40th Cambridge Folk Festival


Well, it was a relaxed drive up, the sun was shining, the cds in the car were setting the mood. It's the Thursday before the last weekend it July, it's Cambridge.

The car's parked up, the ticket's exchanged and it's time to venture on to the site for number 40, the first to be sponsored by Radio 2.

It's off to a good start. I'm barely 30 seconds on site and I've already bumped into festival stalwart Peter Buckley-Hill, promoted this year to a full appearance on the Radio Two Stage.

As we're talking, Liz from the Radio Two Stage ventures past. Less then five minutes have passed and I've already caught up with a number of old friends.

Cambridge is renown for it's familiarity, stalls in the same place, same concessions, that sort of thing. Last year saw the arrival of a great new stall selling real lemonade. It's back again this year so my first drink of the year is a pint of chilled lemonade with a real bite to it.

Club TentTime to check in with the media team and start getting the workside together, interviews arranged, photo passes sorted. As I'm sat down talking to the team at media liason  thought occurs to me. With Radio 2 sponsoring, rather than a brewery, will there still be a festival tankard or will there be a glaring gap in my collection.

I rush across to the beer tent to see if my worst fears are going to be confirmed. Fortunately they're not, there is a tankard this year and one is immediately purchased. It's also immediately filled with my first cider of the festival.

The food stalls are all here and I know I'll be visiting one of them later, but now I've got that sense of anticipation that is building towards the first band and the start of the festival proper.

Even so there is still time to catch up with a few more old faces and catch up with some of the Club Tent crew. Everythings in place and we're ready to go.

I've always said that Cambridge isn't one festival is a thousand different festivals in close proximity. This view is bailed out by a quick view around the field.

There's already a group of people gathered around someone who can't wait for the official start and who has already got his guitar out for an unofficial set by the Guiness Tent. Elsewhere a group of kids are throwing a ball around.

The beer tent is doing good trade and other festivalers are starting to chow down in the hope that hunger pangs aren't going to interupt the music later.

Another group of people are discussing the merits of getting down the front of either getting down the front off one of the two stages operating tonight or switching between the two.

Me I'm a stage whore, I'll go where the music takes me, but I've got other friends that will swear blind that the One Stage approach is the way to go, I'm not convinced.

Well, it's quarter of an hour to so I'm off to get sorted. The honour of kicking off on the Radio Two stage falls to NO I.D, Tom Copson gets it for the club tent. A toss of the coin tells me it's going to be NO I.D.