Strawberry Fair 2016 - October 2015 Update

With only seven months until Strawberry Fair, October is the month that things start to happen. The (mostly) new Steering Group starts to get to grips with everything that has to be done and the Programming group and the Finance/Fundraising group have their first meetings.  

Traders Team

The Finance/Fundraising group is responsible for raising a lot of the money it looks after. The group is responsible for working with traders and it is starting to get together the team who will respond to emails, take bookings, deal with enquiries – basically a mix of people skills, spreadsheet skills and an ability to use a phone. Although it’s not high up the list of glamorous jobs (I mean how could it compete with putting up fence panels in the rain?) working with traders is important. It’s also a great way to get some new some work skills and we would be happy to give references afterwards.

Without the traders Strawberry Fair would not be a free festival, but it’s been a long time since income from Traders covered the whole cost of the Fair. Which is why the Finance/Fundraising group is always looking for new and exciting ways to raise money. Strawberry Fair is not sponsored and, aside from the occasional grant, has to raise the cost of the Fair. If you are reading this you and just thought of an amazing fundraising idea then come along to a meeting or email iwanttohelp@strawberry-fair.org.uk.

The costs of organising the Fair have gone up massively in recent years. Our trader income no longer covers the costs of the event and we have to make up the shortfall via new fundraising methods, such as even more benefit gigs and the introduction of bucket collectors on all the gates. 

If, like me, you don't have an idea just now, you could do what I do and help with making other people’s ideas happen.        

The Programming group is also a great place to learn some new skills. The Programming group is right at the heart of managing the Fair and they are now getting proposals from each of the areas (Scarecrow Corner, Eastern Bloco, Village Green, Kidz Area, Portland Ballroom, Wig Wam, Rebel Arts, Love Music Hate Racism, Super Megazone, Green Machine and Cambridge 105) plus any new areas. Each area gives some idea of what they are planning to do next year and what infrastructure (power, fencing, marquees, staging and so on) that they will need, along with an idea of what it will cost. The Programming group works with the Infrastructure Group and Finance/Fundraising group to put all the proposals together to come up with a plan for the Fair – and work out how much it will cost and how much fundraising needs to be done. More about this in the months to come.

You would think that would be enough but the Programming Group is also responsible for the Cambridge Band Competition. The competition will be holding the heats on each Saturday in March at the Portland Arms. There will be Under 18’s heats in the Saturday Afternoons and Over 18’s on the Saturday nights with the finals being held at the Cambridge Junction at the end of April. Running the Band Competition involves running the heats and final (with a bit of events management training thrown in for those that would like that), publicising the competition on social media, local press and radio, listening to entries and sorting them into individual heats, working with the acts, sorting out prizes for the winners and much more. If you would like to be involved with the competition then get in touch.