Penrith, home to Kendal Calling, in its 8th year this small boutique festival transports you into a fantasy playground. Expect house parties, fancy dress, entertainers and an array of hidden gems that will brighten up the beautiful surronding’s that is Cumbria, the Lake District.
Spread across 8 areas – main stage, glow tent, calling out, chai wallah, house party, riot jazz, woodlands, jagermesiter, and songsmith solar, there is plenty of music and activities to chose from.
The site itself is conveniently laid out, and considering the size of the small size of the festival, it offers a wide varitey of activities to chose from. For families with young children, there is a ladybird kids area where parenets can relax whilst the kids have fun, and if ale is your chosen tipple, head straight to the ale tent where you will find a selection of local ales.
The main stage on Friday saw the likes of Clean Bandit, Willy Moon, Public Enemy and Basement Jaxx take to the stage whilst The Lightning Seeds played an acoustic set in the calling out tent, shortly followed by Theme Park. And if dance music is more your thing then head straight to the glow tent, where you were treated to music by Artwork, Jackmaster, Bondax, Oneman and Dismantle spinning tunes into the early hours of the morning.
Public Enemy provided an energetic performance that had the crowd jumping in unison. Flava Flav was last to make an appearance onto the 10 strong band line up, and he’s energy and stage presence was worth the wait. Working the crowd and jumping around, he entertained and the crowd followed pursuit. At one point he asked the photographers to stay for an extra song as he didn’t want them to miss out on the next performance. A hard act to follow, but Basement Jaxx were next on the bill, closing the main stage on friday, The brightly colourful dance duo walked onto the stage and blew the audience away. Playing an array of feel good anthems such as Romeo, Where’s Your Head At, Oh My Gosh and Rendevous along with special guests Vula Malinga and lisa Kekaula, a perfect ending to a sun kissed evening.
Saturday’s line up included Mickey P Kerr, Dutch Uncles, The Twang, The D.O.T, Ash, I am Kloot, The Charlatans, Dub Pistols and British Sea Power gracing the stages in the heavy down poor. Mickey P Kerr provided the audience with an entertaining set, including a track called Banned from Morrisons that had everyone joining in with the chorus and it wasn’t long before everyone was in fits of laughter.
Ash played a mixture of old classics and some tracks from their latest album that got everyone in the mood for the evenings headliner, The Charlatans. Playing a string of hits including The Only One I Know, One to Another, My Beautiful Friend, Tellin’ Stories and North Country Boy. An impressive set from a legendary band who proved why the main stage belonged to them and rocked the crowd into a frenzy.
By Sunday a lot of revellers had left the site due to the heavy rain, but the majority of people stuck it out in anticipation for seeing some iconic artists including the legendary Primal Scream. But before the nights headliners, a great selection of bands were on offer, including the witty Beans on Toast, who sang about sex, drugs, Tesco’s and politics. Entertaining the crowd, he had everyone in fits of laughter. Irish newcomers Kodaline took to the main stage to provide audiences with a selection of songs including High Hopes, to be shortly followed by The Mystery Jets.
The iconic and infamous Johnny Marr made an entrance onto the main stage and second song in he sang The Smiths classic Stop Me If You Think You’ve Heard This One Before, followed by I Fought the Law and Bigmouth Strikes Again.
The amazing bluesman Seasick Steve wowed the crowds with his personalised guitars and soulful voice, whilst The 1975 had the teenage girls screaming for more. And as the sun settled over Lowther Deer Park Primal Scream made a late entrance onto the main stage. Singing their classic hits including Movin’ On Up, Loaded, Jailbird and Rocks, they entertained and closed the festival in style.
If you’re looking for a small family friendly festival then head to Kendal Calling, it offers everything you can expect from a festival with a fancy dress theme on Saturday. Let your fun side out and join in the fun!
Photos by Olivia Frayman from Kendal Calling are here