The Lake District's biggest celebration of the great outdoors is set to kick off the 2017 summer festival season in style.
Keswick Mountain Festival will welcome thousands of visitors to Cumbria between Thursday, June 8 and Sunday, 11 with its unique mix of live music, sporting events, outdoor adventures, high-profile speakers, taster activities, exhibitor stands and camping for all of the family to enjoy.
The picturesque shores of Derwentwater provide the main base for this one-of- a-kind event, with the Lakeland fells providing a stunning backdrop.
The 11th Keswick Mountain Festival will present the event’s busiest programme yet, with a huge range of activities and attractions.
Many events are now sold out, but places are still available on some - visit www.keswickmountainfestival.co.uk for availability and to book.
The festival will kick off on June 8 with the KMF Schools Triathlon for local primary schools, which will be held in two sessions in Fitz Park, starting at 9am and 1pm. The event’s Festival Village will be open on Crow Park from the Friday to Sunday. Access to the site is free during the day on Friday and Saturday, but will be restricted to ticket holders for the live music from around 5pm on both evenings.
Live music will take place on the evenings of Friday and Saturday, from 6pm until 10:30pm each night.
Britpop icons Cast will be the headline name on the Friday night. The Liverpool band, who had a string of Top 10 chart hits in the 90s, will be playing a greatest hits set that includes songs such as Sandstorm and Guiding Star.
Festival favourites The Peatbog Faeries, teenage covers duo Absent Average, and experienced local singer-songwriter Lee Hawker also appear on the first night of live music.
Saturday will see young solo artist Erin Collins get things under way on the main stage, with Oasis tribute band Noasis, and acclaimed chart act The Christians all appear before headliner KT Tunstall rounds out the musical line-up in the evening - the Scottish-born performer playing her best-known tracks, including Suddenly I See, Hold On, and Saving My Face.
Tickets for both nights can be bought by those living locally from George Fisher at a reduced price and will also be available on the door. Weekend tickets and concert tickets for non-locals can be bought from the website www.keswickmountainfestival.co.uk
As with the music, the programme of speakers is spread over the Friday and Saturday.
Two record-breaking runners share the stage at the Theatre by the Lake on Friday at 4.30pm; Nicky Spinks and Jasmin Paris discuss their staggering fell-running achievements, including their own Bob Graham Round successes of 2016.
World champion paratriathlete Lauren Steadman appears at 6.30pm, giving an insight into her three Olympic games appearances and world titles - all achieved aged just 24.
Saturday's programme begins with a talk from artist Andy Beck, at 4pm, who followed in the footsteps of Alfred Wainwright with his 10-year project to produce a watercolour sketch of each of the 1,500 illustrations drawn by the master fellwalker in his A Pictorial Guide to the Lakeland Fells books.
At 6.30pm there will be an appearance from arguably the UK's best-known mountaineer, Chris Bonington, telling the extraordinary and very personal story of a life time of discovery, and at 8.30pm, Alan Hinkes OBE and award-winning filmmaker Terry Abraham discuss the production of their latest documentary, introduced by Trail magazine editor Simon Ingram.
Choose Cumbria will be speaking in the Adventure Tipi on Saturday at 11am to tell visitors how they can achieve the perfect work/ life balance with a career in Cumbria.
Five fun family activities
Ice Climbing – KONG Adventure will be offering instructed sessions in the indoor Ice Climbing Wall on Thursday, at 11.30am and 2.30pm.
Taster sessions – a wide range of activities, such as climbing walls, a Freedrop Tower and a Bike Airbag, and a schedule of Adventure Tipi Talks with Keen, including leading fell runner Ricky Lightfoot talking about balancing work, life and his sporting adventures (Friday 3.45pm), and TV presenter Mary-Ann Ochota (Saturday 11.45am).
Beginner’s Navigation – an opportunity to learn essential hill skills from the experts (Friday and Saturday at 10am).
Moonlit Canoeing – enjoy a unique canoeing experience on Derwent water. Beginning in the evening, as dusk falls the glow sticks come out and riders glide through the water. A fire is waiting on the shore, along with hot chocolate and marshmallows to rewards the evening’s efforts (Friday and Saturday at 8pm)
Catamaran – a great way for all of the family to experience sailing on Derwentwater available at various times on Friday, Saturday and Sunday.
Three extreme adventure events
Via Ferrata: Xtreme – a system of metal ladders, rungs and the longest known wire bridge in Europe, take you up the side of a mountain, with spectacular and mesmerising views and challenges along the way (Thursday at 10am)
Back O' Skiddaw Sportive - the 70km cycle race takes you on a fantastic circuit to the quieter side of the Lake District National Park, and provides an exhilarating, occasionally hilly and beautifully scenic route without having to negotiate the big Lakeland mountain passes (Saturday at 10.30am)
Salomon Ultra 50k - the ultra marathon trail race is graded "very hard" for a reason: you do not need to be an elite runner to compete, but you must have completed a marathon distance at least over hilly terrain and technical paths before entering (Sunday at 6am)
Camping and parking
The KMF campsite is on Springs Farm as in previous years. This year there will be a 'no waiting' order on Springs Road to stop people parking on the road between Thursday June 8 and Monday 12.
Lake Road will be closed from the roundabout during the day on Saturday and Sunday, and tickets for the car park will be sold to competitors in advance only.
There will be a no waiting order on the B5289 during this time to help prevent traffic congestion around the roundabout.
Disabled parking bays will be available in Lakeside Car Park all day on Friday. If you need disabled parking or drop off for the festival over the weekend, please contact the event organisers on email@example.com
A new temporary car park on Borrowdale Road (opposite the National Trust offices at Bow Barn) will be open on Friday, Saturday and Sunday. Tickets for this car park can be booked in advance via the festival website and will be available to buy on the day.
Bus routes that serve Keswick include: Penrith to Workington X4, X5; Lakeslink 554, 555, 556; The Caldbeck Rambler 73, 73A; and The Borrowdale Rambler 78.
For a full programme, plus ticket booking and to enter events, visit www.keswickmountainfestival.co.uk
Find out more about events in Cumbria from Cumbria Live.
Main photo: Stuart Holmes
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