Kendal Calling 2012 reviewed by: Nic, Rob, Lily, and Evan (aged 5 and 7)
Weather: Warm during the day, cold at night, mostly dry.
Setting up and Arriving: We arrived eagerly at 9am with two very excited children. The queue was enormous, almost like they weren’t expecting any guests! Finally got into site three and a half hours later – the organisation was really bad, not enough gates, not enough stewards.
Not too far to carry stuff, a 5-10 minute walk, luckily I had borrowed a sack truck from work which proved to be a lifesaver and we ended up lending it to another family too. Found the family camping and set up tent, all good. Went to ‘explore’ the arena, came back early evening to find that there was clearly not enough camping space, tents virtually on top of one another, and young ravers camped in with the families – not their fault but there just was obviously no where else to camp. This was early evening and quite a lot of families were wandering round the campsite unable to find anywhere to pitch their tent. Eventually another field was opened, too late though.
Entertainment: Bands were excellent. Children’s activities thin on the ground. Basically just a ladybird tent, but they were great as always, so the kids spent most of their time in there. There were not really enough activities to keep kids going for a whole weekend. There were some funfair rides, so obviously we spent a small fortune on those too.
What improvements would I make? More toilets and to be cleaned more often, especially with children, they can’t queue for 30mins. More space available for camping and a proper family camping area. More stuff for kids to do. It was a great festival (for adults) but if they are marketing themselves as family friendly then improvements need to be made.
Top Tips: I wouldn’t take young children to this festival again, unless they decide to gear it more towards families.
Site and Facilities: Not enough toilets. By the first day they were overflowing. We have been going to festivals for 18 years so we are not softies by any means, but these loos were among the worst I’ve seen. Easy to get around the site, no problems there. Phone coverage good as I recall.
Security and safety? I think security were a bit over zealous at the gate on the way in on the first day, leading to a 3-4 hour q to get in. Apparently they were checking the amount of alcohol people were bringing in. The crowds were intimidating at times, a lot of groups of men/women getting leathered, I have nothing against that but it just means its probably not ideal for families.
Would I go again? Yes, but only without the kids.
Most memorable moment? James on the Sunday night.