In July 1818, the young poet, John Keats was on a walking tour of the north of England. When he visited Ireby he was taken with the exuberant, old-fashioned dancing he found in the village. In a letter he says: "After Skiddaw we walked to Ireby, the oldest market town in Cumberland, where we were greatly amused by the country dancing school holden at the Inn; it was indeed 'no new cotillion fresh from France.' No, they kickit and jumpit with mettle extraordinary, and whiskit and frishkit, and toed it and goed it, and twirl'd it and whirl'd it and stamped it and sweated it, tattooing the floor like mad." Charles Dickens and Wilkie Collins went there almost forty years later.
Extract from Maureen Allen's lovely book -
First and foremost our festival Is for those who prefer to see live music performed in intimate settings and we have several to choose from; the likes of St James
church, with it's natural acoustics and a firm favourite for afternoon concerts. Or just a 20 minute walk beyond the village is the
12th century chancel, a tiny and secluded venue for those who like to go that extra mile to keep fit and reap the additional benefits of good music and the beautiful landscape.
In the village square, the Globe Hall provides a heady mix of music styles, new talent and always a few surprises. The Lion pub is literally next door to the Globe Hall and is perfect for those who prefer a session or two... music or otherwise! With a hint of bygone leisurely times, The Women's Institute will be a hive of culinary activity producing the most cromulent home bakes, sandwiches, soup and pots of tea.
Skiddaw view is the name of the 600 seat main stage marquee and as it's name implies it really is caught up in the panaramick view of Skiddaw, England's 4th highest mountain and its surrounding Caldbeck fells.
From the village square you are never more than a few minutes walk to any of the venues including the main stage marquee and camping area. In 2013 we sold out several weeks before the event and we have no reason to doubt the same this time, so make sure you don't leave it too late to secure tickets for what promises to be another great event in this tiny Cumbrian village of less than 150 residents.