Artistic Programme

Brewery Arts is a flagship arts venue for Cumbria.

Through the variety, quality and diversity of the work we present we have a regional and national impact.  We draw on the uniqueness of our location but also find inspiration from the diversity of arts and culture from throughout the UK and beyond.


Brewery Arts is one of the North West’s liveliest music venues, hosting a wide and varied programme of live performances across the genres of Contemporary, Indie, Folk, World, Blues, Jazz and Electronica. The mission of our eclectic and ever changing music programme is to bring the world to Kendal, and we are committed to programming work that reflects the diversity of modern Britain and to celebrate music from across the world.

The music programme is at the heart of our live events offer, and builds upon 50 years of landmark music performances within our walls. Memorable gigs have included Patti Smith, John Martyn (who recorded a live album at the Brewery) and Robert Plant, Lee Scratch Perry plus many more. In recent years we have hosted Sleaford Mods, This is The Kit, Warmdushcher, Joan As Police Woman, Mystery Jets, Lisa O’Neill, Femi Kuti, Badly Drawn Boy and Pigs Pigs Pigs Pigs Pigs Pigs Pigs.

We curate our music programme in partnership with Band on the Wall, who present an internationally-acclaimed programme in its award-winning Manchester venue and at venues across the UK.

Brewery Arts also seeks to support emerging talent through performance opportunities and we are proud to present Summer Sundays, an annual series of free outdoor music gigs which bring the community together to celebrate local talent.

Theatre & Dance

Brewery Arts theatre programme focuses on drama, family and physical theatre and within dance, the emphasis is on contemporary dance and the crossover with theatre. Throughout the year, our programme centres around enriching and accessible family theatre from some of the UK’s foremost touring theatre companies, including Stuff and Nonsense, Pickled Image, One Tenth Human and many others.

We also support the development of new work in the community, through our partnerships with schools and colleges and support for their annual theatre and dance performances, including the Schools Dance Platform. Our community theatre work includes supporting emerging talent with The Knotted Project’s Forge Festival, and our older peoples’ company Act Your Age.

Cinema & Stage on Screen

Brewery Arts is one of the leading independent cinemas in the UK, and hosts screenings for over 360 days of the year, ranging from blockbuster film releases to specialist film and world cinema. With support from BFI Film Hub North, we present a rich programme of film festivals, talks and Q&As, and film clubs, including the annual Japan Foundation Touring Film Programme and the UK Green Film Festival.

The Stage on Screen programme presents livestream productions from the National Theatre, Royal Opera House and Royal Ballet, mixing work from the classical repertoire with new and innovative performances.

Brewery Arts seeks to encourage young people and all the community to experience the unique atmosphere of cinema, providing opportunities year-round for low-cost screenings and relaxed and subtitled screenings.

Spoken Word & Literature

At the heart of Brewery Arts spoken word programme is Verbalise, a monthly open mic event, featuring some of the UK’s leading poets and spoken word performers. Verbalise also provides the starting point for special spoken word projects and small-scale commissions within the local community.

Brewery Arts also hosts larger performances and events by writers and performers, including John Cooper Clarke, Lemn Sissay, Hollie McNish, Henry Normal and Jodi Picoult and supports the Brewery Poets.


Brewery Arts welcomes some of the biggest names in comedy to our stages, with performances year-round, from the likes of Troy Hawke, Rosie Jones, Mark Watson, Ed Byrne, Fern Brady, Maisie Adams and many others. As well as mainstream acts, we present an intimate and popular cabaret style Comedy Club, and Comedy Club for Kids.


Brewery Arts hosts a year-round programme of free exhibitions and other visual arts activities, across a wide variety of art forms, from printmaking to digital art.

We focus in particular on celebrating and developing the work of emerging artists from Cumbria and beyond, and host an annual Open Exhibition. We also work with partner organisations, including Kendal Mountain Festival to develop the breadth and range of our exhibition programme.

Also in this section

Community Programmes

Our Creative Learning team deliver a fantastic variety of special projects and activities that involve a wider range of young people and vulnerable adults into the work of the Brewery and the arts in general.

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