Catfish and the Bottlemen, Run DMC and the Libertines to headline 2018's Kendal Calling festival

Strength in depth has been the secret of the Kendal Calling festival's success over the years, and 2018's looks set to be no exception to that rule.

Wednesday, 7th February 2018, 7:00 pm
Updated Friday, 9th February 2018, 7:11 pm
Catfish and the Bottlemen are among the headliners at this year's Kendal Calling festival.

The Cumbrian event has got Catfish and the Bottlemen, Run DMC and the Libertines as its three main headliners, plus Hacienda Classical occupying the same slot for early birds arriving on the Thursday, but next on the bill are James, Ocean Colour Scene and Shed Seven, three acts equally worthy of rounding off proceedings.

The big names don’t end there either as further down the bill are the likes of White Lies, Peter Hook and the Light, the Sherlocks, Fun Lovin’ Criminals and the Wailers.

There are also up-and-coming acts aplenty at the four-day event – on from Thursday, July 26, to Sunday, July 29 – such as Marmozets, Slow Readers’ Club and Pins.

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James are also returning to Kendal Calling.

US hip-hop act Run DMC and indie rock veterans the Libertines are both newcomers to the festival, though the latter’s frontman, Peter Doherty, played a solo show there in 2016.

Catfish and the Bottleman are old hands, however, the Welsh alternative rock act having played at the festival, actually held at Lowther Deer Park, near Penrith and 23 miles north of the South Lakeland town it takes its name from, twice before, in 2014 and 2016.

Alternative rock veterans James have also played sets at Kendal twice before, in 2012 and 2015, and though Ocean Colour Scene are strangers to the event, band members Simon Fowler and Oscar Harrison performed at its 2014 incarnation as a duo.

Catfish and the Bottlemen, topping the bill on the Friday night, are the festival’s third Welsh headliner in two years, following on from the Manic Street Preachers and Stereophonics last summer. The quartet, formed in Llandudno in 2007, have hit the top 10 with both their LPs to date, The Balcony making it to No 10 in 2014 and The Ride topping the album chart two years later.

Ocean Colour Scene.

Saturday headliners Run DMC, formed in New York in 1981 and reunited in 2012 after disbanding a decade previously, have two top 20 albums to their name – Tougher Than Leather, a No 13 hit in 1988, and Greatest Hits, a No 15 in 2002 – and they have hit our singles chart’s top 10 twice, with Walk This Way, an Aerosmith-assisted No 8 in 1986, and It’s Like That, a No 1 duet with Jason Nevins in 1998.

The Libertines, Sunday’s headliners, were formed in London in 1997 and reunited in 2014 after splitting up in 2004. Like the Bottlemen, they’ve notched up two top 10 LPs – their self titled second album, a No 1 in 2004, and Anthems for Doomed Youth, a No 3 in 2015, and like Run DMC, they’ve hit the top 10 of the singles chart twice, with Can’t Stand Me Now and What Became of the Likely Lads, a No 2 and No 9 respectively, both in 2004.

Festival director Andy Smith said: “We’re thrilled to be heading into our 13th year and can’t wait to head back to the beautiful Lake District for another weekend of music, art, food and a couple of Kendal ales.

“We’re lucky to have one of our biggest line-ups ever and can’t wait to welcome hip-hop royalty Run DMC to the festival alongside our other headliners Catfish and the Bottlemen, the Libertines and Hacienda Classical.”

James are also returning to Kendal Calling.

Ocean Colour Scene frontman Fowler, 52, said: “Myself and Oscar played at Kendal Calling a couple of years ago, so this is a fantastic opportunity to come back and bring the full band to play at this great, well-known independent festival.”

Former New Order and Joy Division bassist Hook, 62 next week, added: “I’ve always loved the Lake District, and the opportunity to play with both my favourite acts, Hacienda Classical and the Light, at Kendal Calling, coming there for the first time this year is really a dream come true.”

Other acts on the bill include Lucy Spraggan, Pale Waves, Declan McKenna and the Amazons.

Further line-up announcements will follow over the next five months.

Ocean Colour Scene.

This year’s festival, the 13th altogether, is the 10th to be held at Lowther Deer Park, 35 miles south of the England-Scotland border and just a two-hour drive from Selkirk, Kendal itself having hosted the first three.

Tickets have been put on sale in instalments, and the next round of weekend tickets are available from tomorrow, February 8, at 10am, priced £145. For details, go to