“an incredible experience, with incredible people”

Not our words, the words of the immortal Rick Astley! He’s not wrong either – Kendal Calling 2023 was a stunning weekend where the camaraderie of the audience spread to the artists – with notable collaborations and secret sets happening across site. That familiar air of something special returned to the fields of Lowther Deer Park as the weekend progressed culminating in our end of weekend firework bonanza soundtracked by Kendal legends, Lottery Winners.

Scouting for Girls and the legendary Nile Rodgers & Chic kicked off the weekend with a bang on the Main Stage while Chai Wallahs swung open it’s doors as the travelling tent welcomed TC & The Groove Family and many more. For us though, the highlight of Thursday night was simply being back in those fields, with a pint of Kend’ale, wandering around and taking in the sights for the first time in a year.


Speaking of our favourite beer – our Bavarian palace returned for another round of Oompah fun! Nothing will get you in the festival spirit quite like walking into a packed tent of people singing along to a brass cover of ‘Sweet Caroline’. Truly the place to go for a party throughout the weekend, the tent took Thursday night in the fields to new peaks as we danced on the tables to Twisted Time Machine’s Thursday Night Fever!

Dick and Dom

Parklands, Friday

As has become tradition, TV legends Dick & Dom opened the upside down garden of Parklands, drawing in a colossal crowd for the largest game of Bogies known to man! Who knew these two Saturday morning stars were so well versed in drum and bass?!


Main Stage, Friday

In a close to the wire moment, Example arrived on-site and immediately went on-stage to deliver an incredible high energy set packing in all the hits alongside a few well-known singalongs. Returning for the first time in nine years, it’s safe to say Example was the perfect warm up for the evening’s headliners.

The Lathums

Tim Peaks Diner, Friday

Kendal veterans will know that Tim Peaks Diner is a world unto it’s own, with incredible spontaneous happenings each year. This year was no different with The Lathums playing a not-so-secret-set on Friday afternoon. Even more special though as the set was recorded, pressed onto vinyl and made available for sale on-site come Sunday afternoon thanks to our friends at Press On Vinyl, with all proceeds going to The Lathums’ own charity.


Main Stage, Friday

Arguably our biggest headliners to date, Kasabian took to the natural amphitheatre we call the Main Stage on Friday night – bringing their arsenal of hits with them. From the opening moments of ‘Club Foot’ – we just knew it was going to be carnage. Serge commanding the crowd like nothing seen before – an incredible way to close day one at Lowther.

twisted time machine’s abba disco 

Desert Island Disco, Friday

You were the dancing queens Kendal! For the second year running, our most popular disco was devoted to 70s legends ABBA. You could hear the singing from the Desert Island Disco around site as a bunch of you Super Troopers belted out the hits until the late hours.

Mel C

Main Stage, Saturday

“I’ve waited so long to play this festival!” – Mel C lauded the weekend on her Instagram account. If only we knew, we’d have asked earlier! A true dream to have a real life Spice Girl in the fields this year. Bringing solo hits and of course, a few 90s classics, this was one of those perfect afternoon moments in the natural amphitheatre.

kids calling

Weekend long

Providing entertainment for the next generation of Kendal Callers – Kids Calling settled into it’s new home next to the Picturehouse – with activities galore! From giant inflatable slides to craft workshops to live theatre shows – there was never a dull moment for the little ones here!

Frank Turner

Parklands, Saturday

Frank Turner brought out everyone’s singing voices with a set that included a heartfelt tribute to fellow musician, Frightened Rabbit’s Scott Hutchinson. As a true friend of the festival, it was a joy to have Frank back and the intimate surrounding of the tent made the performance all the more special.


Main Stage, Saturday

Having risen through the ranks from their first appearance opening the House Party stage to virtually nobody back in 2010 – Lottery Winners made their Main Stage debut! Complete with a guest appearance from Frank Turner – this was a truly monumental set that we won’t forget anytime soon.

Rick Astley

Main Stage, Saturday

Dazzling in his salmon pink suit, Rick Astley proved he’s the eternal crowd pleaser on the Main Stage as he covered Harry Styles’ ‘As It Was’ only to then be joined by KT Tunstall for a rendition of AC/DC’s ‘Highway To Hell’. Naturally, he closed his set with everyone’s favourite internet meme hit, ‘Never Gonna Give You Up’.

Lost Eden

Weekend long

Our cornucopia of curiosity returned with a feast for all the senses! Always our favourite area of the festival, the Woods took on new life as it was adorned with art installations and micro-venues galore – including the new addition of Rimski’s Yard – a chaotic ramshackle workshop home to the wackiest performances on-site.


Main Stage, Saturday

Stockport’s favourite sons came flanked by the Mayor of Manchester Andy Burnham! After a long journey from opening the Main Stage back in 2015 – the boys finally took to the headline spot 8 years later – and what a set it was! Tom Ogden giving his best Jarvis Cocker as he swerved through banger after banger.

The summer of love parade!

Across Site, Sunday

Featuring giant puppets, live drumming from Batala and signs made from our on-site workshops – The Summer of Love parade weaved its way across site on Sunday afternoon. For a moment in time, we were transported back to the sixties as we stood in amazement at the spectacle of it all.


The Soapbox, Sunday

Variety is the spice of life and the key to a great festival experience – away from the singalongs and the stunning art installations – you could find any manner of cabaret and comedy in The Soapbox! Our highlight though was our resident drag queens Kate Butch and Crudi Dench leading the audience in a Ru-Paul-style lip sync for your life extravaganza..

Royal Blood

Main Stage, Sunday

Brighton rock duo Royal Blood took to the stage on Sunday and ensured they rocked the life back into our already wet crowd. Channeling the blues-rock dynamism of the likes of the White Stripes and the Black Keys as well as amping up the ferocity with scuzzy riffs and blustering energy, they sang well-loved singles such as Little Monster, and Kendal Callers were even thanked by singer Mike for their hardy persistence to party no matter what weather.

the magic teapot

Lost Eden, All Weekend

Singalongs round an open fire, nestled within the beautiful Woodlands of Lost Eden! Whether you were lucky enough to catch pop up sets from acts like Cate or Lime Garden – or simply stumbled in to belt out Mr Brightside – The Magic Teapot proved itself as the cosiest place to end the night.


Main Stage, Sunday

We always like to close out the weekend with a bang, and after Royal Blood had torn apart the Main Stage, that was rather easy! As the weekend drew to a close, we got the chance to relive it with a special highlights package accompanied by the unofficial anthem of Kendal, ‘Start Again’ by The Lottery Winners. An unforgettable moment that will live long in our memories. As we think about it now, it gets us all excited to return next year…