Cumbria Crack

Kendal Calling launch initiative to give away complete band kits to Cumbrian schools and community groups

The Kendal Calling festival has launched a major new initiative to support new musical talent in Cumbria.

The festival is giving away complete band kits – including everything from guitars to amps – to schools, colleges and community groups around the county in the run up to this year’s Kendal Calling in July.

It is hoped the equipment will allow teenagers to get their first experience of being a band or help community groups give people a chance to express themselves.

And festival director Andy Smith is hoping the ‘Win a Band’ promotion might help find future artists to feature at Kendal Calling.

The festival already supports many local bands such as Hardwicke Circus and mylittlebrother by showcasing them on its Yam Riot stage and now wants to support a new generation of Cumbrian talent.

“I’m sure there are lots of people out there that have the skills, but don’t have the tools so hopefully this can help get them off in the right direction,” said Andy, adding: “They’ll be lots of enthusiasm and talent in schools, but we’ve spoken to too many people who don’t have access to this kind of equipment.

“I was fortunate at the school I went to – Dallum in Milnthorpe – because we had one band kit and that led to us joining a band and me becoming a promoter. You can’t plan for these career paths but you can encourage them.”

Kendal Calling has firmly established itself after selling out thirteen years in a row and is said to be one of the highlights of the summer calendar, regularly picking up numerous awards including UK Festival Awards’ Best Medium Festival in 2016 and Marketing Campaign of The Year in 2018.

This year’s headliners include the Manic Street Preachers, Courteeners and Nile Rodgers, but it’s hoped that this initiative will increase the chances of a Cumbrian band featuring at the top of the bill at Cumbria’s biggest event in future years.

The ‘Win a Band’ promotion will be running through May and will give four schools, colleges and community groups the chance to receive a complete band set that includes guitars, drums – in fact everything needed to get started, right down to the drumsticks. Each band kit is worth over £1,000.

More details at

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