Cambridge Band Competition

The Cambridge Band Competition 2017 is Here!

AND, Wow, What a Line-up....

The Heats are every Sunday in March at the Portland Arms and Tickets can be purchased in advance here:- 

From a massive 70 entries, just 28 acts will be battling for a place in the Finals. 

Under 18s Competition (Doors open 13.00)

for more details see the facebook events given in the links

Heat 1 - Sunday 5th March

Green Dolphin / Maverick / The Catch / Blue Mean Eyes

Heat 2 - Sunday 12th March

Lemondaze / Frenzy / Tom Roddis / Pretty Ace 

Heat 3 - Sunday 19th March

Violet Flares / Green Brothers / Tom Leader / Henry O'Farrell

Under 18s FINAL - Sunday 26th March 

Doors open 13.00      even start 13.15

The winners of the three heats and the act that got the loudest audience cheer in the heats will be competing to be the Under 18's Competition Winner and for a place in the Grand Final at the Junction on Friday 28th April.

facebook event :-  

Over 18s Competition (Doors open 19.00)

for more details see the facebook events given in the links

Heat 1 - Sunday 5th March

Poncho Pilots / A Few Too Many / Dale Bennett & the Incidentals / Jason & the Skagonauts 

Heat 2 - Sunday 12th March

Lords Lumber / Flint Moore / Vulpes / Hoshino

Heat 3 - Sunday 19th March

Claudia Kate / Izi Phoenix / Cavertown / Datum Plane

Heat 4 - Sunday 26th March

Luna Falls / Too Cool Kid / The Hot One Two / The Abstracts

The Winners of the Over 18s heats plus the Winner of the Under 18s Final will go through to the Grand Final which is at the Junction in Cambridge on the evening of Friday 28th April..

In addition – the act that has the loudest recorded audience cheer 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!

All finalists will be able to perform at Strawberry Fair as well as competing for musical and developmental prizes.

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

final collage


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.