Disappointed that you missed out on Kendal Calling tickets this year? The popular festival at Lowther Deer Park was an almost instant sell-out, and has come a long way since its humble beginnings in 2006 when the festival featured local bands in the park in the centre of Kendal. Worry not, because you can still enjoy some fantastic live music in the amphitheatre of the Cumbrian fells, with a large number of music festivals taking place throughout the summer.

Whether you prefer Country or Classical, Dubstep or Folk, there is something to suit everyone’s tastes. Whilst some are established events, many others are small, little-known events with room to grow. Who knows, maybe one of them will be the next Glastonbury or Leeds.

Keswick Mountain Festival

Keswick Mountain Festival 2017

The Keswick Mountain Festival is a celebration of the great outdoors, and brings together live music, guest speakers, and a plethora of outdoor activities to try. Headlining 2017's year’s festival are KT Tunstall and 90’s Britrock group Cast. A range of ticket options is available, including for individual activities, concerts and weekend tickets with camping. But don’t leave it too late, as this festival is just around the corner and tickets are selling fast.

Read More: Five Things You Won’t Want to Miss at the Keswick Mountain Festival

Cockermouth Live

Cockermouth Live 2017

Each summer the small town of Cockermouth on the western edge of the Lake District comes alive with performances on the street, in the theatre, and in cafés, restaurants and bars throughout the town. There are even performances taking place in Wordsworth House – the birthplace of William Wordsworth and National Trust property. 2017's festival features performances by renowned saxophonist Snake Davis, as well as a talk by former Radio 1 DJ and journalist, Andy Kershaw. There are free brewery and castle tours, free performances by local bands from a huge range of genres and story-telling sessions for children.

Music on the Marr

Music on the Marr 2017

The small village of Castle Carrock, a few miles east of Carlisle, has a population of around 350. It is therefore a very surprising location for a music festival, and yet it is home to Music on the Marr. This delightful festival claims to be Cumbria’s “friendliest” and it showcases talent from around Cumbria and further afield, with 2017's line-up even including artists from Congo, Senegal and Zimbabwe. There’s an “Artisan Market” selling crafted goods and fine food, talks from guest speakers and a selection of workshops. Camping is also available.

Rock the Fells

Rock the Fells 2017

Rock the Fells first took place last year in Bootle, a small village in the western Lake District just south of Ravenglass. This one-day micro festival is taking place again this year, and is a fun event for the whole family. There is great entertainment from Cumbrian bands and solo artists, great BBQ food, and great beer from the local brewery. In addition, children have a variety of workshops and activities to choose from with a playgroup available for younger children. You can buy a ticket for the day or choose to camp Friday and Saturday night.

Lake District Summer Music International Festival

Lake District Summer Music International Festival 2017

With over 40 events taking place across southern Lakeland, the Lake District Summer Music International Festival is a truly magnificent affair, bringing performers from around the globe to perform in some of Cumbria’s most intimate venues. The festival primarily features classical music, with performances of pieces by well-known composers such as Bach, Beethoven and Elgar. In addition, this year there is a unique puppet show and the festival takes on an Indian flavour with performances of Indian classical music.

The Lake District Folk Weekend

The Lake District Folk Weekend 2017

Love folk music? Love beer? Then you will love the Lake District Folk Weekend, taking place this August at the Hawkshead Brewery Beer Hall in the small village of Staveley near Kendal. The festival features performances from folk artists from around the country. The main events take place at the brewery, whilst additional venues around the village are used for some of the smaller performances and workshops. There are also activities for children and camping is available.

Wannasee Festival – Penrith

Wannasee Festival Penrith 2017

Let’s be honest, the opportunity to see one of the world’s most successful bands is the preserve of the privileged few; those with both the money for the tickets and the internet connection fast enough to click through the selling site in the 30 seconds before all the tickets sell out. Wannasee Festivals offer the next best thing with some of the best tribute acts performing as some of the best loved bands in the world. Wannasee have three festivals in the north of England, and this year at Penrith, you can see tribute acts for Bon Jovi, ACDC, Queen, Meatloaf, Oasis, David Bowie, the Cure, and much, much more.


Solfest 2017

Since its inception in 2003, Solfest has remained steadfast in its determination to remain independent and free from corporate sponsorship. The 2017 line up is yet to be finalised, but previous line-ups have featured well known British artists, such as Badly Drawn Boy and Supergrass. The festival features an eclectic mix of music, ensuring that there is something for everyone, alongside workshop activities for the whole family. The festival takes place in West Cumbria, near Aspatria.

Lakes Alive

Lakes Alive 2017

Combining live music with digital art, illuminations, and exploration, Lakes Alive is a free, family friendly festival that aims to bring individuals together to create art and uncover culture around them. The festival started last year with street performances and spectacular displays found across Kendal, and was partly established to bolster the Lake District’s bid for World Heritage Status. This year’s festival takes place in September with the full details yet to be disclosed, but it’s guaranteed to awe and inspire, and best of all – it’s free!

Festival of the Fells

Festival of the Fells 2017

Ambleside Together is a community group that formed following the floods of December 2015 in order to promote the town and bring tourists back to the area. In 2016, the group successfully launched their first festival, and are aiming to repeat that success that year. Borrowing from the format of the well-established Keswick Mountain Festival, the Festival of the Fells brings together outdoor activities with live entertainment. Last year, there were performances from local bands, comedians and guest speakers, as well as the opportunity to try a range of activities or attend one of a number of guided walks. Details for this year’s festival are still to be confirmed.