There were some enforced disruptions to the programme, but event organisers worked hard to minimise those and visitors were rewarded with a storming set by live music headliner KT Tunstall on Saturday evening, in the best weather of the weekend.
Despite the weather Saturday's program of talks around Festival Village were well attended: The Meek Family continue to spread their message of adventure for all
Saturday saw the best of the weather
On Sunday, high winds with gusts up to 50mph, forced the event organisers to close the Festival Village on Crow Park and cancel the open water swimming events. Despite this, all other festival sporting events over the weekend went ahead, including trail races, triathlons, aquathlons (swim-run events), a cycling sportive and junior races. Most of the rest of the festival programme also proceeded as planned.
Nicola Meadley, Keswick Mountain Festival director, comments:
“We know that we can’t control the weather, so always have contingency plans ready in case of challenging conditions, to ensure the safety of everyone involved. Overall, those plans worked very well and we were able to minimise changes to the schedule, though unfortunately the high winds did have an impact on Sunday. Visitors, sports event participants and exhibitors were really understanding and patient, and we’re very grateful to them for that. And I want to pay tribute to all of our team and the many volunteers, who responded brilliantly in some very difficult circumstances.
“Despite all of the challenges thrown at us by the weather, thousands of people clearly had a great time at this year’s Keswick Mountain Festival. There was a fantastic atmosphere in Crow Park for both nights of live music and once again we brought a large number of visitors from around the country to Keswick for the weekend.”
Following the enforced closure of the Festival Village the organisers issued a statement on social media:
Message from Team KMF
Thank you to everyone who came to the festival this year, we had two great days but today was not without its challenges!
If you were affected by the closure of the festival village, cancellations/changes to sporting events or cancelled outdoor activities we apologise for the inconvenience and we thank you for your patience as we worked to give you the best experience possible, where it was safe to do so.
...If your sporting event was cancelled you are either eligible to a free place next year or a refund. It will take a couple of days to process and you should keep an eye out for an email from us.
Unfortunately we had to alter the trail race finish area at the last minute to ensure a safe environment for competitors. We appreciate that this may led to some discrepancies with timings and we are working very closely with Results Base on this. We will endeavour to have the correct timings online as soon as possible.
Not opening our festival village is not a decision we took lightly, but having experienced wind speeds gusting over 50mph overnight, and through today, our priority first and foremost was the well-being of everyone who would have been onsite and we therefore had no choice but to keep the festival village closed as we would have been unable to ensure public safety. If you had booked an outdoor activity that was cancelled you will be eligible for a refund and we will be in touch shortly.
The decision to move the festival to June was taken after careful consultation with the town of Keswick and with the long-term future of the festival at its heart - although it doesn’t appear like a good decision today! - we still believe that holding the event later in the year will allow us to deliver the best festival we can for Keswick and everybody who loves the outdoors.
We will be back, we hope you will be too.
In light of recent events in Manchester and London the Festival saw increased security with bag checks on entry and an armed Police presence for the large evening crowds
Advance ticket sales for events at this year’s Keswick Mountain were significantly up on 2016, with increased capacity on the sporting events. There was also unprecedented interest in the live music, which, along with KT Tunstall, featured Cast, The Christians, The Peatbog Faeries, Noasis, Absent Average and local acts Lee Hawker and Erin Collins. Big name speakers in the Theatre by the Lake included Sir Chris Bonington, Alan Hinkes, Nicky Spinks, Jasmin Paris and Lauren Steadman. The dedicated festival campsite was bigger than ever and the Festival Village was packed with exhibitors, taster activities and food and drink outlets. Money was raised throughout the event for the National Trust, the festival’s official charity partner.
Noasis on stage
The 2017 Keswick Mountain Festival was backed by several event sponsors and partners: Blacks was retail partner, Timothy Taylor’s was official bar sponsor and Salomon was 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 trail races. In addition, Peugeot sponsored the music stage, Blacksticks sponsored the triathlons and Trail magazine was once again on board as a festival media partner.
To find out more about the event, visit www.keswickmountainfestival.co.uk, or follow the festival on social media - @KeswickFestival on Twitter and Instagram, and at www.facebook.com/KeswickMountainFestival.