Cambridge Band Competition Heat 2

Heats for the Cambridge Band Competition will be held each Saturday in March at the Portland Arms with the second heats on Saturday 12th March.

Tickets prices are £5 in advance and £6 on the door (with £4 in advance and £5 on the door under 18s concession). Advance tickets can be bought from The Portland Arms website

The judges will mark each act on their technical ability, innovation and originality, stage presence and the Strawberry Factor (described by competition organisers as that undefinable something that will help them to make a sustainable career out of music and would they go down well at Strawberry Fair?)

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 finals, so we strongly encourage you to come and cheer on your favourite act.

Heat 2 for the Under 18s Competition will start at 1.30 pm with Deep City, Stormdreamer, Saltfen and Tom and Paris competing for a place in the Under 18s Finals at the Portland Arms on Saturday 26 March.

Deep City are a four piece band from Cambridge who are big fans of the Cambridge music scene and entered the competition because it sounded like a fun thing to do. They have a wide range of musical influences including The 1975, Joy Divison, Brian Eno, Swim Deep, Jaws and Superfood.

Stormdreamer are a four piece rock band from Cambridge who have been together for 3 years. Their original songs helped them win the 'Ones to Watch' award in last years competition. They name Jimi Hendrix, Nirvana, Black Sabbath, Iron Maiden and The White Stripes among the bands that inspire them.

Saltfen are a four piece band from Hadenham and Ely who have been performing together since 2012. They entered the competition last year and are back again with new material. The Strokes, Kings of Leon, The Arctic Monkeys, Bombay Bicycle Club and Bloc Party are among the bands they listen to when not performing their own music.

Tom and Paris are a singer songwriter duo from Bury St Edmunds who have been together since February 2015. Since then they have played a variety of gigs including festivals, live radio and the NMG awards. Having attended Strawberry Fair nearly every year they think it would be a really enjoyable and vibrant place to  promote their music.

Heat 2 for the Over 18’s Competition will start at 7.30pm with Permission to Dance, Sofasonic, Alter the Sky and Radar all competing for a place in the Finals at the Junction on 29th April.

Permission to Dance are a five piece band from Baldock who entered the competition because of a shared love of Strawberry Fair and the chance of being part of it. Most of their influences come from the funk and disco sounds of the 1970's as well as the contemporary NuDisco DJ Edits scene incorporating driving drum and bass lines to beef up old classic anthems.

Sofasonic are a four piece from Hertford who have been together in their current format since 2013. Their current line-up has taken their sound into the bluesy-rock riff-based genre. They describe their individual influences as quite diverse, but with them all coming together around Rival Sons, Crobot and any blues artist from the last 70 years.

Cambridge five piece Alter the Sky are a female fronted, hard rock band influenced by the likes of Black Stone Cherry, Alterbridge and the Wildhearts. The band formed after playing in other local bands on the Cambridge circuit. They say that we should expect riffs, hooks, guitar solo's and powerful vocals along with a stage show to keep us wanting more

Radar are a three piece band from Cambridge whose original music has been compared to Paul Weller's rockier stuff crossed with The Who, but they may be offering a prize for a better description of their set at the heat. They have played at  Strawberry Fair for the past 2 years and hope to make it three in a row before they play the Cambridge Rock Festival later this year.


Deep City



Tom and Paris

Permission to Dance


Alter the Sky