Kendal call me call me anytime call me
Kendal Calling won best small festival of 2010 and in 2011 it was still small and perfectly formed. I much prefer small festivals, so that everything you do is not a mission … as is the case at somewhere like Glasto. Although the weather was scorchio on Friday and Saturday, being in the Lake District it inevitably became chilly with nightfall but it only took us 10 minutes to walk from the main arena to the tents to pick up the evening’s accessories. Besides the main stage, hosting diverse acts like Blondie, the Lancashire Hotpots and Chase & Status, there were tents catering for drum and base, urban jazz, comedy, house, kiddie activities, and my highlight – a northern soul dance class. Plus food from every corner of the globe had made it to Cumbria so at lunchtime I picked a spot in the sun overlooking the main stage, which I didn’t have to fight for, and enjoyed a plate of nasi goreng, or falafel, or a full Indian thali, which I barely had to queue for.
But even the best small festival is not immune to gangs of insanely drunk young lads constantly ‘on it’, screaming out absurd party anthems and trashing the beautiful surroundings with piles of Carling cans. I heard one seventeen year old say, ‘You know, when we go home, it’s back to reality, and I don’t like reality’, as another screamed, ‘Let’s burn Sammy’s sleeping bag!’. And the cackles of young girls were dressed in requisite festival wardrobe, according to Grazia magazine, of wellies, very short shorts and ditsy playsuits, a straw hat and colour-framed shades. At least there was a special camping area for the many families in residence. And the fancy-dress element on the Saturday certainly added an additional fun-filled element.
Overall, it was a super fun festival with great independent bands, innovative art and comedy and generally a great crowd. I would recommend it to anyone seeking out something different to the over-rated commercial festivals.
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