Cambridge Band Competition

The Cambridge Band Competition 2020

Entries for 2020 NOW CLOSED

Band Competition Heats

March 14th - Heat 2 - Under 18s Cambridge Band Competition 2020

Sat 13:30 · The Portland Arms · Cambridge, Cambridgeshire

March 14th - Heat 2 - Over 18s Cambridge Band Competition 2020

Sat 19:30 · The Portland Arms · Cambridge, Cambridgeshire

March 21st - Heat 3 - Under 18s Cambridge Band Competition 2020

Sat 13:30 · The Portland Arms · Cambridge, Cambridgeshire

The Winners from the Heats will go through to the final at the Junction on Friday 24th April 2020

Good Luck!

Band Competion 2021

If your Act is in the *Under 18s category - please enter here

If your Act is in the Over 18s category - please enter here

* To qualifty for the Under 18s category at least 50% of the performers in the act must be under 18 on 28th February 2020

The judges rate each act according to the following criteria

• Technical ability – how well the acts play their instruments or sing

• Innovation & originality – song writing skills – are they doing something new and exciting within their genre or are they too much of a sound-a-like?

• Stage Presence – How do they command the stage - do they captivate the audience or do they look like they’d rather be in the crowd?

• The Strawberry Factor – have they got that undefined something that will help them to make a sustainable career out of music and would they go down well at Strawberry Fair?

If you have any questions please email


First launched in 1985 at Cambridge's Guildhall, the competition picked up immediate national attention thanks to Trevor Dann and The Old Grey Whistle Test. Infamously, Colonel Gomez caused a national controversy with their performance on that show, controversy that even led to questions being asked in Parliament about the incident! More was to come though, with the 'debatable' decision to award the first prize to The Detective - a decision that caused consternation amongst some as, although they made the tapes themselves, The Detective performed on stage to a backing track!

In the last 30 years the Cambridge Band Competition has produced some great winners, and stars who have gone on to do bigger things!

Ezio were named as Tony Blair's favourite band and has established an international following, Ben Miller of Armstrong & Miller came third in 1990 with a trio called The Dear Johns, and one of the most memorable winners - thanks to pure energy and great music - were Tom Dalpra and Nutmeg.

Members of other bands have gone on to work with some top names in the industry, and all have fond recollections of being involved in the event.

Previously held at the Guildhall, and then the Corn Exchange (sold out heats and finals), the competition in the 1990s then moved to the Junction - where last year's finals were held.