Cumbria Crack
Arts

Success for Lakes Alive festival

Shipping Forecast photo by Pete Carr

[T]housands of people attended the weekend’s Lakes Alive festival which brought amazing art, activities and performance to Kendal.

A major highlight was Pete Johnson’s Shipping Forecast at Kendal Castle. This was an outstanding success, visited by thousands of people between Friday and Sunday.

One little girl was overheard saying: “It’s a hill full of shooting stars. I love it.”

Hundreds of people gathered to watch the sun go down and the lights start to illuminate the hill, gently catching the breeze.

Another spectator said they had “never seen Kendal look so beautiful” and it made them want to come to the castle to watch the moon rise more often. The piece really caught the imagination of the town.

On Friday night pouring rain did not dampen spirits. The Jacob’s Join was attended by more than 800 people who brought food to share and danced to Mazurka’s ceilidh.

Spark! gathered more hardy partygoers as they led a huge procession up to Kendal Castle to get first glimpse of Shipping Forecast.

The audacious Keep, which appeared on the Saturday, was a huge draw for visitors. A group of fell walkers even diverted their route to see the piece by Steve Messam.

Lakes Alive also saw vast numbers visiting the Open Studios at The Factory, Shakespeare Centre, Brewery Arts Centre and Abbot Hall Park.

Dance acts Folk Dance Remixed and AbouTime Dance wowed crowds, as did dozens of other music and sound installations.

Phillippa Haynes, Festival Director said: “It was wonderful weekend. I take my hat off to our audience especially on Sunday for braving the horrible weather. But nothing seems to put them off joining the party!

“We brought fantastic work to Kendal and the people responded brilliantly. We’ve been thrilled by the response and feedback. The procession up to Kendal Castle was a special moment that people will remember for years.”

Lakes Alive was also a celebration of World Heritage Site Status for the Lake District National Park.

Lakes Alive would like to thanks its partners, funders, artists, crew, volunteers and audience for making the festival possible.

Funding comes from Arts Council England, Lake District National Park, South Lakeland District Council, Cumbria Country Council and Kendal BID.

A legacy of this year’s Lakes Alive is the creation of an amazing walkscape: To Travel and To Matter.

This is located in Grasmere and is available to take part in for the next three years.

Powerfully fusing music, sound and voices, and inspired by the history and topography of the location, To Travel and To Matter uses Strijbos & van Rijswijk’s digital app Walk With Me.

People can download the app and at their own pace walk through the hills above Grasmere listening and experiencing the landscape in a totally new way.

One visitor who experienced to Travel and To Matter during Lakes Alive said: “If only I could draw the shape of it…But even then it is your own walk to make. This is international class.”

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