This was my second Kendal Calling but sadly will probably be the last.
I loved last year's festival! Fantastic vibe, great music, lots of other things to see and do. But this year I did see a huge decline in a lot of things, not just the general atmosphere but the support from the festival, on-site facilities and value for money.
Firstly, not once did I see any campsite staff. The toilets in the campsite were atrocious (I understand that's got a lot to do with the people that use them), and the state of the campsite was awful! I thought we were supposed to have festival crew on site but the only ones I saw we're the car park crew, main festival gate and about 100 people at the arena entrance intent on stopping people from sneaking a can or two in. I thought the campsite crew were supposed to be dishing out recycling bin bags etc., but didn't see anyone handing these out or any recycling bags at all. I always take bin bags with me to tidy our camp up but other than that the place was a total shit tip.
The vibe just didn't feel right to me either. Maybe it's my age, the weather (or both), and I can't put my finger on it at all but it wasn't as friendly or chilled as last year.
And value for money is non-existent unfortunately. I appreciate the festival has to make money and I too have probably been spoilt by Glastonbury, but they seem to charge for absolutely everything! Arriving on Thursday, clean toilets (or posh privvy's if you want to be technical), showers, programmes at £10 a pop which were pretty pitiful (just have a free app please), leaving and re-entering the car park etc. The food and drink was expensive (I know there are cheaper food stalls around the site), and the difference between the festival trying to stop people sneaking a few cans of cider in, compared to them trying to help people in the car parks/campsites/on the route to the arena (it was so dangerous given the weather) was unbelievable.
I'm not usually a miserable cow but after last year's KC (I told anyone that would listen what a great little festival it is), I was really sad to see such a massive difference. I truly hope it improves in the future, it really could be a fantastic festival again.