We are thrilled to be one of the host venues for the Kendal Street Choirs Festival, welcoming busking singers to our Yard between 1pm and 4.30pm on Saturday 24th June. The choirs taking part in this element of the weekend will each support a chosen charity, so make sure you dig deep as you enjoy the wonderful selection of music on offer.

The Festival has been organised by Lakeland Voices, who are celebrating 20 years of singing in Kendal. They will welcome 40 other choirs to the town and all will take part in busking, massed singing, workshop and performance events between Friday 23rd June to Sunday 25th.

The Festival running order is fully detailed on the Lakeland Voices website, but here’s an overview of the weekend’s proceedings. The listening public are welcome to enjoy the busking around town element of the festival but please note that the participating choirs have filled the Leisure Centre to capacity for the Friday concert and workshops.

Kendal Street Choirs Festival: Friday 23rd June

Concert with Coope Boyes and Simpson, K-Shoes Male Voice Choir, Ottovoce women’s choir, and Lakeland Voices. Starts at 7.30pm at Kendal Leisure Centre

Kendal Street Choirs Festival: Saturday 24th June

Saturday massed choir workshop. Starts at 9.15am at Kendal Leisure Centre.
Saturday walk. Starts at 12noon from Kendal Leisure Centre, along the old canal, past the allotments and across the footbridge over the river Kent to the Brewery Arts Centre.
Massed sing in Kendal town centre. Starts at 12.30pm outside the Brewery Arts Centre.
Busking around town in 20 venues, which include Wainwright’s Yard, the Brewery Arts Centre gardens, Kendal Library, Market Place (outside Market Books), outside Abbot Hall gallery, at the Castle, outside the Kendal Parish Church, Noble’s Rest, and Abbot Hall park. Starts at 1pm and runs until 4.30pm.
Saturday evening concert with the visiting choirs each performing a short set. From 5pm at Kendal Leisure Centre ’til late (followed by a party in the bar).

Kendal Street Choirs Festival: Sunday 25th June

Sunday morning one hour workshops (9.30-10.30am) and (11:15-12.15am). These will take place in different venues around Kendal (including the Brewery Arts Centre, Castle Street Centre, Town Hall, and Abbot Hall Social Centre) and 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)

The workshops will be followed by a picnic on Gooseholme ending at 2.30pm. The picnic, meals and snacks throughout the weekend will be provided by The People’s Cafe. They only use food which other people have donated – which includes local supermarkets who might otherwise be throwing away perfectly good food. Run by volunteers, those who eat there only pay what they can afford (from nothing to what they would expect to pay in a “normal” cafe) and any food left at the end of the day is given to a local homeless charity for immediate distribution.

Here’s what Lakeland Voices founder, David Burridge has to say about his choir and the thinking behind the event:

“We are an open access natural voice acapella choir, and sing mostly arrangements of folk songs from the UK and beyond. What we enjoy most is joining together with other singers in this beautiful place where we live, and expressing our common humanity through song and harmony. We very much look forward to meeting you all here in Kendal where we practice every Tuesday evening at the Castle Street Centre, and showing you some of the Lake District where we go for our summer evening singing walks through the summer months.”

We very much look forward to welcoming the choirs (and those of you who are looking forward to hearing them and donating to their chosen charities) to Wainwright’s Yard.