Thousands of punters danced the night away as Shakedown festival returned with a bang.

Music fans packed into Waterhall on the outskirts of Brighton on Saturday morning to enjoy a day of music in the shadow of the South Downs.

It is the first year the festival has been held in the conservation area – having previously been staged at nearby Stanmer Park.

Police described the event as a success with both arrests and admission to hospital down on previous years.

However, the force is calling on festival organisers to act after revellers exiting the site climbed a bank and spilled out onto the A27.

Chief Inspector Katy Woolford, who was on duty through the event, said: “There was a really good atmosphere throughout the day with arrests down on last year.

“The new site worked well and was much easier for us to police. However, we will be talking to organisers about the problems at the end of the night which could have been dangerous.”

Rain had been forecast for Saturday but the dark clouds largely stayed away and there were even lengthy periods of sunshine.

Acts were spread across three stages with headliners including house music star MK, drum and bass DJ High Contrast and dance music duo Basement Jaxx.

Other acts taking to the stage included DJ Jaguar Skills, hip-hop act Foreign Beggers and electro star Kidnap Kid.

Charlie Webster, 24, from Brighton, who was with work friends, said: “We had a fantastic day. The music was great and the weather held out.

“There was a fantastic atmosphere and everyone just wanted to have a good time.

“I haven’t been before so I don’t know what it was like at Stanmer Park but it seemed to work well here. It’s nice and green. I think it’s a great setting.”

Sophie Williamson, 22, from Hove, added: “We were one of the first ones through the gates so it was a bit non-stop. The music was really good actually, there was a little bit of something for everyone.

“My favourites were Basement Jaxx, they seem to have been around for ages so everyone knew the songs. They were a real highlight.

“I didn’t see any trouble at all and there was a really nice atmosphere. I’ll definitely be back next year.”

Police made eight arrests throughout the day – down from more than 20 last year.

Seven of the arrests were in relation to drug offences with one for actual bodily harm to a member of staff.

There were also 46 penalty notices handed out for drug possession.

Chief Inspector Woolford added that around 1,000 canisters of nitrous oxide – more commonly known as laughing gas - were taken away from dealers.

The gas is used in catering industry in whipped cream dispensers but has become popular on the party scene.

She said: “It seems to be the new drug of choice at the moment but it is very dangerous. There have been 68 deaths in the last 12 months alone.

“We were more proactive with our approach to drugs this year. We had police dogs and an amnesty box which was successful. There was a good atmosphere overall. We only had one arrest for violence and just one admission to hospital compared to around 40 last year.”

“The only real shame was the problem with the egress. The exit was slow moving and people saw an open green space and walked through it. They went over a bank and ended up on the side of the A27.

“There were obviously a lot of people there and some perhaps didn’t know the area that well and didn’t know there was a major road the other side.

“It was lucky nobody was hurt really. We will be going back and speaking to the organisers and if they want to apply to use the site next year then they will have to look at that.”