One of the UK’s best loved outdoor events is preparing to kick off the 2017 summer festival season in style. Keswick Mountain Festival (KMF) will welcome thousands of visitors to Cumbria this weekend 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 beautiful shores of Derwentwater, on the edge of Keswick in the heart of the Lake District National Park, provide the main base for this one-of-a-kind event, with the Lakeland fells providing a stunning backdrop.
Keswick Mountain Festival has four key festival sponsors and many other partners, local businesses and tourism organisations to deliver an exciting and enjoyable visitor experience. KMF 2017 sees Blacks as retail partner, Peugeot as live music partner and Timothy Taylor’s as official bar sponsor. Meanwhile Salomon is on board for the second year running, this time sponsoring the hike programme, featuring over a dozen guided walks, as well as the 50km, 25km, 10km and 5km KMF Trail races.
The Keswick Mountain Festival’s official charity is the National Trust and the event is helping to raise funds towards repairing the lakeshore paths around Derwentwater as well as other vital conservation work near Keswick. KMF has teamed up with Visit Andorra to run a charity hike challenge during the festival, on a choice of high or low level routes that circumnavigate the lake. Everyone who tackles the self-guided waymarked walks will get a route map and certificate and 50% of the £10 cost will be donated to the National Trust. They will start at various times on the Friday, Saturday and Sunday of the festival.
The hub of KMF activity will be the Festival Village on the National Trust’s Crow Park, open 9-11 June, which is free for everyone to enter during the daytime. All of the sporting events will start and finish at the Festival Village, providing a great atmosphere for competitors and spectators alike. Visitors with festival wristbands can access most of the activities in the village free of charge and can stay on the site to enjoy the live music on the Friday and Saturday evenings.
The 11th Keswick Mountain Festival (KMF) will present the event’s busiest programme yet, with a huge range of activities and attractions from 8-11 June. Many events are now sold out, but places are still available on some, visit www.keswickmountainfestival.co.uk for availability and to book.
Here are the highlights to look out for on each day:
Thursday 08 June
- Ice Climbing (11:30am and 2.30pm) – KONG Adventure will be offering instructed session in the indoor Ice Climbing Wall
- Via Ferrata Xtreme (10am) – a chance to take part in a high flying, adrenaline filled adventure. Participants will make their way through Honister pass all the way up to Fleetwith Pike gaining stunning views over the Lake District using a system of metal ladders, rungs and possibly the longest Burma bridge in Europe
- Schools Triathlon (9:00am and 1:00pm) – waves of local schoolchildren tackle a short triathlon in the town.
Friday 09 June
- Beginner’s Navigation (10:00am) – an opportunity to learn essential hill skills from the experts (also running at the same time on Saturday 10 June)
- Windsurfing (10:30am) – taster sessions suitable for beginners from qualified instructors (also takes place 12:30pm and 3:30pm on Saturday 10 June)
- Festival Village (from 10:00am) – a wide range of taster activities (e.g. climbing walls, ‘Freedrop Tower’ and ‘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 (3:45pm)
- KEEN TrailFit workout for women (3:00-4:00pm and at the same time on Saturday and Sunday) – an outdoor fitness session designed for women, that will start outside the KEEN tent next to the Adventure Tipi and head for the trails, led by endurance athlete and adventurer Laura Kennington
- Live music with Peugeot (from 6:15pm) – 90s Britpop stars Cast headline the KMF Live Music stage with iconic tracks and new material. They will be supported by KMF ‘house band’ and fan favourites the Peatbog Faeries, plus Lee Hawker and Absent Average
- Following feedback after last year’s festival, bar capacity and staffing has been doubled for 2017. Along with two Timothy Taylor’s bars – the Mountain Hut Bar and Lakeside Bar, a third bar will open near the stage viewing area when the live music starts, helping concert goers have easy access to refreshments
- Sports Evening in the Theatre by the Lake – hear from premier sportswomen Jasmin Paris and Nicky Spinks (4:30pm) and world champion paratriathlete Lauren Steadman (6:30pm).
Saturday 10 June
- Sporting events:
- Borrowdale 10 (7:00am) – an opportunity to take part in a challenging 10-peak, 11-hour walk
- KMF Charity Hike Challenge sponsored by Visit Andorra (9:00am) – a circumnavigation of Derwent Water with high and low-level routes available (also available 10:00am Friday 09 June and 9:00am Sunday 11 June)
- Moonlit Canoeing (8:00pm) – a unique canoeing experience at sunset (also available at the same time on Friday 09 June)
- Festival Village (from 10:00am) – a wide range of taster activities (e.g. climbing walls, ‘Freedrop Tower’, ‘Bike Airbag’) and a schedule of Adventure Tipi Talks with Keen, including TV and radio presenter and BMC Ambassador Mary-Ann Ochota on why she will never climb Everest (11:45am)
- Festival retail partner Blacks will run a retail store in the Festival Village with 20% off clothing, footwear, tents, equipment and camping accessories from some of the world’s biggest outdoor brands, plus activities, competitions and giveaways
- Mountain Evening in the Theatre by the Lake with Andy Beck (4:00pm) and mountaineering legends Sir Chris Bonington (6:30pm) and Alan Hinkes OBE (8:30pm)
- Live Music with Peugeot (from 6:15pm) – another varied line-up, including big name artists KT Tunstall and The Christians
Sunday 11 June
- Catamaran (10:30am and 12:30pm) – a great way for all of the family to experience sailing on Derwentwater (also available at various times on Friday 09 June and Saturday 10 June)
- Ghyll Scrambling (9:00am and 12:30pm) – a fun and exhilarating activity featuring fun challenges including sliding down a waterfall. This activity is especially suited to groups (also available at 9:00am, 12:30pm and 3:30pm on Friday 09 June and Saturday 10 June)
- Elevenses with Sir Chris Bonington (11:00am) – taking place in the Berghaus Adventure Hub, a chance to ask Sir Chris burning questions about his phenomenal mountaineering career over a cup of tea – just pop to the hub in advance and confirm a place
- Sporting events:
- Festival Village (from 10:00am) – a wide range of taster activities (e.g. climbing walls, ‘Freedrop Tower’, ‘Bike Airbag’) and a schedule of Adventure Tipi Talks with Keen
- The now traditional Trail kit sale (3:00pm) – 100% of the money spent will be donated to Mountain Rescue.