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50 Reasons to Love Cambridge Folk Festival

Jo & Lisa


In no particular order, we run down the 50 reasons to love Cambridge Folk Festival in it’s 50th year.

  1. They pull off a superb lineup every single year
  2. It’s clean and almost completely litter free
  3. It’s friendly and supportive
  4. You can learn to play obscure instruments, like Northumbrian pipes
  5. The artists get involved in running great singing and kids workshops (this year check out Bella Hardy and Megson)
  6. There’s as much for kids as adults
  7. Their ‘cool as folk’ recyclable cups mean there’s no dangerous glass strewn around. They also make a great souvenir – win win
  8. They lay on a free shuttle bus to the campsite
  9. You can park next to your tent on Coldham’s Common
  10. Everything is compact and accessible
  11. There are tonnes of great stalls in case you feel inspired to take up a new instrument
  12. You can buy home made cakes
  13. They have real ale on tap
  14. You can sit comfortably in a deck chair at the top of the main stage, without ruining the fun of people wanting to get close up
  15. There’s no pressure to look cool – it’s a folk festival, who cares what you’re wearing?
  16. Buskers and impromptu sessions pop up all over the place
  17. The beautiful surroundings and stream running through the site
  18. There’s every chance you’ll bump into your favourite artist also enjoying the music
  19. They support upcoming musicians with open mic slots and showcases
  20. It’s small enough to run between stages and (just about) catch all the acts you want to see
  21. There are no long drops and most (if not all) of the toilets have sinks and taps
  22. You  can learn now crafts like willow sculpture and knitting
  23. They’ve won a prestigious A Greener Festival Award for 6 years running
  24. There’s a paddling pool on the main site, and a swimming pool close to Coldham’s Common, perfect for a mid festival cool off
  25. If you’ve spare time, you can wander in the beautiful nature reserve
  26. Ceilidh dancing sessions
  27. Impromptu Morris dancing sessions
  28. It’s lively enough to keep you entertained but quiet enough to actually sleep when you need to
  29. They support local young musicians to return to the festival
  30. The message tree by the main gates makes mobile phones almost redundant
  31. There’s no flags blocking the view of the stage
  32. Most bands play twice, meaning you’re unlikely to miss anything you really want to see
  33. Everyone on the main stages is given similar length slots, making everyone a headline
  34. You can buy CDs from artists right after their set at the Proper Records shops
  35. You can get involved before the start of the festival by creating a square for their yarnbombing effort (info here)
  36. with a capacity of just 12,000 your unlikely to lose your friends (bad news if you’re actively trying to avoid them though!)
  37. It’s set in the grounds of a Grade II listed Victorian country house 
  38. Every stage is tented which means if the heavens open there’s usually somewhere to take shelter
  39. There’s a separate kids play/activity area, which to be honest makes us envious that we’re no longer children
  40. It appeals to a different demographic, one which doesn’t feel the need to film an entire set on their smartphone
  41. It’s a folk festival but in a very liberal sense which means country and bluegrass artists also feature on this year’s line up
  42. The Club Tent is run by local folk clubs, adding even more breadth to the line up
  43. Founder Ken Woollard’s vision for a family friendly and musically diverse festival has been maintained throughout its history
  44. The annual festival t-shirt design is created by a competition winner
  45. Coldham’s Common has it’s own stage area, meaning you don’t miss out whichever site you’re camped on
  46. The disabled viewing platform is not only close to the stage but also undercover, meaning those with disabilities don’t need to miss out
  47. Local residents are lucky enough to be treated to a discount to the festival
  48. They’ll be displaying prints of the experience of the festival by Livi Mills in the beer tent
  49. You can bring your tankard with you if you’d rather drink from your own cup
  50. It really is cool as folk