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Monday, 22 September 2014

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Wet start to Kendal Calling festival

Crowds flocked to see a stellar line-up of international superstars, local talent, and the sort of trendy talent that Radio 6 rave about at this year’s Kendal Calling.

Kendal Calling photo

Suede was the ‘must see’ headliner on a muddy first day, but talented emerging acts such as Catfish and the Bottlemen, tipped by many to be a massive hit in the future, drew crowds to the Calling Out tent.

Kendal Calling has grown in stature over recent years, progressing from Small Festival of the Year to Medium Festival of the Year, drawing talented acts such as Catfish and the Bottlemen to the festival.

Beth Smith, 18, from Penrith said: “They’re amazing. They’re my favourite band and to see them at Kendal again is so exciting.”

“The boys started as they meant to go on, smashing their way through Rango with the crowd giving them as much energy back.”

Festival-goers were greeted with torrential rain and several areas of the site, at Lowther Deer Park, gradually turned into a quagmire.

As the day dried up the festival, which sold out months ago, became packed with music fans.

Suede went down a storm, rolling off classic hits such as Beautiful Ones and Trash, both top 10 hits in the 1990s.

Ella Eyre was due to play the main stage, replaced due to illness by Leeds-based indie band The Sunshine Underground. A combination of their anthemic hits and a dry patch of weather signalled the start of the festival proper.

Areas of the festival had already been open on Thursday, with early birds treated to a barnstorming set from Craig Charles, who flew via helicopter straight from his role as Lloyd in Coronation Street. Ska and two tone fans were in for a treat on Thursday as The Talks, playing in the Chai Wallah tent, performed a mix of their own hits and some intriguing classics.

Their ska influenced rendition of The Prodigy's Voodoo People was a Thursday night highlight.

The festival’s popularity has drawn a plethora of interesting sponsors, including the University of Cumbria, who had an Academy Tent, ran by students, featuring magicians, talks, and films.

Helen Statham, 29, from Carlisle, added: “The festival kicked off in style despite the rain. It’s great to see local bands and international superstars mixing together to create a unique experience.”

New Balance, who employ hundreds of Cumbrians in their Flimby-based shoe factory, gave away shoes as competition prizes in their mini garden.

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