Monday, 04 June 2018 08:43

Keswick Mountain Festival 2018 - A day by day guide to highlights at the outdoor festival that kicks off the summer

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One of the UK’s best loved outdoor events is preparing to kick off the 2018 summer festival season in style. Keswick Mountain Festival (KMF) will welcome thousands of visitors to Cumbria 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, is the main base for this one-of-a-kind event, with the Lakeland fells providing a stunning backdrop.

The 12th Keswick Mountain Festival (KMF) will present another packed programme, with a huge range of activities and attractions from 8-10 June. Below are just a few highlights to look out for on each day. Places for events are limited, but tickets/entries are still available to book via

The Keswick Mountain Festival Village in 2015

The Festival Village on the National Trust’s Crow Park is the heart of Keswick Mountain Festival and will be open 8-10 June. Over the course of the three days the village will host a wide variety of thrilling taster activities for all of the family, including slacklining, zorbing and BMX displays, all new for 2018, as well as regular favourites including a climbing wall, orienteering, canoeing and archery. The Festival Village will also be the setting for two evenings of live music on the Subaru Stage, with wristband holders able to stay on site to enjoy headline sets by former Spice Girl Melanie C, and founding member of Joy Division and New Order Peter Hook, with his band The Light.

Melanie C 002

The Festival Village will also host a long list of exhibitors, including official retail partner Blacks Outdoor, the British Mountaineering Council (BMC) and Ordnance Survey, plus a wide range of food and drink outlets will be available with Timothy Taylor’s as the official bar sponsor, offering a variety of real ales and other refreshments. The sporting events will start and finish in the Festival Village, providing a great atmosphere for competitors and spectators alike. The village is free for everyone to enter during the daytime, allowing anyone to soak up the atmosphere. Visitors with festival wristbands can access most of the activities in the village, plus the Studio Talks, free of charge.

Friday 8 June

  • KMF Studio Talks (from 4:00pm) –in the Theatre by the Lake, the Friday schedule features renowned mountaineer Alan Hinkes and the man behind the #microadventures phenomenon, Alastair Humphreys (talks continue on Saturday and Sunday)
  • Live Music with Subaru (from 6:15pm) – Peter Hook and the Light will headline the KMF Subaru Stage, showcasing seminal tracks from the back catalogue of Joy Division and New Order, two of the UK’s best-loved bands. They will be supported by KMF ‘house band’ and fan favourites the Peatbog Faeries, plus Hugo Valentine and Jonny Oates Band
  • Talks and films in the Theatre by the Lake – an evening packed with inspiring trail and ultra-running films from around the globe, courtesy of part one of the 2018 Ledlenser Trails in Motion Film Festival (5:30pm), followed by a talk from round the world cycling record holder Mark Beaumont (7:00pm)
  • The Blacks Air Display (7:45pm, weather permitting) – a brand new attraction for the 2018 festival will see the Aerosparx aerobatic stunt display team and Osprey skydiving team take to the skies above Derwentwater and Crow Park, with a dramatic display of formation flying and parachuting.

