Kendal Calling's 5th Birthday saw the arrival of 1500 revellers for Freakeasy Thursday, an early start to this years festival, now held in the picturesque setting of Lowther Deer Park.
The stages may have still been getting set up but that didn't mean that the festival was lacking in entertainment. From 1920's style bands with a very bizarre sense of humour, hilarious Speedo clad acrobats that left little to the imagination, and yes, socks were included to decorated trees with wishes, a 12 foot baby doll and an array of food and vintage clothing stalls, there was certainly enough to keep everyone entertained right through till the early hours of the morning.
By Friday afternoon the main bulk of the 8000 had started flooding through the gates and pretty soon the once sparse fields were now covered in various tents of shapes and sizes and the place was abuzz with energy and excitement. Once the arena gates opened again we could see the festival now to it's full effect. From the main stage which was surrounded by 200 year old oak trees, it created a perfect setting for the talented acts we were going to hear, from Badly Drawn Boy to Calvin Harris and from Stereo MCs to Kid British plus so many more.
The other stages included the Calling Out stage, for up and coming unsigned bands, Glow stage, for all those people that need their dance beats, Kaylied stage, a laid back tent with an array of different entertainment, from music to comedy to burlesque. The Soapbox stage, for all the people in need of a giggle and the most bizarre one of all, was the House Party tent, an area full of retro nick nack's and 50's style furniture where you could have a lie down in the bedroom, a cup of tea in the living room or a dance in the hallway to the vast array of DJ’s playing, this place was full of little areas that catered for everyone.
The atmosphere throughout the weekend was one of fun and frivolity. The staff are amongst the friendliest I have ever encountered. From the stressed out press folk through to the security staff, they all had a sense of openness and belonging to something special and made everyone feel at home. Craig Charles is quoted as saying, “It's what Glastonbury should have been”. and I can see why. This festival has all the variety of Glastonbury but hasn't lost its sense of intimacy and friendliness and I just hope it doesn't go commercial and expand too much in the future as it may lose it's sense of quirkiness and originality which at the moment they have got spot on.
Words: Alison Goggin
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