A week to go

Strawberry Fair will take place on Saturday 4th June 2016 on Midsummer Common in the heart of Cambridge. Strawberry Fair often has a theme and this year the theme is “Wild Life” and all sorts of wild life themed costumes and decorations can be expected across the Common.

It has changed a bit across the years but todays Strawberry Fair still stays true to its roots.  Entry and entertainment is all free. The Fair remains independent and has no major sponsors. It is organised and managed entirely by unpaid volunteers who work throughout the year to put together what may be the UK’s largest and longest running free festival, attracting up to 40,000 visitors across the day.

There is plenty to see and do from 12.00pm when the Fair officially opens to the grand finale on The Village Green at 10.30pm.

The Fair is preceded by a parade through the city of Cambridge which starts at 11.00am at Christs Pieces and arrives on Midsummer Common at 12.00 for the grand opening of the Fair on The Village Green. The parade features costumes galore, stilt walkers, street performers and music from Arco Iris, Cambridge’s only community Samba band.

The Village Green will have an outside dancefloor featuring Salsa, Lindy Hop and Belly Dancing, the High Wired Circus Show, Circus Acts, a fancy dress competition and lots of music.

There is music all across the Fair from the Village Green to the nearby Kings Head and the Rebel Arts Band Stand, to the Wig Wam stage, the Pop Up stage, the Love Music Hate Racism stage, the Cambridge 105 stage, the Buskers Stage, at Hatters Café, in Scarecrow Corner, at the Green Machine, in the Cambridge TV Marquee, in our largest indoor stage the Portland Ballroom and on our largest stage The Super Mega Zone.

The Eastern Bloco Arts Area will have its own acoustic stage as well as showcasing the work of some fantastic local artists and activists and there will be interactive theatre, workshops and activities throughout the day. Eastern Bloco also hosts the Wild Strawberries Poetry and Spoken word stage, which will have featured poets, open mic sessions and Strawberry Slam with a chance to win a place in the Cambridge Regional Poetry Slam Final.

Strawberry Fair has a dedicated secure Kids Park which is open from 12.00 to 6.00pm with its own entertainers, performers, story tellers, face painters and Zorb Balls, along with a Nursery area, messy and clean play areas and a chill out area.

There are bars on site and people can bring alcohol onto site, but only a maximum of 4 cans, or the equivalent of a bottle of wine but no spirits and strictly no glass at all. Our friendly but efficient security staff will be checking for excessive alcohol at the entrances to site.

Strawberry Fair is known as a day for doing some festival shopping and there are always a wide range of stalls across the site, not to mention enough food stalls to satisfy the most varied of appetites

Strawberry Fair is proud of being a safe, family friendly day-out. In case of any problems we have fully qualified security staff, our own stewards across the common, a Lost Children’s marquee managed by experienced and qualified volunteers and St John Ambulance will be on-hand in case of any emergencies.

More details of the days line-ups and events can be found in the 2016 Souvenir Programme which will be available on the day of the Fair for a donation of £1. There will also be teams of bucket shakers at the entrances and exits to the Fair collecting donations. The Fair is free and there is no obligation to donate anything, but every donation helps the Fair stay free and independent.

Fundraising is a big part of the planning for the Fair and this year the Scarecrow Corner team have gone old school with their fundraising and are running a huge raffle. The prizes are to many to list but include piercing and tattooing vouchers, food and drink vouchers, handmade jewellery, artwork, handmade soap, loads of band merchandise, a personally signed photo of Hugh Jackman and lots, lots more. Tickets will be on sale at Scarecrow Corner at an affordable £1 each and the raffle will be drawn on the Scarecrow Corner stage itself.

Strawberry Fair is run by a team of unpaid volunteers and we can always find something to do for anyone who would like to join us on site through the week before the Fair, at the Fair itself and after the Fair. From building the site, to spending a few hours as a steward, to working in site production, to helping with site clear-up, there is always something to do. Being involved in the Fair is also a great way to learn about event management and we start planning Strawberry Fair 2017 from September 2016, if you would like to learn how to plan and manage a festival from the beginning to the end come along and get involved. Please email iwanttohelp@strawberry-fair.org.uk for more details.