Keswick Mountain Festival to return with new look in 2024

The organisers of Keswick Mountain Festival have announced the return of the popular outdoor event for 2024.

Resuming its role in kicking off the summer season, the festival will run from 17-19 May and promises an immersive experience in the Lake District, with an emphasis on outdoor sports and activities, a line-up of inspirational speakers throughout the weekend, a showcase of established and up and coming live music acts, and plenty of food and drink options. The new look festival will also strive to make its Crow Park base as accessible as possible and is aiming to deliver a positive impact for the town of Keswick, and the surrounding area. Tickets will go on sale from Wednesday 8 November at www.keswickmountainfestival.co.uk.

Founded in 2007, Keswick Mountain Festival (KMF) has grown into one of the UK’s best-loved outdoor festivals, attracting thousands of visitors to Cumbria for its unique offer. KMF took a break this year and has used the time to review and refresh how the event will be delivered. The 2024 festival aims to be inspirational, inclusive, and sustainable, and to deliver truly positive impacts for those who attend or exhibit, the economy and residents of Keswick, and the wider Lakeland landscape within which it takes place.

Highlights at the 2024 Keswick Mountain Festival will be a bigger schedule of sporting events and outdoor activities, including a revised mountain run, schools’ duathlon, a new adventure race, trail runs from 5k to 50k, open water swims, two cycle sportive routes, and more hikes. Among the latter, the popular Keswick 3 Peaks Challenge will be led out by 3 Dads Walking as a fundraiser for the suicide prevention charity Papyrus.

3 Dads Walking will also feature in a packed programme of speakers at Keswick Mountain Festival. Other speakers who will appear over the weekend will be Chrissie Wellington, Timmy Mallett, Sean Conway, Alastair Humphries, Mel Nicholls, Cameron McNeish, Alan Hinkes, Louise Minchin, James Forrest, Jamie Aarons, Nicky Spinks and Black Trail Runners. More names will be added in the months ahead.

For 2024, KMF will take a new approach to live music on the Friday, Saturday and Sunday. On the first two days, there will be a full programme of acts from around the UK appearing on two new stages – the Big Top and the Band Stand – from early afternoon through into the evening on each day. For the first time, there will also be live music during the day on Sunday, on the Band Stand. The full line-up will offer a wide variety of musical styles, combining established local artistes with up and coming performers.

As in the past, the Festival Village in Crow Park will be at the heart of KMF. As well as hosting the sports events and outdoor activities, speakers and live music, the village will be home to a wide range of exhibitors and taster activities, along with food and drink. In recent years, KMF has put a big focus on accessibility and inclusion, and that will continue in 2024.

Keswick Mountain Festival aspires to make a positive impact, both to the Lake District landscape in which it operates and for the community in Keswick. KMF will team up with the event’s official charity the National Trust, to support a ‘Fix the Fells’ project on Catbells, which provides a dramatic backdrop for the festival. Festival organisers aim to raise £10,000 per year, which will cover the annual cost for the Catbells conservation work. Teaming up with venues and stakeholders in Keswick, plans are being developed to integrate aspects of the festival into the town, especially the evening programme. Live music on Crow Park will stop at 9:00pm on the Friday and Saturday, so that the ‘after party’ can continue in restaurants and bars throughout Keswick, boosting the benefits for the local economy.

Nicola Meadley, KMF director, comments: “It was a big call to take a break from the full multi-sport festival this year, but it gave us the ideal opportunity to take a deep look at what we want this event to be in the longer term. Keswick Mountain Festival is very special to us and to many visitors who share our love of this wonderful part of the world and the outdoors in general. We took the time to reflect on all of that and on the changing nature of big events.

“There are now new and very different challenges involved in delivering a festival like ours in a responsible and sustainable way. We’re really excited about how we’re tackling those head on, in a way that still offers all of the aspects that our regular visitors tell us they love so much, and more. It’s going to be a vibrant, multi-faceted and inclusive event for everyone, and we can’t wait to welcome everyone back next May.”

All of the latest information about the 2024 Keswick Mountain Festival will be added to www.keswickmountainfestival.co.uk and tickets will be available there from 1:00pm on Wednesday 8 November, including an option to donate to Fix the Fells with each purchase. Find the event on Facebook or follow @keswickfestival on X and Instagram for the latest news and information.

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