Film Festivals – Why Do We Go?

Sep 18: Film Festivals – Why Do We Go? by Jack Geldard – Editor – UKC It´s coming up to that time of yearagain ? Kendal Mountain Festival is looming on the horizon.Come the 20th of November and hundreds of people will converge on the quiet wool town in southCumbria and see films, hang out, and.. well, what will they do? Aside from the great line up ofspeakers and films (Leo Houlding, Steph Davies, CatherineDestivelle & many more) there will of course be those visitors whodon´t actually watch any films or see any lectures.Those that arehappy to surround themselves with fellow climbers, sup a few too manypints of real ale and trade stories of adventure and daring do.Arethese festivals just a great excuse for an almighty piss-up? Climbing is essentially a two persongame, made up of the great bond between climber and belayer, theadventure of being out in a small team and the solitude of themountains.But most people are social animals, and climbers like a good knees-up. So herding hundreds of climbers in to a single bar for a raucous weekend has got to be a great idea.It creates an opportunity to meet old friends, discuss comingexpeditions (from Harrisons Rocks to the Himalyas) and generally have a good time, and long may it continue. The Kendal Mountain Festival website describes the event as ?a huge tribal gathering – the majorsocial event for outdoor enthusiasts in the UK?.It is interesting that they focus in on this aspect of the event and not solely on the organised entertainment that is available.Perhaps this need for a social gathering is in part the reason for the explosion in popularity of bouldering and deep water soloing?Teams of climbers, having fun, socialising andhanging out ? it´s got to beat shivering on a ledge, alone, onScafell, right? On a different level, perhaps this social need can be catered for by internet climbing forums, explaining the popularity of the UKC forum pages? But do we like talking about climbingmore than we actually like climbing itself?A simple Google searchfor ´Mountain Festival´ shows that more and more towns and cities around the world are hosting their own festivals.From Hobart, Tasmania to Dundee, Scotland, if you´re in need of a social fix, then there is no doubt a ´Mountain Festival´ near you. As part of the 2008 Kendal Mountain Festival, are hosting a writing competition with £150 cash prize. For more information see this UKC Article. For more info on the Kendal line-up see the Kendal MountainFestival website.