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.
And we promise that 2014 is going to be just as amazing, independently spirited and most of all, insane fun!