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Kendal Calling 2011

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Kendal Calling is now officially my favourite festival.  I would say that it incorporates all the different parts of Glastonbury, but on a smaller, more manageable scale.

From the moment I arrived, when I was asked for my £5 parking fee by an apologetic car park attendant, I knew I would have a great time; everyone was so friendly and welcoming.

Then entering the campsite it was free Lucozade.  I think it’s a marketing ploy (well obviously) to get you addicted to the stuff by handing it out in vast quantities.  And they have a new Blackcurrant flavour!  Although you may possibly not want to see Lucozade ever again after drinking that much of it.

I put up my tent and then it’s more freebies from the sponsors as I enter the arena, Alpro Soya chocolate yoghurt desserts.

From then on I was amazed by the variety, and the quality, of the entertainment on offer.  Every single one of the stages had amazing bands all throughout the day, and there were other activities going on too; circus workshops, comedy, dance classes, poetry, quizzes, fire shows, textile and robot making workshops… the list goes on and on.  Plus there was the unveiling of a giant Kendal mint cake bar on Sunday, with the help of Magic Sam (catch him at the Stockton Weekender this weekend).

The highlight of the weekend for me is a general one, the atmosphere and the opportunity to discover new bands and acts.  If I had to pick one band I would struggle; Slamboree, Molotov Jukebox, Frank Turner, Beardyman, Middleman, Polen, Frankie & the Heartstrings, Let’s Buy Happiness, Fly with Vampires, I Am Love, Mr Scruff, Craig Charles, Mr B The Gentleman Rhymer, David McAlmont, The La’s, Vintage Trouble, Riot Jazz Brass Band, Kitty Daisy & Lewis, Karima Francis and Blondie are some of the bands that I saw.  Everyone one of them was great and there were many more.

This festival deserves a more comprehensive review to follow on from this with all my photos, but in the meantime please check out some of the bands mentioned.  You can catch Kitty Daisy & Lewis, The Chapman Family and Bear Driver at Stockton Weekender.  Also, some of the comedians that were at Kendal (whom I unfortunately missed most of) are at Stockton too, so you can catch Danny McLoughlin, Adam Staunton, Silky, Gary Delaney and Dan Nightingale.

Kendal Calling is an amazing festival and deserves its reputation as the best small festival in the UK.

By Tracy on August 4, 2011


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