The Friday started with the Sun blazing. More tents had appeared over night and more were being added throughout the morning. Despite the hot weather the ground was still soft enough to accept a tent peg without the need of a mallet. This was just as well judging by the look on most people's faces when they emptied the content of their tent bag onto the ground.
It's easy to spot the difference between experienced campers and the people who had borrowed tents. It's quite amusing to watch the same tent coming down four times because something was forgotten, but not, I'm sure, to be the one actually doing it. The superb weather encouraged a number of people to save time and not bother with the finer details.
If you get to Cambridge on the Thursday, then Friday morning is a way to ease into things. The music doesn't start until late afternoon giving you plenty of time to check out the market area and check the various menus along the food mall.
The market area at Cambridge is an eclectic mix of the mundane, a 24 hour Newsagent provides access to milk, tea, non alcoholic beverages throughout the festival and contrasts with the music shops and purveyors of hippie ephemera.
This is almost matched by Cambridge's clientele. There are almost as many nose rings and docs at the festival as there are sandals and beards. A glance at the crowd can give the impression of culture clash but that's half the beauty of the event, one of the factors that gives the festival it's special atmosphere.
Another link in the atmosphere chain is the Folk Tent. Whilst a few showcase gigs are organised in advance, most slots at the Folk Tent are given up on a first come first served basis. Consequently there's always a good chance of hearing something different and no two sessions are quite the same. Five Folk Clubs share the honour of being hosts, each brings an individual style to the proceedings. The first sign up session was at four but you could already hear wannabies going through final practices by mid-morning.
The Hall next to the Festival Ground was hosting fabric painting workshops for the kids. Well for the kids who were prepared to leave the coolness of the paddling pool that's found just to the left of the main site. Older people were taking shelter from the sun by hiding out near the lake that had felt an impromptu visit by Joan Baez a couple of years before.
The sun was HOT!! The beer tents were doing a roaring trade though there was almost as much soft drink and ice-cream being polished off in the attempt to stay cool. By now my almost infamous festival Panama had made it's unwelcome arrival, better to look a prat than burn, and a cooling glass of cider had made it's way into my hand and we were still several hours from the first band. Food time.
By the afternoon it was time to check in with media liaison and prepare an interview schedule whilst the rest of the Junkkulture crew prepared for the bands with another drink.(The sacrifices of leadership are many).