A HIGHLY anticipated free festival returns to Cirencester next weekend so lets take a look at some pictures which will show us what to expect.

The Phoenix Festival first took to the stage in 2013 and has continued to grow and evolve ever since.

It is now attended regularly by around 15,000 people every year.

Martin Reynolds has been photographing the festival since 2017 and said that it is his favourite annual outdoor event to cover.

He shared this gallery of colourful images from the festival with the Standard which he has taken over the last few years.

In his career Martin has captured big names at huge events such as Reading Festival but thoroughly enjoys the friendliness of the Phoenix Festival.

Wilts and Gloucestershire Standard: The crowd enjoying the music at the Phoenix Festival in Abbey Grounds Park, Cirencester The crowd enjoying the music at the Phoenix Festival in Abbey Grounds Park, Cirencester (Image: Martin Reynolds)

Upon his first encounter with the festival Martin was instantly impressed with the slickness of the free event and its 'idyllic setting'.

Martin said: "I was really impressed with everything the first time I went considering it was a free festival.

Wilts and Gloucestershire Standard: Michael Jackson tribute act performing at last year's Phoenix FestivalMichael Jackson tribute act performing at last year's Phoenix Festival (Image: Martin Reynolds)

"You might think a free festival might be a bit half-hearted but the whole thing was so slick and it has got better every year.

"It is generally so friendly and is in such an idyllic setting."

In his youth Martin was in a band but quickly realised he was much more comfortable behind the camera rather than in front it and his love for stage photography has blossomed ever since.

Wilts and Gloucestershire Standard: Visitors enjoying the Phoenix FestivalVisitors enjoying the Phoenix Festival (Image: Martin Reynolds)

He said: "It is a joy to capture a festival, I just keep firing off multi shots throughout the day because there is so much happening in front of me.

"It is a bit like fishing, you sort of cast the net out and take lots of pictures and see what you have caught later on when you get home.

"What I love about shooting a festival is that it is not just about the bands, it is also about the audience.

"It is magical when I stand in the press pit shooting the performers on stage and then turn around and have another production going on behind me in the crowd."

More images by Martin Reynolds can be found on his Facebook page.