Once the announcement dropped that they would once again be missing their favourite festival of the year, there was heartbreak.

Liam Smith, from Cleator Moor, and his friends - all avid festival goers - see popular Cumbrian festival, Kendal Calling, as the "main one in August”.

The eagerly anticipated festival, which was meant to take place this July was postponed for the second year in a row due to the Covid-19 pandemic, leaving ticket holders across the country in despair.

Not wanting to see another year go by without their annual dose of mud, music and beer, 27-year-old Liam and his friends decided they would do the only natural thing and put on a festival of their own - Keekle Calling was born.

On hearing that Kendal Calling was being cancelled, Liam said: "We were all gutted. It's been a hard and long pandemic for everyone in different ways.

"It [Kendal Calling] is a big date in the calendar for us and we've had tickets for two years, and they've been rolled over twice now."

Liam and friends, Lizzy Canon, Beth McGregor, Amy McGregor, Ellie Herbert, Lauren Poland, Reece Todd, Daniel Machin, Keir Pirie and Luke Bell worked behind the scenes to create the festival as a surprise for the rest of their group of 40, who normally go to Kendal Calling together.

A marquee, camping area, food and drink, and bands were organised for the event, which was held on Liam's land off Keekle Terrace - Giving the festival its name.

"I think we surprised ourselves," said Liam.

"It was brilliant. It was what we all needed and it was the best out of a bad situation with Kendal Calling being cancelled.

"I think everyone was just really happy that they could all get together again in that sort of setting.

"Festivals are a big part of our lives and we travel to quite a few, with Kendal Calling being the main one in August.

"It was pretty special. I had to take myself back to actually look and think 'wow, we actually pulled this off'."

In the end, around 60 people turned up to enjoy the festival, including local bands and artists, like Northern Threads, the Lavetts and Zoe Warren.

Liam added:"The bands were missing out with having no gigs due to Covid, so it was nice and they enjoyed being on stage and having the chance to play in front of friends again."Our budget wasn't massive. It was just money that we all put in together. We didn't want to sell tickets, we just wanted everyone to come and enjoy being together.

"All the musicians played for free and everyone got involved. It was like a little community.

"We're all definitely eager to get back to Kendal Calling. It's a weekend we've all enjoyed for many years, but I think we might have started something."

Liam wanted to thank all his friends who got involved with the project, saying "these people make it possible". He also extended a thank you to "all those who attended and made the whole day a special experience for everyone".