This article needs additional citations for verification. (January 2016) (Learn how and when to remove this template message)
Strawberry Fair is a local festival of music, entertainments, arts and crafts which has been held in Cambridge, England, since 1974. The fair is held on Midsummer Common on the first Saturday in June. It is open to the public and free.
It has been held since 1974 except 2010, when it was cancelled due to drunkenness and drug use. A year later, the fair continued with a perimeter fence erected around the festival and searches to check for alcohol, drugs and weapons.
The 2011 parade was part of the UK Centre for Carnival Arts 'Carnival Crossroads' project and featured colourful costumes and samba bands. There was a Village Green area with traditional community activities such as re-enactment displays, It's A Knockout, fancy dress pageant and a grand finale. Other attractions were the Wigwam Stage, The Green Area, Kids Area, the acoustic and cabaret bar, and Colonel Maybey's Mechanical Menagerie a new 'steam diesel punk' area, in addition to around 300 stalls selling food and goods. Entry to the fair was free. As in recent years (since 2004) the fair held a free 'film night' the previous day featuring short films made by local people. The fair has a following of alternative lifestyles.
Music and art
A range of musical genres are represented at the fair across several music stages. Local bands are predominantly selected to play. Children are catered for with a free and enclosed entertainments area that includes face painters, a family friendly cafe, a marquee of activities such as painting and crafts, storytelling and other attractions. An Arts area also allows local art to be displayed and for visitors to the fair to try something new.
Current Music Stages
Current music stages found on the official website under Areas and Events
- Supertunes - House and Techno
- Portland Ballroom - Upcoming local musicians, named due to the community support provided by the Portland Arms bar.
- The Super Shady Nasties - Ska, Punk, Funk, Rock, Alternative, Drum and Bass. Nasties was previously known as Wigwam.
- 105 Radio - Top local musicians and a few radio presenters from Cambridge 105 Radio
- Love Music Hate Racism - Rock, Grime, Punk, Jazz
- The Flying Pig - Cajun, Americana, Funk, Blues, Rock and Roll, Folk, Jazz and Country Art Rock
- Scarecrow Corner - Anarcho Punk, Psychedelic, Folk, Reggae and Dance
- GreenMachine - Electronic, Rave and Dance
- The Cambuskers Showcase - Buskers and Street performers
- The Kings Head - Electronic Dance Music
- Rebel Arts Bandstand - Punk and Ska
- Village Green - Samba and Psychedelic Rock
- Random Bullshit Generator - Games and Electronic, Dance
In the constitution, the object of the fair is described thus:
- "The object of the Fair shall be to hold a Fair, called Strawberry Fair, annually on Midsummer Common, Cambridge, on the first (1st) Saturday in June, for the benefit of the local community, particularly the children. The Fair shall have free entry and entertainments, including music and theatre."
The fair is run by a committee of local people who elect a Chair, Vice-Chair, Treasurer, and Secretary each year in September/October to form a Steering Group. Sub-committees also operate in order to discuss specific areas of the fair's operation, namely Programming, Finance and Admin, Policy and Community, and Site. The heads of these sub-committees report back at monthly General Meetings - weekly closer to the fair - which provides accountability and allows for the approval (or otherwise) of proposals put forward by the sub-committees.
Approximately 1000 people volunteer their time to make Strawberry Fair happen, which is seen by the committee as one of its greatest aspects. These volunteers include members of the committee itself, stewards, an environment team, area coordinators, stage managers, backstage staff, stalls coordinators, and many people 'behind the scenes' who undertake administration.
The fair is a free event because of volunteers. Income from stalls meets infrastructure and overhead costs. Benefit gigs are held throughout the year to raise money (for example, Strawberry Sundae). The local bands that play these gigs usually also play on the day of the fair. Strawberry Fair also organise and run the Cambridge Band Competition which has been running since 1984. Heats are held each year in The Portland Arms music venue, with the final at Cambridge Junction. All finalists in the Cambridge Band Competition also get invited to play at the Fair.
Strawberry Fair merchandise - including T-shirts, badges, programmes and posters - is also sold from Information Tents on Fair days and at benefit and band competition heats and final.
In 2019 the theme of the Fair was "Love"
- Pengelly, Ella (2019-05-29). "Strawberry Fair 2019: When is it? Where is it? And who's playing?". cambridgenews. Retrieved 2019-11-16.
- "Police bid to ban Strawberry Fair". Cambridge-news.co.uk. 2010-02-27. Retrieved 2016-01-08.
- "Strawberrry Sundae". www.facebook.com. Retrieved 2018-05-20.
- "Strawberry Fair 2019 gallery: Sunny side up in Cambridge". Cambridge Independent. 2019-06-02. Retrieved 2019-11-16.
- Strawberry Fair official website
- Strawberry Shorts official film festival website
- Cambridge News — Volunteers make a fair team
- BBC Cambridgeshire — Strawberry Fair 2009
- Friends of Starwberry Fair