‘Kendal Calling’ Music Festival
Being a Festival Angel
Early in May an article in the Carlisle Diocese newsletter caught my eye asking for volunteers to help at Kendal Calling, the music festival near Lowther that attracts over 34000 visitors each year. Festival Angels, is a Christian group that provide support at Music Festivals across the country. The festivals are normally 3 days but I could only help for 1 day in late July. I’d never been to a festival!
I contacted Paul Blakey the founder of Festival Angels & Street Angels and completed the application forms; they then asked for references and I was then signed up. There was lots of information and procedures to read too.
Arriving at Kendal Calling at 830am on 29th July for my 12 hour rota I then met the other volunteers who were from all over the UK including Manchester and Leeds. There was a rota of over 15 people manning 4 stations across the site for 3 days acting as stewards mainly during the day and then at night supporting people who just needed to be in a safe place for a time or just to talk especially in all the rain as we did have 2 caravans!
It was good to talk to the other volunteers from across the country and find that people from many age groups and different backgrounds had been inspired to support Festival Angels as Christians who liked music and wanted to help other people.
We all had time off from our stewarding duties and were able to see different bands in venues across the site and have a good walk around the festival. It was great to work with people from other churches and just shows another way in which the church is reaching out to new people both young and old.
Now the next step is to find more volunteers from Cumbrian Churches for next year at Kendal Calling 2020!
Judith Mitchell - pictured below 4th from left!
Festival Angels had a stall at Creation Fest at the Royal Cornwall Showground. The aim was to promote the growing number of Festival Angels teams in Cornwall as well as the new Pirans Angels team in Newquay. The Boardmasters Festival Angels team were prayed for as part of the evening celebration on Tuesday. Several of the Festival Angels were able to get photos with some of the artists at Creation Fest including Wildwood Kin, Philippa Hanna, Josh Curnow and the CEO of Creation Fest Sarah Yardley.
On Tuesday night the team moved down to Boardmasters which was sadly cancelled at a few hours before the gates were to open due to 50mph winds forecast for the weekend. It was sad to see the main stage, big tops, marquees, catering vans, etc all begin to pack down and leave instead of 53,000 festival-goers streaming in to set up camp. Festival Angels joined the local Pirans Angels team on Wednesday to offer advice, travel guidance and support to those who had arrived in Newquay before the announcement was made. Most of the Festival Angels team had to leave on Thursday as the Boardmasters site was closing down leaving Pirans Angels to offer support and welfare on Thursday to Sunday nights as alternative Boardmasters parties were planned.
Festival Angels prays for those involved in running Boardmasters who had to make such a difficult decision and for the businesses on the site and in Newquay affected.
A Festival Angels team organised by Third Space Ministries was at Eastern Electrics in Morden. On Saturday they worked with Morden Baptist Church to welcome festival goers to Morden with free drinks, glitter face painting, DJs, prayer & a listening ear. On both days volunteers were at the festival site offering peace, love, support, safety, & encouragement to lots of festival goers through a safe place and detached teams.
The Jesus Plane is once again a feature at music festivals! Following on from last year when the message 'Jesus Loves Every 1 of U' was flown over many music festivals and events this year sees the message 'Jesus Calls Will U Follow'. The plane is sponsored by FlyJesus and is dubbed by thefestivals.uk as the Jesus Plane! thefestivals.uk have featured images and social media comments from all the festivals. Both Leeds Festival Angels and CNI Network have donated towards this unique and eye catching outreach. Visit FlyJesus on Facebook and watch out for them in the skies over the summer festivals!
Kendal Calling Festival Angels have featured in the Church in Cumbria The Way magazine - www.carlislediocese.org.uk/uploads/2814/the-way-summer-2019.pdf.html
Festival Angels busy start to season - CNI Network blog
How Festival Angels are helping festival visitors this summer in a Halifax community magazine:
Angels will be at Cornwall's biggest music festival - media release
Festival Angels were at Kendal Calling in the Lake District helping run safe hubs and detached teams in various camp sites. The amazing team went above and beyond to offer care and support to some of the 35,000 festival goers and staff. The weather turned wet on Saturday resulting in mud but dried up for Sunday which included a flypast from the 'Jesus Calls Will U Follow' banner plane. It is hoped to build on the work at Kendal Calling over the next years.