UKC

NEWS: Kendal Mountain Festival 2021 Report

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 UKC/UKH News 25 Nov 2021

The last couple of years have been seriously strange at times, with a significant element of social starvation. Whilst we're not out the woods as far as COVID is concerned, Kendal 2021 felt like something of a watershed moment in more ways than one.

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 Offwidth 25 Nov 2021
In reply to UKC/UKH News:

Thanks for that Rob. It is very similar to my experience this year: it was the best KMF I've seen in my decades of attendance.  I'd add a few other points and some more highlights.

It was great to see local food and drink providers back. The past problems were not the festival organisers fault but it's vital in the modern context of the festival that local is given priority.

The age profile was noticably a lot younger and more diverse this year, which was great to see, and I guess benefitted from there being a lot more excellent free events on those three stages. I also suspect many older regulars were (rightly) nervous about covid risk, it will be nice to see them back next year.

My favourite (by a smidgen) event at the festival was also hosted by you: Sarah Jane Dobner's sonic multimedia presentation on her book:  A Feeling for Rock, as part of the literature festival. I think it's creatively pointing out likely positive directions for the wider aspects of climbing in a way that echoes what Johnny Dawes once did for the future of dynamic movement on rock..... a more artistic look at some important and occasionally controversial issues.

As someone who was helping staff a stand (BMC...a big up to the superb team) it was very obvious the extra space really did benefit the exhibitors. People could actually move about this year, even in the busiest times! Yet there were some rumblings about cost... I'm not sure what can be done but it was a shame some lower budget commercial organisations didn't make it. They do keep an eye on good causes, on which subject my favourite stand, from an excellent bunch, was again Climbers against Cancer, for the wonderful attitude of the people. The people make a festival and it was wonderful chatting to everyone, from toddlers looking up at climbing heros and dressing up in old equipment for a photo,  to old friends, to the volunteers who made it run, and of course to my own heros (our stars are so accessible and friendly), to those who are very much part of our history but retain a youthful enthusiasm, and to some delighful surprises, including an enthusiastic Afghan female mountaineer refugee.

In reply to Offwidth:

> My favourite (by a smidgen) event at the festival was also hosted by you: Sarah Jane Dobner's sonic multimedia presentation on her book:  A Feeling for Rock, as part of the literature festival. I think it's creatively pointing out likely positive directions for the wider aspects of climbing in a way that echoes what Johnny Dawes once did for the future of dynamic movement on rock..... a more artistic look at some important and occasionally controversial issues.

My hope is that sessions such as this generate a bit of a following afterwards, based on feedback, word of mouth, and the fact you can catch-up on the sessions through the Kendal Player.

On that note, I did a bit of binge watching yesterday. Personal highlight was Torn, although it did break me. The same could also be said for Farewell to Adventure, which I hadn't see before. Between the two I felt like an emotional wreak by the end of the day!!

Post edited at 09:26

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