Cumbria Crack

Lakes Alive thundered and howled

Thunder drummers © Chris Lever

This year’s Lakes Alive festival started with a bang last Friday evening at their annual Jacob’s Join – a popular start to a weekend of spectacular happenings as hundreds of people gathered on Abbot Hall green to meet up with friends, share some food and get up and dance with strangers.

The audience grew as Thunder –  80 community drummers joined the party from different locations – making quite a spectacle. Then, to the rhythm of the drums, everyone started their noisy procession up to Kendal Castle. By the time Chorus, a giant kinetic sculptures, began its spinning chorus over a thousand people had paraded up the hill.

Wolves pack ©Chris Lever
Chorus Castle Hill © Chris Lever

A magnificent weekend of laughter, dance and thoughtful contemplation continued as thousands more enjoyed the Lakes Alive programme of events throughout Kendal and beyond into the Lakeland landscape.

Abbot Hall Park hosted a lively programme of dance, music and theatre. Local dance company AboutTime Dance celebrated the achievement of 50,000 women marching from Carlisle to London to fight to gain the vote. The Laundry Ladies from Amsterdam transformed the park into a world of linen, mayhem and washing powder, leaving the audience entertained and a little wet! And if that wasn’t enough, a pack of Wolves ended their four day trek with a communal howl in the park!

Laundry XL © Chris Lever

The weekend has certainly entertained, but it also have given moments of reflective contemplation. A giant show box appeared in the town centre and invited people to Walk a Mile in Someone-else’s Shoes giving an intimate insight into the lives of strangers; a silent audience followed All at Sea as a man rowed along under his own storm and visitors added to a giant cardboard townscape in Home Again – reflecting on the importance of place.

To find out more about the work commissioned by Lakes Alive or if you were there and would like to leave some views on the weekend – go to

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