“Every time we’ve been back, we’ve played a smaller stage!” BSP’s Martin Noble laughed when we caught up with him afterwards. “I like to think the festival has grown rather than we’ve shrunk.”
His band aren’t alone among those who’ve been coming back year after year after year. At times, it feels like a whole big reuniting family of bands and culture-makers and fans, all magnetised back to the easy welcome of the Deer Park.
It’s a festival built around old friendships, a sense of community, and the ancient art of growing with your audience. Originally put on by Andy and Ben "because there was nothing in England North of Manchester” it’s grown into something way beyond their early expectations. Winner of Best Small Festival in the early days, then Best Medium Sized Festival, Kendal has become so popular it can’t grow any further without leaving its Deer Park home. Something founder Andy Smith considers impossible. "We’d never leave here, because then it would become a different festival, wouldn’t it?”.
And now, with the tenth anniversary over, Andy and Ben and everyone on the team would like to take this moment to say a very special thanks.
“From that first tent-pole climbing high-wire act at Abbot Hall Park in Kendal a decade ago, we never believed it would turn into what it has. Thank you from the bottom of our hearts to every single person who has, by coming or contributing, made this festival with us.”
See you in the fields for another ten years.
Ian Taylor, Paul Whiteley,
Giulia Spadafora and
Words by Gavin Haynes. Web development by Andrew Kendall for Digital Photo Gallery. Art direction by Kris Atomic.