THOUSANDS descended on Lowther Estate last weekend for the first Kendal Calling that did not require COVID passports since the pandemic.

This is the first time since 2019 that the festival has returned to normal. It offered a great line-up, with acts such as Stereophonics, Amy Macdonald, The Wombats, The Cribs and Craig Charles headlining on the main stage. 

The festival is perhaps a bit calmer than other similar-sized festivals across the UK. Many of the punters that walked through the muddy fields were young families, such as the Gurney family who came up from Leeds.

Proud mum Becky said: "It's a nice family festival, and a good first-time one because you can walk from one side to the other without getting lost." When asked what band Becky was most looking forward to she said: "Stereophonics, I like the song Dakota."

The Westmorland Gazette: The Gurney familyThe Gurney family

Dave Cooper, from Stockton-on-Tees, came appropriately dressed for this year's animal theme: "We went on Amazon and ordered some 'flamboyant flamginos' as it's known. It's our second time coming to Kendal Calling, we like the line-up and the scenery."

Simon Broadbent, a mechanical engineer, and Helen Leyland, a deputy head teacher, came up from Halifax. Simon said: "It's our first Kendal Calling, we got tickets for 2020 and then it obviously got cancelled because of COVID."

The Westmorland Gazette: Simon Broadbent and Helen Leyland came prepared for the weather Simon Broadbent and Helen Leyland came prepared for the weather

Helen said: "We usually go to Big Feastival, down in the Cotswolds, but we wanted something closer to home and not in the rain." Surprisingly, Simon said that one of his favourite acts he'd seen so far that weekend was children's TV presenters Dick and Dom, who apparently played a drum and bass set. 

After a dance to classic house track 'Music Sounds Better With You' by Stardust, Bonzai from Disco Puss Collective from Manchester, who were DJing tunes in the Desert Island Disco tent said: "I'm loving it mate, it's my first time here we've got a good crowd of people here seeming to enjoy themselves."

The Westmorland Gazette: Manchester based-Disco Puss bringing a bit of the Hacienda to Kendal CallingManchester based-Disco Puss bringing a bit of the Hacienda to Kendal Calling

Festivals such as Kendal Calling have an estimated value size of £3 billion. Abraham Pedley, the cashier on the Hot Dog stand, said: "Kendal Calling is rather important, it is one of our bigger weekends. I can't tell you how much we make but it's worth driving up from down south."

The Westmorland Gazette: Abraham takes a small break from feeding Kendal CallingAbraham takes a small break from feeding Kendal Calling