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Uttoxeter Racecourse rocks to the sounds of UB40

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THOUSANDS of fans descended on Uttoxeter on Saturday night to enjoy the biggest live music show the town has ever seen.

UB40 attracted 8,000 fans to the Wood Lane course.

And the band told organisers the show was the best they had played on their current UK tour.

Racecourse executive director David MacDonald said the gig had ‘really put Uttoxeter on the map’.

He said: “It really was quite amazing to see such a fantastic band playing in Uttoxeter.

“With the sunny weather we were lucky to have, the fantastic Carribean reggae sound UB40 have was just perfect.

“In the coming years, there’ll be many more famous acts playing at the Racecourse but UB40 were the first and we’re all incredibly proud to have been involved in such a fantastic event.”

Businesses in the town thrived as extra footfall bought its commercial rewards.

All the hotels in Uttoxeter were fully booked and pubs and restaurants enjoyed a busy day.

Mr MacDonald extended his thanks to Uttoxeter police for ‘helping to control a vibrant crowd’ and confirmed no arrests were made during the event.

There were also no noise complaints from neighbours, thanks to Racecourse bosses investing in special equipment to ensure the sound did not travel past the audience.

He said: “Although the show finished late into the evening, at about 10.45pm, there were no complaints from neighbours.

“We invested a lot of money in sound equipment and were using specialist speakers that directed the sound into the crowd rather than disturbing residents.

“What was most amazing was the age group of the people attending the gig.

“Because UB40 started in the late 1970s, we were expecting an older crowd.

“But the event had the feel of ladies’ night, with lots of people aged between 20 and 35 joining the crowd.

“There must have been a lot of people there who grew up listening to UB40 through their parents.”

Jackie Spencer, of Riversfield Drive, Rocester, got the chance to meet her heroes after winning an Advertiser competition for free tickets.

Mr MacDonald paid tribute to how ‘down to earth’ UB40 were with Racecourse staff and fans.

He said: “They were really lovely people and were an absolute pleasure to deal with from start to finish.

“There were no airs and graces about them.

“They were just a group of really down to earth guys - and they certainly know where Uttoxeter is now if they didn’t before.

“It was such a pleasure to work with them and they were so unbelievably good that I’m keen to have them back in a couple of years.”

Officials are already discussing bringing another top band to the Racecourse next year.

Although he cannot reveal any specific names, Mr MacDonald said a shortlist of bands ‘perhaps even bigger than UB40’ was being drawn up.

He said: “The whole day just really felt like history was being made and there’s lots more to come.”

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