HOW often is it that you come away from an event knowing that you have been part of something special?

Some shows or gigs are really good, the odd one will last long in the memory - but to find something truly compelling is a rare thing.

The fact that the event in question is actually on your doorstep makes it even more impressive.

Make no mistake, Confessional, a two-day music event held in the wonderful surroundings of the former Holy Trinity Church, is something of which everyone in Blackburn can be truly proud.

The setting helps of course - the deconsecrated church with its historic coats of arms emblazoned on the roof panels is a real treasure - but it's the nature of the festival that is its real success.

Organiser Pete Eastwood and his small team of volunteers spend months working on the event, and it is their dedication and love for Confessional which makes it so special.

Each year the festival has a theme - this year it was the rain forest so large insects flew from the roof, vines twisted their way around the solid columns and the former pulpit was transformed into an ancient stone DJ booth.

Confessional would not look out of place in the biggest of cities. If it was in London it would be raved about, so for Blackburn to be able to stage something so unique is quite remarkable.

It is the level of detail and care which makes this event special - from the beautifully embroidered wrist bands to one of the finest sound and lighting combinations I've seen in many a show.

Confessional is very much a Blackburn event with many local companies helping make it possible by donating time and equipment.

The bar was excellently run by the Drummers Arms - other festivals take note, you don't have to bump up your prices for a gig-going crowd - and music lovers of all ages and backgrounds revelled in each other's company.

Confessional is more than a music event but the bands play an essential role in its success.

This year's line-up was arguably the strongest yet in the festival's five years. It didn't matter if you were a fan of a particular band or, for that matter whether you had even heard of some of them, but you knew you could place your trust in the organisers that you'd get something interesting.

Friday night was headlined by The Blinders, quite remarkable considering only a few weeks earlier the band had played to a sold out Ritz in Manchester.

And every credit to the trio who have swapped Doncaster for Manchester, they turned in a blistering performance which created a seething mosh pit in front of the stage; lead singer Thomas Haywood's signature 'war paint' soon running down his face as the temperature rose.

Prior to that we were treated to a fine set from all-girl group Liines complete with Joy Division-style basslines and powerful Siouxsie and the Banshees vocals.

Saturday's line-up included Brighton-based White Room.Lead singer Jake Smallwood's look of red double breasted suit and bleached blonde hair clearly owed a lot to Let's Dance era David Bowie but the band's Eighties-influenced songs marked them out as one to watch.

One of the aims of Confessional is to bring bands who within the next 18 months will be appearing on much bigger stages and you can tell big things are in store for Red Rum Club. The Liverpool band took inspiration from their surroundings and in spite of having been down to London and back that day, turned in what was, for me, the best set of the festival.

Never mind getting them dancing in the aisles, this lot had them dancing on the pews!

I've got to confess I didn't really get headliners International Teachers of Pop, their electro-dance set was never destined to be my cup of tea. But that really didn't matter.

Confessional is meant to be a broad church (if you'll pardon the pun) and it's just great to see so many names which the music business holds in high esteem spending a Friday or Saturday night in Blackburn.

Unique is a term which is much overused but it applies to Confessional.

It matters not if you wouldn't even go to a music festival but if you live in Blackburn you can be proud that there is an event of this quality and this standing happening in your town.

Bring on Confessional 2020!