Kendal Calling was born from a group of music lovers who felt the fabulous fields of the Lake District could be put to better use. When summer came, it was time to take to the fields for a shindig that would grow so big the whole country would hear it calling!
So, back in 2006, a group of music nuts kicked off a two-day party at the glorious Abbot Hall Park in Kendal. By hook and by crook, they landed festival giants Pendulum and Kendal-born British Sea Power, making the glorious rolling countryside rock with images fighting robots, flying plastic owls and more! Everything was set in place for Kendal Calling to make its first tentative steps into the wild, wonderful world of festivaldom.
It was clear that things were going to have to get bigger and in 2007, the capacity doubled at the super, smashing Grate Farm. Dance pioneer Grooverider appeared alongside Dirty Pretty Things, Wild Beasts and excellent local musicians made sure everyone was talking about the North’s newest and finest festival.
By the time 2008 rolled around, things got wet ‘n’ wild and 4,000 people showed up, building sculptures from mud and going crazy to Dizzee Rascal, DJ Yoda, Super Furry Animals, Scratch Perverts and a host of other artists! Yoda christened the Dance Tent “better than Glastonbury” and it was clear that things were getting too big for Grate Farm.
Come 2009, Lowther Deer Park became the new home. It was an ideal spot for party animals, considering it was once a wildlife theme park. Surrounded by 2,000 trees and Henry VIII’s deer, Mumford & Sons, The Streets, Ash and Zutons saw Cumbria’s hills bouncing to outrageously good tunes while revellers threw themselves down a ski slope with 80 tonnes of snow. Things aren’t done by halves at Kendal Calling. 2009 was also the year that the legendary Cumbrian Olympics was born, where only the funniest survive.
When 2010 strolled in, Lowther Deer Park went crazy with fancy dress, the arrival of Glastonbury veterans Croissant Neuf and the marvellous Real Ale Festival. On stage, Doves, Calvin Harris, Erol Alkan, Stereo MCs and Badly Drawn Boy and many more furthered KC’s reputation for brilliant, eclectic line-ups, which helped to land the prestigious Best Small Festival at UK Festival Awards.
In 2011, Kendal Callers were treated to the festival’s biggest star yet, when Blondie took to the main stage. Selling out in record time, KC managed to grab a nice award for Live UKs Best Small Festival. Not only that, everyone broke a World Record for the World’s largest mint cake. No biggie. As ever, the music was top notch, with Echo & The Bunnymen, The Cribs, House of Pain and Frank Turner sending everyone bananas.
2012 came and things got even bigger. Dizzee Rascal enjoyed Kendal so much, he came back, playing alongside James, Dan Le Sac and Scroobius Pip, We Are Scientists, Maximo Park, Feeder and loads more. The Charlatans’ Tim Burgess also opened up his eccentric and fabulous Tim Peaks Diner, serving up coffee and hosting sets from Edwyn Collins, Nick Heyward and The View. The festival even had its very own gingerbread house and Deer Lodge Boutique camping where everyone got to stay in teepees!
By the time 2013 came around, Kendal Calling were ready to go all out, grabbing Primal Scream, The Charlatans and Basement Jaxx for amazing headliner slots, not to mention Public Enemy, Seasick Steve, The 1975, Dutch Uncles, Roni Size, London Grammar and Johnny Marr. In keeping with the festival theme Kendal Calling Goes To The Movies a late night cinema was put on showing much-loved films and cult classics (who could forget the year the heavens opened during Withnail & I as they aptly drove through The Lakes?). On top of all that, everyone got together to break a World Record for the largest gathering of Supermen in one place! To top off a great year, Kendal Calling won ’Best Medium Festival’ at the UK Festival awards.
Kendal Calling 2014 was a show of intergalactic proportions! We celebrated 20 yrs of Britpop with pioneers Suede topping the bill on Friday night, KC favourite Frank Turner along with his band the Sleeping Souls returned and headlined the Saturday night, and Example brought the festival to an explosive finale! Kendal Calling Goes Beyond The Stars was the theme and the party most certainly was out of this world! 2ManyDJs headlined the Glow tent (and hit the decks in a shed at a secret show in the Woodlands!), DJ Yoda took the roof off the Soul On Wheels roller disco, Luna 9 landed in the fields with a mysterious set from DJ Stormtrooper, there was table dancing in Tim Peaks, mud fights, intergalactic Cumbrian Games, bubbles, the return of the Garden of Eden, dance-offs, moonwalk record attempts, Virgin Galactic space travel talks, cult movies with Flash Gordon, and so much more!
Craig Charles swapped Corrie for Cumbria, and arrived in rock ‘n’ roll style by Helicopter for his funk & soul club on Thursday night. We fought for our right to party on Sunday night with the AMAZING tribute to Beastie Boys in Chai Wallah with the 3-mix feat. DJ Food, DJ Cheeba, and DJ Moneyshot. Calling Out was bursting at the seams with an abundance of new music with Augustines ending their triumphant headline set with an acoustic encore in the middle of the crowd. Madchester legends Happy Mondays, Simon & Oscar from Ocean Colour Scene and Newton Faulkner all evoked mass sing-alongs in front of the main stage as nothing could dampen the spirits of 2014’s crowd…they were beyond superb! We literally cannot wait until 2015 which will be our 10th year celebration!
