Thursday, 10 June 2021 13:14

Speaker line-up announced for 2021 Keswick Mountain Festival

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The 2021 Keswick Mountain Festival (KMF) speaker programme has been unveiled, marking three months until the start of the event.

Presented by Craghoppers and hosted in the Theatre by the Lake on Friday 10 and Saturday 11 September, the line-up includes big names who were due to appear in 2020, plus some new additions. Among them will be award-winning outdoor author and TV presenter Cameron McNeish and a panel including BAFTA award winning filmmaker Richard Else and ultra-runner Sabrina Verjee, for an evening dedicated to celebrating the Wainwrights.Tickets for the speaker sessions will be available from July.

Sabrina Verjee descending Gibson Knot on day one of her 2021 Wainwrights run with pacers John Kelly and Ben Turner copyright Steve Ashworth 002Sabrina Verjee descending Gibson Knot on day one of her 2021 Wainwrights run with pacers John Kelly and Ben Turner - copyright Steve Ashworth

Founded in 2007, Keswick Mountain Festival (KMF) is presented by title partner Land Rover and is now one of the UK’s best-loved outdoor festivals, attracting thousands of visitors to Cumbria. From 10-12 September, KMF will provide its unique mix of live entertainment, sporting events, outdoor adventures, high profile speakers, taster activities, exhibitor stands and camping for all of the family.

Located next to the Festival Village on Crow Park, the speaker programme in the Theatre by the Lake is always one of the most popular attractions at KMF, and is supported by leading outdoor brand Craghoppers. This year’s schedule will begin at 3:00pm on Friday 10 September, with a screening of ‘Life of a Mountain – Helvellyn’, . Following that, at 5:30pm, the Director will give a talk on his experiences in making the Life of a Mountain films.

At 7:45pm on the Friday, mountaineer, hillwalker and adventurer Cameron McNeish will take to the stage. Cameron is an award-winning author and television presenter and will share stories from his most recent book, ‘There’s Always the Hills’, and from his long career in the outdoors. Cameron has lived in the shadow of the Cairngorms for 45 years, but has always says that if he’s ever kicked out of Scotland, he would immediately head for Keswick, a place he loves with a passion, which will come to the fore during his presentation.

 Cameron on Suilven

On Saturday 11 September, the Theatre by the Lake programme will start at 1:00pm with a screening of the featurette film ‘Brave Enough’, which follows Jo Moseley’s 162-mile stand up paddleboard (SUP) journey from Liverpool to Goole along the Leeds Liverpool Canal and Aire & Calder Navigation. Jo also picked up litter along the way and raised money for the surf therapy charity The Wave Project and 2MinuteBeachClean Foundation. Visitors can look forward to being inspired by a film that documents the first SUP coast-to-coast adventure.

At 4:00pm, the theatre will host a ‘Women in Adventure’ talk. The audience will hear from Frit Sarita Tam, adventure filmmaker and photographer, and Elise Downing, runner, hiker and public speaker, about life in front of and behind the camera. 

The finale of the 2021 Keswick Mountain Festival speaker programme in the Theatre by the Lake will be a celebration of all things Wainwright related. In recent years, the 214 peaks identified by Alfred Wainwright in his seven-volume Pictorial Guide to the Lakeland Fells have made many headlines. Walkers and runners have broken various records and there have been numerous high-profile attempts at completing a continuous round. For many others, the enduring appeal of the Wainwrights is not related to how fast they are ticked off, but is simply about enjoying the experience of following in Alfred Wainwright's footsteps at whatever pace suits. Leading ultra-runner Sabrina Verjee is strongly associated with the Wainwrights. She completed a continuous round in under seven days in 2020 and was on course to set a fastest known time for a round earlier this year until the weather and asthma intervened. Sabrina will talk about her love of running on the fells and her unfinished business with the 214 peaks. She will be joined by BAFTA winning filmmaker Richard Else, who is the author of Wainwright Revealed, an account of his time working on the classic BBC TV series in the 1980s that featured Alfred Wainwright and Eric Robson. Richard will offer an insight into a man with whom he spent a lot of time on the hill.

Richard Else will speak during Keswick Mountain Festival 002Richard Else will speak during Keswick Mountain Festival

Tickets for the KMF speaker line-up will be available at www.keswickmountainfestival.co.uk from 26 July, by when organisers will be more confident about the capacity for indoor events. Visitors with weekend tickets and activity bands will be able attend the afternoon sessions for free (via a box office booking) and the cost is £5 for everyone else. Tickets for the evening sessions start at £10. To find out more about this year’s festival, visit www.keswickmountainfestival.co.uk or Facebook, email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., or follow @keswickfestival on Twitter and Instagram.