Cambridge Strawberry Fair: Lineup, schedule and activities at the free festival

Strawberry Fair 2022
-Credit: (Image: David Johnson Photographic)

For those who love music, art and a free day out, Cambridge's Strawberry Fair is returning for its 50th year. The city's one-day, volunteer-run festival has a full lineup and some new entertainment this year.

If you're planning to head down and catch everything it offers, from the parade to the performances on all the different stages, we have all the information you need to know.

The family and dog-friendly affair offers performances from more than 100 groups, community stalls and a kids park so that everyone is entertained.

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According to the organisers, the festival usually attracts over 30,000 visitors throughout the day, so make sure you are clued up on everything before you head down. If you need to know about parking, getting there and items that are banned from the free music festival, you can read about it here.

What is Strawberry Fair?

Organisers say: "Strawberry Fair is a visual and musical extravaganza for all the family, a jamboree for people of all ages. Strawberry Fair is a feast for music lovers and anyone who wants to participate in Community Arts."

A highlight of summertime in Cambridge, it welcomes everyone to visit, see some great music and meet some amazing people. It is completely not-for-profit and community-run.

Strawberry Fair schedule timings

Strawberry Fair will be held on Midsummer Common in Cambridge on Saturday, June 1. It is a free festival and everyone is invited to enjoy the fun.

The festival schedule:

  • 10.30 Meet on Christ’s Piece for the Parade

  • 11.00 Parade sets off from Christ’s Piece and goes around Cambridge

  • 12.00 Parade arrives at Midsummer Common marking the official opening of the Fair and Stages, bars and entertainment begin

  • 18.00 Kids’ Area closes

  • 22.00 to 22.30 Stages and area entertainment closes. Head to the Rebel Love Stage

  • 22.30 Stall holders and bars close

  • 22.30 Closing finale at Rebel Love Stage

  • 23.00 Event closes

What is the Strawberry Fair lineup?

Strawberry Fair 2022
The Flying Pig Stage at Strawberry Fair -Credit:David Johnson Photographic

Throughout the fair, you can enjoy an eclectic range of music and performances from well over 100 groups on different stages. Performers are mostly local but are also from further afield.

At the Portland Stage and Bar there will be performances from:

  • Shifty Statues – Gabby (from For the Hornets) and Helen (from Goddammit Jeremiah).

  • The Silver Darlings — Southend on Sea’s only female sea shanty crew

  • Oli Harris — Catchy alternative rock about space and the outsider

  • Lorenza Wildcard — International singer-songwriter recognised for her songwriting, musical versatility and artistic reinventions

  • Grace Calver — Tongue-in-cheek indie pop with a hint of rock.

  • Pagan Billy — 1980s Cambridge Irish Folk stalwarts who last played the Fair in 1991

You can find the full lineup for this stage here.

The Strawberry Fair parade will be heading to the Rebel Love stage at 12pm where the chair of the fair will officially open the 50th event.

The lineup looks like this for the Rebel Love stage:

  • The 4Fit — legendary local punks will kick off proceedings in style, they have to be one of the oldest Cambridge bands still gigging.

  • CABBAGE SOUNDS — Mr Cabbage has been with the stage since its beginnings in 2013.

  • Short n’ Sweet — This dynamic duo has a mix of House and uplifting techno.

  • The Insurance Men — Newly formed Cambridge punk cover trio.

Find the full lineup for this stage here.

The Plastic Den is dedicated to live electronic music performers:

  • TrippiZoid (Prog trance)

  • Dyna (IDM/Electronica)

  • Minus RF Star (Warp/Breakbeat)

  • Mark C Sargeant (Ambient/Dub)

Find the full lineup for this stage here.

The Flying Pig Stage lineup here:

  • Kim & Lee with Morris

  • Sean O’Hanrahan

  • Nick Barraclough & The Pillars of Creation

  • Sure-Can Playboys featuring the Benson Sisters

Find the full lineup for this stage here.

The Revolting Youth Stage for young people 18 and under:

  • Chow

  • Static Memories

  • Felix

  • Lyra

Find the full lineup for this stage here.

What is the Cambridge Band Competition?

According to Strawberry Fair, this competition is the longest-running band competition in the UK. Local bands can compete to perform at the festival.

The Grand Final of the Competition was held at Cambridge Junction on Friday, April 26 where Flying Symbols were announced as the winners. They are a 4 piece high-octane rock band based on the Herts/Essex borders.

They will perform on The Portland Stage at 7:20pm.

Are there activities for children at Strawberry Fair?

The fair has a variety of community stalls where you can buy crafts and enjoy lots of food.

The Arts Area is open from 12pm to 6pm and features a variety of creative artists and social groups displaying creative performance demos, displays and hands-on craft workshops.

At the very heart of Strawberry Fair, you will find The Kids Park that is dedicated to babies, children and teenagers with age-appropriate entertainment, performances and activities.

Is there anything new happening at Strawberry Fair?

The CALM stage is a brand new area for Strawberry Fair this year. According to their website, this stage will have "music and performance from Cambridge’s diverse community currently under-represented at the Fair, showcasing the changing nature of the city over the fifty years that Strawberry Fair has been running."

Some of the performers include Lydia Idakula who will present two hours of poetry, discussion and music. Also performing will be the Cambridge Jazz Festival Choir, Latino Sound and Cambridge Takht who are a group of Cambridge-based Arabic music lovers.

Who is the Strawberry Fair Environment team?

Strawberry Fair has a big emphasis on being sustainable and environmentally friendly. Volunteers on the Environment Team help set up, clear up and pack up for the festival.

Strawberry Fair also has some systems in place where visitors can recycle. They ask for visitors' old/unfashionable/megapixelly-challenged phones so they can recycle them. You can drop off your old phones at local Cambridge pubs run by Steve and Hayley who are long-time supporters of Strawberry Fair. These include The Portland, The Alexandra Arms and The Urban Larder.

These are some of the measures happening at the festival:

  • The festival is hoping to start recycling food waste from the Crew kitchen this year, by donating vegetable waste to a local Community Allotment for composting.

  • Trialing compostable rubbish bags for bins and litter picking.

  • Introduced a No Paper Programme, instead the Programme will be available on-line as a free app

  • The ever popular Scarecrow Corner is a generator free zone and will be featuring a solar powered stage and a solar coffee bus.

  • Introduced a deposit return scheme for glasses from the bars and discouraging the sale of water in plastic water bottles. Water points are provided on-site.

  • Increased the use of recycled/re-used/upcycled materials for the festival's decor; plus, lots of the decorations, entrances and other art are recycled, reused or repurposed year on year.