BRIGHTON Festival came to an end with a dazzling beach display watched by thousands along the seafront.

The closing show, called Fleeting, saw a sea of torches light up the beach with fireworks mimicking starlings at the West Pier.

The premise of the show remained as clear as the dusky setting right up to its beginning just before 9pm on Sunday.

Despite the secrecy about what to expect, crowds packed out the beach to witness the show.

Once it started memories of the West Pier’s were played over loudspeakers as a group of actors mimicked the city’s famous starling murmurations with models of birds on poles.

The firework display added some fizz and bang to proceedings.

Russell Eke, a 31-year-old administrator who lives in Hove, was watching the spectacle with friends.

He told The Argus: “The fireworks were angled so that they looked like birds flying towards the pier.

“We were just standing and absorbing it. We started off at one end and moved towards the other.

“To have a bit of a spectacle like that, it was really good.”

He said the ambience of the show complemented one of the festival’s themes which was art and nature.

Mr Eke added: “I knew the theme of the Festival was birds and flight so it sat quite well in that way, but they weren’t pushing it too much so that you had to read into it.”

Others expressed their views on social media.

Sarah Saeed on Twitter said: “Last night’s #Fleeting @brightfest on Brighton Beach was so gorgeous.”

Another, Charlie Bickell, said the “tribute to the West Pier was captured beautifully”.

But not everyone was convinced: Rachel Papworth said not enough people could get on to the beach to see the show close up.

She said on Twitter: “Perhaps Fleeting thought people wouldn’t come. [It was] pretty but most couldn’t see the show.”