acts performed across town during the three-day festival late in June, with around 20 venues across town joining in the well-supported occasion.

Cllr James Power, part of the music festival working group, said it was too soon to introduce an event on The Heath, which was earmarked to run between noon and 9pm.

He said: “This music festival was a huge labour of love, and to see it get off the ground was great.

“I am mindful of it growing too quickly. I can see its potential, but I can see it becoming unmanageable. It’s a delicate balance, and I would suggest taking a similar event and expanding and improving upon it.”

Dates of Friday, Satirday and Sunday, June 22 to 24, have been confirmed for the 2018 event.

The music festival working group, made up of a town council representative and Cllrs Jonathan Farber, Andrew Malloy and James Power, have also considered feedback and highlighted areas for improvement off the back of last month’s event.

In a visitor survey, 97 per cent of 34 respondents rated the 2017 festival as excellent or good, with three per cent responding ‘ok’.

All of those questioned said they would return to attend the festival again.

Knutsford businesses embraced the atmosphere, with pubs, restaurants and shops acting as venues over the three day period.

Of seven venues questioned, four said that the festival increased footfall at their business, while six of the seven said they would take part again. The other was unsure.

Key points raised as areas for improvement were controlled scheduling to prevent clashes, and more performances from popular genres including jazz and classical. Both genres were the focus of separate official town council events.