DAY one of the debut south coast festival ended with a bang. Held on the Common, more than 35,000 revellers converged on the city including train loads from Bournemouth.

The opening day was expertly organised by the team behind Bestival on the Isle of Wight and Camp Bestival head at Lulworth. If you're familiar with these events then you'll know the laid-back quirky style of the organiser DJ Rob Da Bank, who could be seen happily mingling with festival-goers throughout the day.

Designed on a much smaller scale to its bigger Bestival siblings, Common People neatly fits the city centre park with one main stage and numerous tents and fairground attractions. With a family friendly atmosphere, at times it felt more like a school sports day in the glorious sunshine.

The main stage provided basking music fans to enjoy unknown acts from the south coast such as The Novatones, Plastic Mermaids and the Funky Little Choir who all rubbed shoulders with the chart toppers. By late afternoon rising star of the music world George The Poet added some biting social commentary before a double-header of top DJ's Yoda and Jaguar Skillz got the party mood started.

Feel-good 80's hip-hop trio De La Soul continued the block-rocking beats with an all-encompassing set that included favourites such as A Rollerskating Jam Named Saturday and Me, Myself and I. The stage was now set for a blistering headline DJ set from Fatboy Slim.

Doing what he does best from behind the decks, Fatboy Slim aka Norman Cook gave a masterclass in dance music and DJ culture. Accompanied by a large choir and mind-melting laser show, his own hits such Right Here, Right Now and Eat Sleep Rave Repeat were given a new twist as they were seamlessly mixed with pumping house music and latin samba rhythms.

The finale was nothing if not spiritual with the entire festival finding their voice to sing-a-long to Pulp's Common People and a beautiful choir led rendition of Praise You complete with a nice piano solo from Rob da Bank. Fireworks erupted in the night sky and Common People was finished by 10.30pm leaving a sea of empty plastic bottles and cups in front of the main stage.

In essence, a small but perfectly formed festival slap-bang in an urban environment. Judging from the smiling faces, Common People deserves to be an annual fixture.

Patrick Gough