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Comment: Kendal Calling has put Cumbria on the music festival map
2:35pm Thursday 2nd August 2012 in Opinion
HAVING snowballed from a small gathering of music fans beside the River Kent, Kendal Calling has well and truly put Cumbria on the music festival map.
The brainchild of townsfolk Ben Robinson and Andy Smith, who had the vision to see that an event such as this was exactly what the Lake District needed, it has sold out every year since its inception at Kendal’s Abbot Hall park back in 2006.
The event manages to attract genuine music legends alongside some of the most exciting acts in the world today.
Take the line-up this year - iconic Manchester band James and Charlatans frontman Tim Burgess, both still as relevant as ever, were on the bill alongside the UK’s most popular solo male performer Dizzee Rascal and up-and-coming bands such as Toy.
It was the same last year, when the all-conquering Blondie appeared, as well as the likes of flavour of the month indie acts Frank Turner and The Cribs.
And it’s not just about the music. Lowther Deer Park, where it is now held, boasts breathtaking views and is the perfect size to ensure there is enough space for lots of attractions without revellers having to walk miles to find them.
Traditionally in Cumbria, agricultural shows have been the big crowd-pullers.
But their staging is very much dependent on the weather and over recent years there have been occasions when organisers have been forced to cancel events at a loss because of the rain.
Music festivals are different - the weather does not put people off and many revellers actively embrace it.
You only have to look at photographs of mud-drenched people at the country’s largest music event, Glastonbury, for confirmation of this.
So could more festivals such as Kendal Calling, where the weather doesn’t seem to impact on proceedings, be the future for Cumbria?
We will see, but what is certain is that just seven years from its birth in a small corner of Ben and Andy’s home town, Kendal Calling has established itself as one of the best festivals in the UK.