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Festivals Britannia panel, Lost Eden glade, Kendal Calling festival, 31 July

In woods behind the main stage a new feature of the festival, called Lost Eden. Music, spoken word, art installations, and talks. On one stage, the Carvetti, Festivals Britannia featured Croissant Neuf’s Rob Scully, Glastonbury’s General Counsel Ben Challis, and Dr Emma Webster, with me as chair. Here are some of the questions we talked about, and some photos, of the panel, the fine stage and setting, the audience.

  • KC 2015 signsIs festival utopian, a special place, temporary better world? How does the location of a festival contribute pleasure / meaning?
  • Is there a politics of festival? Are festivals sustainable (environmentally)? I’m thinking of the images of rubbish left behind after Glastonbury this year …
  • Is the pop festival actually about the music—or is it about us, audience, participants? Are some forms of music more suitable than others?
  • Can festival feel a bit, well, you know, boring, same as last year? We hear annually in press about ‘The Death of Festival’. Same headliners at different festivals—and can we even get suitable headline acts nowadays?
  • 60 years of festival—any ideas about how it can renew itself, about the future of festival? A notable cross-generational success story, old and young together?
  • In the popular imaginary festival is: Toilets. Mud. A dirty pleasure. Discuss.

audience gathers at Carvetti, Kendal Calling 2015   Carvetti stage, lo-res Kendal Calling 2015, whole panel   Carvetti stage close-up, Kendal Calling 2015


And, from the Kendal Calling 2015 gallery, a photo by festival photographer Tom Martin:

Kendal Calling 2015, GM lo-res