Street Choirs Festival 2017
Feb 2016

Author: David Burbidge


Lakeland Voices, who are celebrating 20 years of singing in Kendal, look forward to welcoming you all to this year’s street choirs festival in our town.
Sound files for the songs we are singing in the Massed Sing on Saturday morning are now available on – just click here   
There is also now Facebook site for the festival with information and discussion – click here

Lakeland Voices on the banks of the river Kent in Kendal

The main events will be in the Kendal Leisure Centre hall which seats 900 – the busking, massed sing and workshops are in venues throughout the town, many of which are used by our Street performers festival, Mintfest. As well as the main hall, the Kendal Leisure centre has an inexpensive swimming pool with showers – useful if you are camping.
There is free parking at the Centre for 200 cars, with 10 disabled parking spaces, and also free parking for coaches for those choirs coming to the festival.
The concert on Saturday night with all the visiting choirs is in the Kendal Leisure Centre. 

The Friday concert with Coope Boyes and Simpson, K-Shoes Male Voice Choir, Ottovoce women’s choir, and Lakeland Voices,  starts at 7.30pm – singers can collect their wrist band tickets for the weekend from the Leisure Centre from 4pm on Friday or early on Saturday morning. The Friday concert is included in the cost of the weekend – as is the picnic on Sunday lunchtime, and coffee and teas on Saturday afternoon in the Old School (behind the Unitarian church on Branthwaite Brow near the market.) 

Coope Boyes and Simpson
The Saturday massed choir rehearsal starts at 9.30am in the Leisure Centre – followed by a walk at 11:30am along the Old Canal Sustrans Cycle route 6, past the allotments and over the footbridge over the river Kent and through Abbot Hall park to the Brewery Arts Centre (or take 41, 41A, 42 or 42A buses or car.)  The route will have numerous volunteers along the way – and is accessible for wheelchairs on almost entirely tarmaced pathways. 

The massed sing in Kendal town centre outside the Brewery Arts Centre will start with a welcome from the Mayor of Kendal Andy Blackman at 12.30pm followed by 

Busking with each of the choirs performing around town in 14 outdoor venues which include – outside the Brewery Arts Centre gardens, Library, Market Place (outside Market Books), outside Waterside by the river, outside Abbot Hall gallery, at the “Birdcage” at the top of Finkle Street in the centre of town, outside the Kendal parish church, in Joshua Tree yard, outside the School Room behind the Unitarian Chapel on Brathwaite Brow, Wainwright’s yard, the Elephant yard, Noble’s Rest, and Abbot Hall park (see map and schedule below.) 

The Saturday evening concert with the visiting choirs each performing a short set is from 5pm in the Leisure Centre ’till late. Followed by a party in the bar until 1pm.

The Sunday morning one hour workshops are from 9.30-10.30am and 11:15-12.15am  in different venues around Kendal (including the Brewery Arts Centre, Castle Street Centre, Town Hall, and Abbot Hall Social Centre) – which include singing workshops with Faith Watson, Ali Burns, Tyndale Thomas Gospel, Paul Guppy and the Gladly Solemn Sound West Gallery music, Andy Whitfield and the Lancaster Millenium Choir, Steve Cheslett Feldenkrais technique, Janet Russell (Songs of Hope and Ecology,) Jamie MacDowell (Director of the Kendal Alexander Technique School,)  followed by a picnic on Gooseholme ending at 2.30pm. 

Lakeland Voices community choir 

There will also be smaller pre-festival events at Rydal on Thursday evening with local choirs (meet in the Badger Bar at 8pm) and a post-festival event later on Sunday afternoon and evening in the Little and Great Langdale valleys (singing from 6pm outside the Old Dungeon Ghyll Hotel, and a singing walk from Elterwater at 3.30pm. Please contact me for details. 

We have now reached our maximum number of singers attending for the capacity of the main hall we are using – The Kendal Leisure Centre – but any individuals who would like to apply at this late stage are welcome to do so on the off chance that we will have cancellations.

Singing in Little Langdale
A list of group accommodation in Kendal and nearby is available on this website by clicking here. The Kendal Rugby Club are also offering camping on their field using their facilities for £5 per tent or £10 per campervan or caravan (to book, please contact Jean Harrison on or ring 07919048905). 

We also occasionally get information about bed and breakfast accommodation in Kendal which is still available (on Saturday June 17 there were still rooms available in the Kendal Travel Lodge and the Premier Inn) and can help with that if necessary. And some choirs who have booked whole hostels sometimes offer space in their hostel for other singers (the Kendal Hostel next to the Brewery has been booked by all of the Three Valleys Gospel choir – they say they have some beds available in the hostel if you would like to stay with them.) Please get in touch if you need help. 

1.  Tynedale choir (Hexham)
2.  Bradford Voices
3.  Bennett Women’s choir (Rivington, near Manchester)
4.  Honest Singers (Musselborough)
5.  Monton Voices community choir (Manchester)
6.  Knot Another Choir (Knaresborough)

7.  Ilkley Moor Notes
8.  Sing Meanwood (Leeds) 
9.  Bury Acapeelers
10. Leeds People’s Choir
11. Manchester Community Choir
12. Secret Singers (Ribble Valley)
13. Sheffield Socialist choir
14. Three Valleys choir (Todmorden)
15. Pales Peace Choir 
16. Preston People’s Choir
17. Kadenza (Bolton)
18. Caedmon choir (Gateshead)
19. Calder Valley Voices (Hebden Bridge)
20. Whitby Community Choir
21. Red Leicester
22. Protest in Harmony (Edinburgh)
23. East Lancs Clarion Choir
24. Aint What You Do (Walton on the Wolds)
25. Forgotten Voices (Pocklington, Yorkshire)
26. Craigie Choir (Perth)
27. Fellside Singers (Kendal)
28. Settle Voices 
29. Lakeland Voices (Kendal)
30. Penrith Community Choir
31. Wrexham Community Choir
32. Otley Singers
33. Cor Gobaith (Aberystwyth)
34. Silsden Singers (from near Skipton)
35. Raised Voices (London) 
36: Hullabaloo (Brighton)
37. Birmingham Clarion Singers
38. Corista
39. Nottingham Clarion Choir
40. Open Voice choir (Manchester)

Little Langdale
Great Langdale 


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