History of Kendal Calling
Kendal Calling was born from a group of music lovers who felt the fields of Cumbria could be put to better use during the summer months - in the name of music, fun and frolics.
In 2006 this saw the launch of a new two day music event in Abbot Hall Park in the center of Kendal.
Much sought after DNB trio Pendulum dropped in direct from Global Gathering and erupted the main tent on the first night. The next evening saw Kendal born British Sea Power bring the stage to life with a whole forest of branches - a backdrop that saw epic robot battles and flying plastic owls and culminated in the band climbing the main pole of the main stage marquee.
The formula was in place, Kendal had Called and it began to snowball!
In 2007 capacity doubled and the festival moved out of town to Grate Farm and saw the introduction of camping. Drum & Bass pioneer Grooverider spun the decks and over 100 other artists performed on various stages including Dirty Pretty Things and Wild Beasts. Local musicians and national artists played alongside each other and the crowds loved it.
In 2008 the floodgates broke as 4,000 revelers heard the call!
The Friday night was electric as the number one artist in the UK, Dizzee Rascal, proved that the worst mud and rain ever seen in August on Grate Farm couldn't dampen the spirits of the audience.
DJ Yoda christened the newly introduced Dance tent with a set he considered ?better than Glastonbury? and Babyhead thrilled crowds in the Kaylied tent where the festival spawned a traditional edge. Mud sculptures and lots of local brewed ales inspired revelry ensued.
2009 saw the festival controversially up sticks and move north to Lowther Deer Park. With an audience just too big to pack into Grate Farm we moved to a site that used to be a wildlife theme park, the perfect setting for a Lake District Festival!
The Streets, Beardy Man, Craig Charles, Mumford & Sons and more music than you can shake a squirrel at brought the park alive for the weekend in epic fashion. This year also saw the birth of the now legendary Cumbrian Olymipics, a series of games engineered to take you to the very edges of your sanity and perseverence - and beyond.
In 2010 friends old and new joined the festival for it?s second year at Lowther Deer Park. To celebrate the fifth anniversary festival-goers did the themselves proud with creative and crazy fancy dress costumes and antics.
Croissant Neuf, the longest-established area of Glastonbury, was added and played host to the Kaylied stage, the Holy Quail pub with the Kendal Callings? first-ever Real Ale Festival, and a whole host of stunning d?cor and performance art to wow, amaze and stimulate the senses.
Doves, Subways, Erol Alkan, Calvin Harris, Stereo MCs, Pulled Apart By Horses and many more treated crowds to amazing performances. Memorable moments included a spine-tingling duet from Badly Drawn Boy and his daughter, OKGO inviting the audience members on stage whilst confetti canons went off, a freakshow with naked skaters, and Bez djing to the Houseparty ravers.
2011 wow what a year! The festival sold out in record time, scooped a music industry award for Live UKs Best Small Festival, broke a World Record for the World's largest mint cake, and had some of the most legendary performances to date in the fields!
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!
Kendal Calling won 2014 'Best Medium Festival' at the UK Festival awards.
Buy Kendal Calling Tickets »
« Back to Kendal Calling home
« Back to Festivals 2018 guide