Preview: Kendal Calling 2018

Where? Lowther Deer Park, Cumbria

When? Thursday 26 – Sunday 29 July 2018

Who’s Headlining? The Libertines, Run DMC, Catfish & The Bottlemen

Who else is on? Hacienda Classical, Shed Seven, James, Ocean Colour Scene, White Lies, Peter Hook, and many more.

Brief History: In 2006 it began life as a two-day and 900 person capacity festival, but over the last decade has firmly established itself as one of the coolest and fastest growing smaller festivals around. Since its opening year, which was headlined by British Sea Power, Kendal Calling has attracted some of the biggest names in music. Snoop Dogg, Blondie, Public Enemy, Noel Gallagher and Elbow are just some of the names who have graced the main stage of Lowther Deer Park. Along with Y Not, it continues the battle to be the ‘best of the rest’ outside of the major UK Festivals.

Awards: Best Small Festival (2010, 2011). Best Medium Festival (2013, 2016). Best Toilets (2015).

How To Get There: 10 Minute drive from Junction 40 of the M6. Alternatively, 6 Miles from Penrith train station.

How to Get Tickets: Tickets are SOLD OUT for Kendal Calling 2018,  making it 13 times in a row the festival will be a full house.  If you have a weekend ticket (Friday-Sunday), be sure to fork out the little extra for the Thursday pass, always worth it for the extra day in the fields. Thursday passes available via

What We Said Last Year:

On Saturday’s carnival of light:

“Finally, the countries quirkiest and most amalgamating festival is up and running again. The rain lashes down as families and wide-eyed youths alike slither though the sludge, hunting high ground to set up camp. Anticipations rise with the mud levels as more and more pile into the sodden fields, all lusting for a daytime walk through the woodlands, or the pulsating rhythms that spill from the glow tent as darkness descends…”

Full Review of 2017

Sam’s Tips:

Main Stage: Obviously the main stage is housing some huge names over the weekend. James are famously great live performers, and with anthemic hits ranging from Sit Down to Say Something they shouldn’t be missed. However, one band hidden down the line up who will also grace centre stage are The Blinders. Likely to open the stage, it’s worth getting down early to see the Doncaster-turned-Manchester rockers. They’ve toured with Cabbage over the last year or two, and are now being recognised for their own live pedigree. Expect some wild eyeliner and an energetic performance. Don’t miss it.

Calling Out: Tom Grennan is surely the one to see in the ‘indie tent’ across the weekend. He’s graduated from ‘next big thing’ to impending superstar over the last year and this may be one of few chances to see him away from a main stage from now on. PINS will also perform in Calling Out, and the female four-piece are another who have earned their stripes on the live circuit over the last year or so, becoming more than capable at controlling any crowd.

Woodlands: Last year I tipped Mexrissey for the Woodlands stage, saying a Mexican Smiths tribute band summed up everything this quirky stage in the forest was all about. Going off that logic it makes full sense this year to recommend Elvana, a concept tribute band that imagines Elvis as the lead singer of Nirvana. I can’t suggest what it will possibly be like, but isn’t that part of the fun?

Tim Peak’s Diner: Keep an eye out for any secret sets over the weekend that may be happening in Tim Peak’s over the weekend. The likes of Pete Doherty have turned up there in its previous two years at the festival, and if you keep your eyes and ears open you may just stumble upon a gem.

House Party: Clint Boon will again be playing the House Party stage, and has bought the festival to a storming end in the early hours of Monday morning last two years. Away from Boon though, Alloa’s Vida will be playing to what is sure to be a packed out hut. These Gigslutz favourites are still relatively new on the scene, but with some cracking tunes behind them as well as a few great covers they will be well worth a watch.

Sam Wright

Sam Wright

Music Journalist, formally at MOJO Magazine. Black Country born, now mainly covering Birmingham and North-West England
Sam Wright

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