The Osprey skydiving team who will perform in the KMF Blacks Air Display 002

Saturday 9 June

  • The Jack Wolfskin KMF 3 Peaks Challenge (from 8:00am) – new for 2018, walkers will follow a route from the Festival Village that covers 18 miles and almost 3,300 feet of ascent, taking in the iconic summits of Catbells, Walla Crag and Latrigg, before returning to Crow Park by 5:00pm, in good time for an evening of live music
  • Sprint Triathlon (formerly short) (8:00am) - a thrilling triathlon featuring some challenging ascents, descents and features - comprises a 400m swim, 18km cycle and 5km trail run
  • Restube The Long One Swim (9:45am) – new for 2018, this is a challenging 5km open water swim which takes in three laps around Derwent Island.
  • Back O’Skiddaw 70km Sportive (10:30am) – a cycling circuit to the quieter side of the Lake District National Park, which offers an exhilarating, occasionally hilly and beautifully scenic route, without having to negotiate the big Lakeland mountain passes
  • adidas Terrex 25k Trail Race (11:00am) – a beautiful, but challenging course takes runners around Derwentwater and the Borrowdale Valley with the Watendlath Valley thrown in for good measure.
  • adidas Terrex 5k Trail Race (multiple start times from 1:20pm) – suitable for all abilities and both junior and adult runners, this short and sharp run takes in some of the great local scenery
  • Live Music with Subaru (from 6:15pm) – former Spice Girl Melanie C will headline the KMF Live Music stage, supported by iconic 90s group The Farm and popular Blur tribute band Blurb, plus Mike Turnbull
  • Talks and Films in the Theatre by the Lake - an evening packed with inspiring trail and ultra-running films from across the globe courtesy of part two of the 2018 Ledlenser Trails in Motion Film Festival (5:30pm) followed by a talk from multiple World Ironman Champion Chrissie Wellington OBE (7:00pm)
  • The Blacks Air Display (7:45pm, weather permitting) – a brand new attraction for the 2018 festival will see the Aerosparx aerobatic stunt display team take to the skies above Derwentwater and Crow Park, with a dramatic display of formation flying.

Chrissie Wellington

Sunday 10 June

  • adidas Terrex 50k Trail Race Ultra (6:00am) – not for the faint-hearted, this challenging ultra takes in some of the best trails and views that the Watendlath, Borrowdale, Buttermere and Newlands valleys have to offer
  • Standard Triathlon (formerly long) (8:00am) – one of the toughest and most scenic triathlons in the UK, this event comprises a 1500m swim in the stunning, clear Derwentwater, a 36km cycle across two of the Lakeland Passes (Honister and Newlands) and a 10km run up a Lakeland fell (Walla Crag)
  • adidas Terrex 10k Trail Race (multiple start times from 9:00am - 12:00pm) – with a start halfway along Derwentwater that is reached by a boat ride (included in the entry price), the multi-terrain course takes runners through stunning scenery to a finish on Crow Park
  • Restube Twice Round the Island Swim (11:15am) – this challenging 3km open water swim will take participants from Crow Park and twice around Derwent Island
  • Restube Derwent Island Swim (2:00pm) – a classic feature in the Keswick Mountain Festival sporting line-up, the 1500m open water swim takes competitors out and around Derwent Island and then back in towards Crow Park
  • Trail Gear Sale (3:00pm) – this annual sale is an amazing opportunity to pick up outdoor kit bargains as Trail magazine empties its tardis-like gear cupboards to raise money for the BMC’s Mend Our Mountains campaign.

2013 Keswick Mountain Festival Triathlon 1

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.The 2018 Keswick Mountain Festival National Trust Appeal is called ‘The Great Gift of Freedom’. After the end of the First World War, Scafell Pike, Great Gable and 12 other summits in the Lake District were given to the National Trust to commemorate those who had fallen. 100 years on, the National Trust is rebuilding the memorial cairn on the summit of Scafell Pike and KMF is raising money to help do this, and to repair erosion damage on the paths on the 14 memorial mountains and other locations in the Lakes. Festival goers can make a donation when they purchase tickets online and money will also be raised throughout the weekend.

Keswick Mountain Festival is proud to work with four festival partners and many other sponsors, local businesses and tourism organisations to deliver an exciting and enjoyable visitor experience. KMF 2018 has Blacks Outdoor as retail partner, Subaru as live music partner, Timothy Taylor’s as official bar partner, and Trail Magazine as official media partner. At Keswick Mountain Festival for the first time this year will be the climbing, trail running, mountain biking and multi-mountain sports brand adidas TERREX, new sponsor of a series of 5K, 10K, 25K and 50K trail runs. Meanwhile, Jack Wolfskin is backing the festival's latest attraction - the Jack Wolfskin KMF 3 Peaks Challenge.

Keswick Mountain Festival is taking steps to reduce its environmental footprint where possible and one initiative this year will be the introduction of two drinking water refill points in the Festival Village. These will be sponsored by premium steel drinkware brand Earthwell, for which Keswick Mountain Festival marks its official UK launch. To find out more, visit, email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or call 03300 555 734. In the lead up to and throughout the festival, regular event updates will be shared by @KeswickFestival on Twitter and via