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10 Unmissable Things To See and Do at This Year’s Kendal Calling

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“Kendal Calling is loved as much for its breath-taking setting in rolling green fields as it is for it’s top notch line-up” – The Sunday Times
The festival, taking place in the heart of the Lake District, is now in its 14th year and since it’s first edition in 2006 – where a group of music lovers, determined to show the fields of Cumbria a shindig to end all shindigs somehow managed to land festival giants Pendulum, and Kendal-born British Sea Power – the festival has grown from a crowd of just 900 party people, to over twenty thousand!

Kendal CallingEach year when the last weekend of July rolls around we wave bon voyage to the deer and welcome our lovely festival goers to Lowther Deer Park for a wild weekend of frolicking in the fields. Over the years Kendal Calling has played host to many weird and wonderous things, including; a rockin’ roller disco, an inflatable church, an ambitious rescue mission by time travelling sonic renegades The Red Stars, and a world record-breaking superman gathering – not to mention an incredible, and varied musical offering spanning 11 stages.
With this much going on, it’s difficult to pinpoint just one or two landmark things to do at Kendal Calling, but we’ve managed to whittle down the list of KC must-dos to just 10 things that we think are unmissable at this year’s festival;

1. Main Stage Headliners:

Previous years have seen the likes of Blondie, Pendulum and The Libertines close the KC Main Stage, and this year’s festival promises to deliver just as high a calibre of headliner;

Wrapping up Fridays celebrations, Nile Rodgers and Chic will take you on a whistle-stop stop of their hefty discography (emphasis on the disco); having written, produced, and performed on records that have cumulatively sold more than 500 million albums and 75 million singles worldwide, expect this set to be packed with some of the biggest tracks from the past 4 decades. Saturday night marks the return of the legendary Doves, who’ll be joining us once more on the KC Main Stage; having headlined the festival back in 2010, and since taken a 9 year sabbatical, this one could be a bit of a tear-jerker – be sure to pack your tissues AND your dancing shoes! Closing out the festival with a landmark Sunday headline slot is indie heroes and Manchester faves, The Courteeners. We can’t wait to hear their anthemic tracks like Not Nineteen Forever blasting out across the fields of KC!

2. The People:

From the festival goers to the production crew, Kendal Calling serves as a place for people to experience great music and have fun. Over the course of the 4 days you are bound to meet loads of interesting and individual people. Come along and join the party.


3. Lost Eden:

Lost Eden is our immersive arena for arts and culture, set in the heart of KC’s stunning woodland. By day Lost Eden plays host to a selection of stages boasting the best in new music, and watering holes destined to impress.
By night, festival goers can watch this hidden paradise transform into a cornucopia of curiosity; shaped by intriguing installations, costumed walkabout, and spontaneous gatherings, that will take you on a journey down the rabbit hole. Leave your inhibitions behind and venture deep into Lost Eden, you never know what you might find!

Kendal Calling

4. Tim Peaks:

Whether you’re on an early morning quest for coffee or looking for a late-night boogie, Tim Peaks has it all. The brainchild of The Charlatans frontman, Tim Burgess, Tim Peaks Diner is one of the most diverse and exciting venues at the festival, and the only place you can find live music, kids entertainment and a decent brew all under one roof. Anything goes at Tim Peaks, and in the past this little corner of the Deer Park has seen acoustic sets from Nick Hayward, Edwin Collins and Pete Doherty – but who’ll be joining us for a secret set this year? You’ll just have to wait and see; they are secret after all…

5. Kids Calling:

A tiny haven for our littlest fans, Kids Calling has an abundance of family-friendly entertainment for our mini Kendal Callers, this year incorporating our theme; Kendal Calling goes Jurassic! Expect a range of age-appropriate activities for children aged 0-11 years, including craft workshops, circus skills, face painting, storytelling and bags of Jurassic adventures – the prehistoric treasure trail and dino-bone excavations are not to be missed. Start working on those roars, kiddies!
6. The Theme:

Every year Kendal Calling takes on a new theme, and over the years the festival has been transformed into a dozen alternate worlds — 2016 saw the ‘Carnival of Colour’ descend upon the Deer Park, and in 2017 we all unleashed the inner beast and headed ‘Into the Wild’. At last year’s festival, Kendal Calling ventured ‘Into The Future’, as the park and its inhabitants travelled through space and time to discover infinite versions of the unknown. Over 20,000 music lovers hurtled headfirst into an intergalactic weekend of adventure, as KC gathered all its Force to battle The Dark Side and defeat the evil space-lords of the future.
This year, we’ve swapped our deer for dinosaurs as KC goes Jurassic, for a weekend packed with pre-historic frolicking and Dino fun. Time to dig out your costume, pull out your best roar and make sure you don’t miss Saturdays Dino Parade!
7. Woodlands:

Hidden in the depths of the tree-lined Deer Park, the Woodlands stage showcases the best in new music from the UK and beyond. In previous years, Donovan, British Sea Power and Lake District heroes The Witch & The Robot have all brought the ruckus, and this year’s festival promises not to disappoint, with the likes of Goldie Lookin’ Chain, Twisted Wheel and Giant Rooks wandering into the woods.
Come and discover some of the most tree-riffic artists of today — brought to you by our friends at Off-Axis and Pirate Studios — and stick around for our infamous silent disco that carries on long after the live programming has finished!
Kendal Calling8. Food:

Whether it’s a tasty momo special from Tibetan Kitchen, a hearty home-cooked pie from Pie Minister, or a saucy little sandwich from The Butty Boys, the food at Kendal Calling is something to shout about. We’ve got a whole host of delicious food and drinks on offer at the festival, and our wonderful caterers have something for everyone. If you’re veggie, flexi or just a bit fussy, you won’t go hungry in the fields!
9. Soapbox:

When your dancing shoes starting to rub and you need a little break from the bands, head down to Soapbox, our legendary comedy tent. Bursting at the seams with belly laughs and big banter, Soapbox will have you laughing the day away, and long into the night.
This year’s line-up is stellar, with big names like Josh Widdicombe, Reginald D Hunter, and Paul Smith snapping up headline slots. And there’ll be plenty more giggles on offer from the likes of Justin Moorhouse, Dan Nightingale, Matt Reed, plus comedy carnage from Dabbers Bingo Club the Gospeloke crew.
10. The Beautiful Lake District:

Once the magic weekend is over, and the music has died down, why not stick around an extra day or two and explore everything the beautiful Cumbrian countryside has to offer? Hike your way up Helvellyn and look out over Thirlmere and Ullswater, take the whole family paddleboarding on Lake Windemere, or visit cultural landmarks dedicated to the region’s historical literary figures like William Wordsworth, Beatrix Potter and John Ruskin.

See you in the fields!

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