The future is unwritten…
Away from the fields, Kendal Calling’s commitment to supporting the local community and charities continues to go from strength to strength. Since 2010 the festival has raised over £55,000 for charities close to our hearts. In 2013 a whopping total of £19,798 was raised – and we hope to double this in 2014! Read on to see where the money goes.
Alder Hey Children’s Charity supports Alder Hey Children’s Hospital which sees over 270,000 young patients and their families every year.They have just launched a £30m fundraising appeal to make the new Alder Hey in the Park the best it can be and we really need your help so we can provide life-saving medical equipment, arts and play activities and funding for vital research. Funds raised are used to buy equipment and services that otherwise simply wouldn’t be available. From the thousands of crayons they give out to entertain young patients to amazing lifesaving equipment and ground-breaking research studies, the money donated to Alder Hey makes a remarkable difference. http://www.alderheycharity.com
Guide Dogs for the Blind
Provide mobility and freedom to blind and partially sighted people. As well as campaigning for the rights of people with visual impairment, educate the public about eye care and fund eye disease research. ‘Thanks to the continued support of Kendal Calling, Guide Dogs will be able to help more blind and partially sighted people across the UK, ensuring that when someone loses their sight, they don’t lose their freedom too. The money donated by Kendal Calling will change the lives of people like teenager Amy who was paired with Guide Dog Connie. Amy’s mum Sarah said “Connie has made such a difference to Amy’s life. Thanks to Connie, Amy is much more confident. She can go out shopping on her own and out with friends she doesn’t have to rely on anyone holding her hand anymore.” – Guide Dogs for The Blind www.guidedogs.org.uk
Hospice at Home
Hospice at Home is an integral component of community adult palliative care bringing the skills, ethos and practical care associated with the Hospice movement into the home environment, and putting the patient and those who matter to them at the centre of the care. Hospice at Home provides services to enable adult patients with advanced illness to be cared for at home, and to die at home if that is their preference. Care may be provided to prevent admission to, or facilitate discharge from inpatient care for crisis management or for longer periods of care. The funds raised at Kendal Calling for Hospice at Home via Sunflower Awareness raised a fantastic £3748.26!!! Charity fundraiser Julie Blundell said “These funds will provide almost a month of overnight care on a one to one basis with a registered nurse for a patient who at the end of life chooses to remain at home.” www.hospiceathome.org.uk/welcome
The Penrith Lions are a purely volunteer led organisation that help local families in distress, take senior citizens on outings and to concerts, provide opportunities for young people to better themselves. This year’s projects included financial help for young mothers group in Penrith, sponsorship of local youth football club and putting on the seniors Christmas concert. They are deeply involved with Eden District Talking Newspaper which provides a weekly tape for 120 blind or partially sighted people. By donating to their Welfare Fund it enables them to continue our support to the various groups, organisations and individuals who are in need of assistance. Then 2012’s donation helped to get project Message in a Wallet off the ground. This helps to aid emergency services in the event of an accident. Peter Goodwin from the Penrith Lions, says… “Our Motto is ‘We Serve’, one of the prime objectives of this service is: ‘To take an active role in the Civic, Cultural, Social and Moral Welfare of the community we live in’ Kendal Calling’s generous donation enables us to reach these targets and on behalf all organisations, clubs and individuals both young and not so young who will benefit from this generosity, we offer a big ‘Thank You’ and wish you all every success for the future.” Julie Cotton and Jess Webb from the Kendal Calling team handing over a cheque to The Lions. http://www.penrithlions105bn.co.uk
North West Air Ambulance
Established in 1999 the North West Air Ambulance charity flies life saving missions throughout the North West region from its operational bases at Blackpool Airport and City Airport, Manchester. Flying seven days a week, 365 days a year the vital life saving service covers 5,500 square miles and a population of around eight million people, yet receive almost no central government or lottery funding. It costs in excess of £4 million per year to maintain both aircraft, the majority of which is generously donated by our supporters and members of the public. Zoe Casson, community fundraiser for Cumbria and North Lancashire said: “The charity relies solely on donations of this kind to keep us operational and save lives.” www.northwestairambulance.com
David Lynch Foundation
All proceeds raised from Tim Peaks diner from the sale of Tim Peaks coffee and Totes Amazeballs cereal go to The David Lynch Foundation. The David Lynch Foundation are dedicated to helping people of all ages from all walks of life in the UK and worldwide overcome stress, suffering, and hardship, and unfold the full potential of life. As the UK branch of the David Lynch Foundation for Consciousness-based Education and World Peace (DLF UK), we use stress-reducing programmes that are scientifically proven to promote creativity, happiness, success, and peace. Our methodologies transform lives from within to create a more harmonious and peaceful world, especially focusing on groups who need it most, such as stressed teachers and students, the homeless, prisoners, and the many thousands of war veterans suffering from post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). www.davidlynchfoundation.org.uk