Band on stage

Cambridge Band Competition

The UK's longest running band competiton!

Enter the 2022 Band Comp Now!

The Cambridge Band Competition 2022 is now open for entries! Musicians simply need to fill in the online form:

2022 Entry Form

All genres of music and all types of performer are welcome to enter as long as they are based within 30 miles of Cambridge or within Cambridgeshire and play original material. Young performers are particularly welcome to apply and indeed under 18s performers, like progressive Jazz Rock trio "Influx of Insanity", have won the competition in the past!

The closing date for entries is midnight 18th January 2022

All entries will go forward to the listening panel of judges which will meet the following week and those acts getting through to the heats will be announced at the beginning of February 2022.

There will be four Heats held at the Portland Arms on Sundays 27th February, 6th March, 13th March and 20th March.

And the Grand Final of the Competition will be held at Cambridge Junction J1 on Thursday 5th May

There are a number of cash, performance and artist development prizes up for grabs including the prestigious Kimberley Rew Songwriting Prize,and all finalists will get to play at Strawberry Fair 2022 on Saturday June 11th


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 1990's then moved to the Junction, where the finals have been held ever since.


  • 2020/21 Strawberry Lace
  • 2019 - Grassroof
  • 2018 - Influx of Insanity
  • 2017 - Flint Moore
  • 2016 - Permission to Dance
  • 2015 - Swamptruck
  • 2014 - 4th Labyrinth
  • 2013 - The Simpletone
  • 2012 - Grace Sarah
  • 2011 - Supercasino
  • 2010 - Th' Parish
  • 2009 - Ed Hope and Friends
  • 2008 - The Winter Kings
  • 2007 - The Hot Bang
  • 2006 - The Alex Harris Band
  • 2005 - Lounge
  • 2004 - AR (AnAchoic Reflection)
  • 2003 - Houston 500
  • 2002 - Bag One
  • 2001 - Alice Band
  • 2000 - Calling Orson
  • 1999 - Simplicity
  • 1998 - Fabulous Kitchenware
  • 1997 - FUR
  • 1996 - Summerhouse
  • 1995 - Beach Blanket Bingo
  • 1994 - Summerhouse
  • 1993 - Ezio
  • 1992 - Tribe of Dan
  • 1991 - The View from Without
  • 1990 - The Big Blue
  • 1989 - Cherry Orchard
  • 1988 - Nutmeg
  • 1987 - Spirit Walk
  • 1986 - Double Yellow Line
  • 1985 - The Detective