As the event grew in stature and popularity it attracted greater audience numbers, plus a veritable 'who's who' from the world of climbing and mountaineering. Yvon Chouinard, Reinhold Messner, Catherine Destivelle, Fred Beckey, Barry Blanchard, Lynn Hill, Jeff Lowe, Tommy Caldwell, Chris Sharma, Ueli Steck and Will Gadd to name but a few of those who have stood on the Kendal stage. And in film, the Festival became renowned as a launchpad and international showcase for mountain and outdoor film, premiering or screening such classics as The Bat and the Wicked, Five Days One Summer, Hard Grit, Touching The Void and Free Solo.
‘Kendal’ became recognised as the main annual social event for outdoor enthusiasts in the UK, and built its strong international reputation. In 2014, Visit England awarded the Festival the coveted national title of ‘Tourism Event of the Year’ and each November it is estimated to bring over £3.5m into the local economy.