The event had been postponed in 2020 due to the pandemic and then moved from its traditional May date to September this year. Despite the disrupted build-up, thousands of visitors turned up to enjoy three days of live entertainment, sporting events, outdoor adventures, high profile speakers, taster activities, exhibitor stands and camping. Many people also spent time and money in the town centre, and booked accommodation nearby, providing a timely boost to the local economy.
Presented by Land Rover, the 14th Keswick Mountain Festival (KMF) delivered a packed programme, with its main base on National Trust owned Crow Park on the shore of Derwentwater, and a schedule of speaker sessions in the Theatre by the Lake. Two nights of live outdoor music saw big crowds enjoy high octane performances by the likes of Bad Manners, Republica and Space, while over 4,000 signed up to take part in the festival’s various outdoor and sports events, including triathlons, open water swims, trail runs, cycling, and hiking challenges.
The Festival Village was home to a wide variety of exhibitors, food and drink outlets, free speaker sessions at the Craghoppers Tent Talks, and taster activities. New for 2021 was the KMF Accessibility Zone. Supported by United Utilities and developed in partnership with not-for-profit company Experience Community, the zone included special features, exhibitors and activities, developed to make the festival more accessible and welcoming to visitors with disabilities. The National Trust is the festival’s official charity partner and visitors to the event were encouraged to make donations to assist the trust’s conservation work in the area.
Cllr Alan Dunn, Mayor of Keswick, commented: “It was wonderful to see the festival back in Keswick this weekend. The whole town was buzzing, with many locals taking part in sporting events, enjoying the live music and shopping in the Festival Village. The quality of the bands was superb and it was great to see people dancing again. The COVID safe measures and environmental initiatives were really appreciated by all visitors too.”
Lucy Speakman, from trail run sponsor adidas TERREX, added: “We are thrilled to once again be back in Keswick to celebrate the beauty that can be found on the trails and as a key partner of Keswick Mountain Festival. It was great to see so many take part in the races throughout the weekend and genuinely benefit and enjoy coming together once again.”
Richard Smith, exhibitor and event supporter Fenix Outdoor, commented: “It’s been so great to be able to chat with customers once again with Hanwag, Primus and Royal Robbins at this year’s Keswick Mountain Festival. Thanks so much to the festival team, the exhibitors and all of the participants for making it a great success – there was such a good buzz around the whole of the event.”
Nicola Meadley, festival director, adds: “It felt like an awfully long time since we’d all gathered together, but the return of Keswick Mountain Festival was joyous and it was brilliant to welcome so many happy people back to this wonderful location. There was a buzz everywhere and our visitors, volunteers, exhibitors, performers and event partners were all clearly delighted to be back at an event.”
Plans are now well underway for the 2022 Keswick Mountain Festival, which will return to May and is scheduled to run from 20-22 May. For the latest information about KMF, visit www.keswickmountainfestival.co.uk, find the event on Facebook, or follow @keswickfestival on Twitter and Instagram.