Westlife gig - photo special in next week's Chad

WESTLIFE fans packed Field Mill in their thousands on Saturday for the eagerly anticipated concert by the top Irish band.

The worldwide superstars were brought to the town by Mansfield Town Football Club - in what it is hoped will be the first in a series of big summer concerts featuring top music names.

If you went to the gig, don't forget next week's Chad will have a four-page photo special of the fans - out on sale on Wednesday

Mansfield enjoyed a Westlife party day on Saturday - with a beach party, fairground rides and live music in the town centre throughout the day ahead of the big event.

A special 'park and ride' service was set up from the Civic Centre. A 1 bus service shuttlde fans directly to the stadium between 5pm-7pm. Fans then got a bus back to the centre up to one hour after the gig.

Around 10,000 gig-goers were expected in the town on the day of the gig, although this number was boosted as fans were able to buy tickets on the day.

Mansfield District Council's Executive Mayor Tony Egginton said: "We're anticipating a major influx of Westlife fans in Mansfield throughout Saturday and we hope it can have a positive spin off for the local economy. We hope visitors will make a day of it and see what else the town has to offer."

Pay and display car parks in the town were open all night and the council advised motorists to try the car parks at Mansfield train station, Grove Street and Water Meadows first.

There was also a car park at the former Courtaulds factory site off Quaker Way.

Private car park operators provided spaces for a fee, including the Portland Retail Park which is adjacent to Field Mill stadium.

The multi-storey car parks at Walkden Street and Rosemary Street were closed as normal.

The council said fixed penalty notices would be issued to anyone parking illegally in residential areas or in contravention of car park rules.