On 6 June, Cambridge’s Midsummer Common will play host once again to the city’s day-long family festival of art, music and much more. Strawberry Fair has been providing a platform for emerging artists in the city since its inception 40 years ago. It was set up by a bunch of students as an alternative to the more formal May Balls, and is always a colourful addition to Cambridge’s creative calendar.
Beginning with the Strawberry Fair Parade, starting at 10.30am then meandering through town and back again, the fair carries on throughout the day and into the evening, until 11pm. This year’s theme is ‘Down by the River’, stationed as it is just a stone’s throw from the River Cam.
Come along for comedy, live music, stalls and food, and there’s plenty to keep the kids amused too. Families are more than welcome, and everyone is encouraged to dress up and embrace the carnival spirit.
Strawberry Fair has been providing a platform for emerging artists in the city since its inception 40 years ago
The Village Green will have an outside dancefloor, circus performers, dance displays and lots of music. Nearby, The Kings Head Ballroom will have a Mississippi Riverboat feel to it this year and the Rebels Arts Band Stand will bring a touch of the Amazon to the Common! Here there will be a fully-stocked bar as well as live music all day at the Kings Head and Rebel Arts Band Stand, there will also be a full day of live music over at the Wigwam Stage, the Pop Up stage, the Cambridge 105 stage, in Scarecrow Corner and at their latest addition, The Super Mega Zone.
Scarecrow Corner is home to a range of community and social awareness stalls plus anything from massage to storytelling all around the Druid Circle. When it’s time to relax, The Hatters Café will be serving tea, coffee and cakes along with live acoustic music and performance poetry, while The Green Machine Tea Room will serve teas, chai and treats to the sound of their own DJ’s.
Popular corner the Eastern Bloco will have its own acoustic stage and the Wild Strawberries Poetry and Spoken Word stage, which will have featured poets, open mic sessions and Strawberry Slam with a chance to win a place in the Cambridge Regional Poetry Slam Final. Eastern Bloco will also be showing some of the city’s talented radical and alternative artists and there will be workshops and activities throughout the day.
Strawberry Fair also has a dedicated secure Kids Area open from 12pm to 6pm with, amongst other things, circus entertainers, storytelling, a bouncy castle, gyros, zorb balls, face painting, a nursery area with rock ‘n’ roll nursery rhymes and a messy play area. The Kids Area is alcohol free and stewards are DBS checked.
After 6pm the Kids Area will become an Under-18’s performance area, offering a chance for aspiring musicians to get their first taste of performing to a crowd. Entry to Strawberry Fair is free. Bringing your own alcohol is permitted, with a maximum of four cans or a bottle of wine per person (just don’t bring glass).