THE theme for this year’s Brighton Pride was Summer of Love but it took a while before that phrase felt truly apt.

Ominous dark clouds gathered over Preston Park in the mid-afternoon, soon bursting in a rain shower that was as forceful as it was fleeting.

The other side of this deluge was where the festival really shone.

It seemed like more revellers than ever were packed into the park, many of them delighting in a high-octane, get-the-party-started set from Years & Years which included scintillating covers of Britney Spears and Christina Aguilera.

Meanwhile the Wild Fruit dance tent was predictably teaming – and not just with middle-aged ravers who fondly remember the popular night club from its heydey in the 90s.

Pride organisers market the festival at all ages and it seems as though they are finding increasing success in this mission; groups of teenagers and families were among the punters enjoying the day, although young ones would probably be advised not to take a glimpse into the Legends Cabaret tent with all its saucy surprises.

An age schism was apparent, however, in between the two headline performances on the main stage. As Years & Years’ set came to a triumphant close, hundreds of teens streamed out, paving the way for a legion of loyal Pet Shop Boys fans to take their positions.

And they were not disappointed. Neil Tennant and Chris Lowe delivered a life-affirming performance that seemed tailor-made for Pride. Armed with a stunning light show and a back catalogue packed full of hits, Pet Shop Boys turned the park into a rave as the audience pogoed and sung along to songs like West End Girls, Sin and, especially, Go West.

Brighton Pride 2017 was a fitting way to mark the 50th anniversary of the Sexual Offences Act that saw the partial decriminilisation of homosexuality. It was a truly inclusive, celebratory day that harked back to the Summer of Love in 1967.