Cambridge Band Competition

The Cambridge Band Competition 2018

Heat 1 Winners Decided :)

So Congratulations to Lemondaze for getting through to the Grand Final at the Junction - and to Kill Liz for making it through to the Under 18s Final from Heat 1 last Saturday. Tracks from all the acts competing can be heard on the Cambridge 105 Radio highlights show this Wedendsay night at 9pm also featuring live performances from The Fifths SeraphPRETTY ACE The John Preston Tribute Band and False Adults You can listen on 105FM or on DAB if you are based in Cambridge or by tuning in on-line using Radio Player here

Heat 2 Saturday 10th March The Portland Arms

The competition continues on Saturday in the afternoon 4 More Acts battle it out for a place in the Under 18s Final on Saturday 

And 4 more acts compete in the Evening for a place in the Grand Final 

The Under 18s acts competing are 

Hungry (formerly Mrs Patterson)
four piece indie band from Cambridge

Shannon Elsden
16 year old singer songwriter from Haverhill with occasional help from her brother on Cahon! 

Chloe and Gianni
12 year old singer-songwriter Chloe Lorentzen and 17 year old guitarist Gianni Salonna team up to present original contemporary pop with a rock edge

Gabby Rivers
15 year old Singer songwriter from Glemsford accompanied by Coran Elsey on Cahon

Each act will perform for a 25 minutes.

This heat will finish at 4.15pm when the winners will be announced.

The Winner of the heat will go through to the Under 18s Final which will be on the afternoon of Saturday 24th March.

The Winner of the Under 18s final will go through to the overall final which is at the Junction in Cambridge on the evening of Friday 27th April..

In addition to the heat winners – the act that has the loudest recorded audience cheer for their performance compared to all other acts will also go through to the Under 18 Finals – so we strongly encourage you to come and cheer on your favourite act! 

The over 18s Acts competing are 

A four piece alternative rock band from Cambridge

Code of Conduct
A three piece fun time punk rock band based in Mildenhall

Lunar Echoes
Four piece Cambridge band with a cocktail of rock and electronica

Flashback Phgotograph
A three piece upbeat, foot-tapping folk rock band

Tickets valid all day

Adults : £5 in advance* £7 on the door
Under 18s : £4 in advance* £5 on the door

The judges rate each act according to the following criteria

• Technical ability – how well they 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?

The remaining Heats will take place on the Saturday 17th and 24th March at the Portland Arms. 

If you have any questions or would like to volunteer to help the organisers at the Cambridge Band Competition 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.