Where might you find the ultimate warrior, the full line up of kiss, Jesus and the devil, a baby being chased by death, all the smurfs, a person dressed as rain cloud and a clockwork orange not to mention many a mad hatter and a super hero or two? No, not a strange surreal dream wandering the corridors of Bedlam in a lost dystopia, but the hugely fun fancy dress party extravaganza on Saturday at Kendal Calling!

kendal calling, on the green

Situated just a few miles south of Penrith, and surrounded by trees and rolling hills this fast growing festival is filled with atmosphere and has an edge to it different from the larger more commercial events. Yet we found the size to be perfect, having found the amount of walking at some festivals to be challenging, it was great to be able to get from our tent to the bar, to the main stage, wander into a tent filled with cushions for a game of drafts, then into another tent with swinging seats and a folk band spinning ambient tunes, and back to the bar without having a 40 minute hike. Indeed it feels as if everything you want is within 5 minutes walk; this is great for browsing bands and acts.

A chance to let your hair down, unwind and explore the many different activities and entertainments available. An eclectic mix of music or performance to suit all tastes from Jazz, classical, blues, indie, punk and rock to spoken word, poetry, freaky escapologists and comedians. And if the excitement of the festival becomes just too much, put your feet up and kick back to recharge with some of the holistic therapies available in serene yurts, including massage, reflexology and raki. And it’s not just the entertainment that leaves you spoilt for choice, there is food from all over the world at very reasonable prices – we particularly enjoyed the many fresh smoothies and juice, Mexican chilli nacho’s, crepes, Indonesian food and the mouth watering lamb kebabs from the falafel stand.

The Eco credentials of the festival seem to be ingrained. Like stitches in a shirt, they are everywhere but not in your face. Recyclable paper plates, wooden cutlery, futuristic looking solar heated showers, and of course the famous, Croissant Neuf – a solar powered stage/tent bringing to light the “wow” factor for a sustainable festival (we’d love to see all of the stages take this approach and be powered via the sun – it just makes sense!) All in all Kendal Calling is a gem of a festival integrating a personal vibe in a beautiful deer park, all the while remaining conscious of sustainability and leaving the land as it was found.

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