The last time we went to a music festival, The Stereophonics were big and JJ72 were still touring the country. As an birthday gift to Catherine I bought tickets to V2001 in Staffordshire. From my memory it lashed down with rain and if we’d driven there would have packed up early. We listened to the music trough the trees and rain in our tents, eating Pot Noodles. It was grim…
So, 15 years later, we dared to venture to another festival.
Kendal Calling 2016
Our friends from the estate were seasoned Kendal Callers and “knew the ropes”.
“It’ll be amazing, the line up is brilliant and will get better”
When we had the opportunity of some spare cash we bought in. Two adult tickets with camping, with the intention of buying the extra Thursday ticket as the Charlatans were playing then. Notice that we didn’t buy the children tickets! A music festival isn’t the place for kids and we didn’t think it would be fair to drag them around. If we had chose to bring them it would have cost an extra £20, which was very reasonable. Instead we booked them into
the kennels their Nana’s.
Kendal Calling is located nearer Penrith than Kendal and is only an hour and a half drive from Newcastle. The travelling was pain free, as we’d set off early to visit a cute pub, The George and Dragon in Clifton. Instead of driving in convoy, meeting up in a quiet area 4 minutes away seemed easier.
Tickets and Pitching up
Lee advised us that the best solution was to carry as much stuff as possible up to the ticket / wrist band station. Ideally you want to make 2 trips maximum, which made sense. So we loaded up a trolley I’d secured from work and piled up two 8 man tents and a load of other heavy stuff. The details sort of blurred at this point as I dragged the weight of an elephant through damp grass and mud, up a hill, then snaked back and forth in a queue based obstacle course. The chairs on my shoulders dug in, and I regretted wearing a hoody as the sweat and heat started to release.
The one good thing about heading up hill is that there is a down hill the other side, but that was followed by more up and down, then up and down more hills. From car to camping spot was about a 35 minute walk. Olivia said “oh wow! I can’t believe how close we are!”
Close is not the term I would have used… And neither was Wow! We’d chosen a family area called “the Shire”, which were supposed to be set far enough away to be quiet. The other campers in the area were also of like mind and looking for a quieter night.
After an un eventful pitch up we sat back and cracked open a few cans of drink and a box of wine. Our cool box kept the cans ice cold and rose wine box cold but soggy. Maybe ice wasn’t the best option to pack cardboard with.
Thursday Night Line Up
Our Thursday night line up choices were to see Ash and The Charlatans. From the uncomfort of our tent “The Girl From Mars” wafted our way with the wind. This was the cue to stop drinking and get marching to the main arena. We didn’t know what to expect in terms of size, distance or layout.
Two security checks later and we’d strolled up to a busy main stage, luckily we spotted a small gap and got about 100 feet from the stage. I could see Tim singing the words to the classic songs I remembered from years ago.
As the band changed up we headed to the bar and I experienced something I’d totally overlooked. Prices! As a captive audience I felt the £4.50 for a can of Strongbow a true bargain and the £20 for a plastic bottle of wine really good value. So at £30 per round we partied hard! The preloading seemed to adjust the impact of the bargain bar prices. Before we knew it Tim Burgess was walking into the central lights cranking up the Only songs I knew of the weekend. They played all the classics including a song me and Cat claimed as our song in V2001… “Weirdo”.
At the end of the first night we staggered back to the tent, knowing that we’d have a great night sleep. Tomorrow would be another adventure and more of the site would be open. Tim Burgess would be reading an extract from his book in Tim Peakes Cafe at 10:30am… sorry Tim, thats too early for us.
Our first experiences of Kendal Calling were busy, but encouraging.