Wednesday, 2 December 2009

Tell us your fantasy Festival line-up!

Hi there,

We've started work on programming for next year's Festival and thought it might be fun to ask for your fantasy Cambridge line up, as well as for more practical suggestions.

So, who do you think, in an ideal world, should play the Festival? Do let us know!

Tuesday, 20 October 2009

Acoustic Magazine Review...

'My advice to anyone who likes great acoustic music and finding out about new sounds is to get your tickets as soon as they go on sale for Cambridge Folk Festival 2010. See you there' Andy Hughes, Acoustic Magazine

To read the rest of this review from Acoustic Magazine, please click here.

Thursday, 17 September 2009

Press quotes about this year's Festival

“Now in its 45th year, the line-up is customarily sparkling, cutting across genres and musical barriers”

“This year’s Cambridge Folk Festival was yet again a wonderful testament to the power of music”

The Irish World

“It is marvellous to be able to report the Cambridge Folk Festival has been a triumph. The event is unique, both in terms of the quality of the performers it attracts, and the enthusiasm of the audience”
Cambridge News

“An eclectic and exciting bill, featuring the best in contemporary folk and roots music”

“Cambridge, of course, is the most famous folk festival in the world”

“The jewel in the crown of UK folk festivals is back for another year of jaw-dropping performances and good old-fashioned fun”
The Irish World

“Cambridge has certainly never worried about ridiculous definitions and has a proud history of broadening our horizons”

“But the joy of the Cambridge Folk Festival is that love for the traditions it enshrines spans the generations in the most natural way, with both an audience and performers of all ages converging for a four-day hootenanny”
The Scotsman

Thursday, 6 August 2009

The reviews are in...

"The beauty of Cambridge is the diversity of the bill. This year’s festival featured the finest in traditional folk, in the form of The Waterson Family, through to the best of bluesy funk, in the form of Booker T."
Shropshire Star

"Cambridge is continuing to be a decent mix of old and new, keeping 'folk' alive at a time when everyone seems to be trying to reinvent it."

To read a selection of press reviews from this year's Festival, click on the links below:

The Scotsman

The Times

The Daily Telegraph

Shropshire Star

Cambridge News

Cambridge News #2

The Guardian

And some blogs about the event:

Mike Harding's BBC Radio 2 blog

Mike Harding's BBC Radio 2 blog #2

The Co-operative

Underwurld Music

Sons of Loki

Sunday, 2 August 2009

Thanks for coming - see you next year!

This year's Co-operative Cambridge Folk Festival was a great success and we had a fantastic time!  From the line-up to the crowd and the (mostly) blissful weather it was pretty much perfect.

Thanks to all who were here this year - we hope you had as good a time as we did.  Don't forget to comment on the blog and let us know about your best bits!

For all those who couldn't make make it this time, hopefully we'll see you next year!

Treacherous Orchestra close the Festival in style!

Closing the Festival this year was The Treacherous Orchestra - they're mad!

The thirteen young, Scottish folkers whipped the audience up into a frenzy of waving hands, jumping bodies, and dancing feet with their crazy dance music!

Using a managerie of instruments, the band created the the perfect atmosphere to end the Festival - not that anyone wanted it to end.

As we write the revellers are still milling around Cherry Hinton Hall, making music of their own (some good, some very bad - we blame the real ale!) and it looks like they'll be continuing the party into the wee small hours of the night!

Watermelon Slim works his magic on Stage 2

Multi award-winning blues artist, Watermelon Slim headlined an already pumped-up Stage 2 and did not disappoint.

Following a delay caused by Blazin' Fiddles over running by 15 minutes, the crowd were very excited as the final act walked on stage and as Watermelon Slim & the Workers started to play, the audience went wild.

What a legend!

Lucinda Williams

Nervous as she was to begin with, Lucinda Williams still rocked stage 1. With her style, which is crossed between folk, blues and country, it still had a rock edge with her deep and soulful sounding voice.

Blazin' Fiddles set fire to Stage 2

After a fantastic set of fast-fiddling on Stage 1 yesterday, it was hard to believe Blazin' Fiddles would manage to top it. But they did.

Running over their set (to the sheer delight of the audience) the band forced Festval Manager, Eddie, to motion 'cut' from the photo pit so the stage managers could set up for next act, Watermellon Slim and the Workers...

Imelda May have the award for best Festival performance on Stage 2!

Imelda May was just brlliant. There's not a lot more we can say.

The anticipation before she even stepped on stage was immense with the crowd all chanting her name. When she did arrive on stage she looked the part with bright red lips and slicked-back hair. When she began to sing it just got better!

Dedicating her second song to Rockabilly legend Billy Lee Riley who sadly died tonight, Imelda paid the great man a wonderful tribute with a wonderful song.

The star rocked the Stage 2 from start to finish, even coming back on for an encore, covering Soft Cell's Tainted Love. A Stage 1 headline of the future, no doubt! Fab!

Paul Brady rocks Stage 1

Paul Brady played to an audience of eagerly anticipating fans. The Irish singer-songwriter took the stage with his rock style to the cheering crowd

Stuck in the mud...

Have we said it is muddy here yet? Of course we have, but I bet we haven't told you that we are trying to make the mud look better? Check out the what has been stuck in the mud to liven it up!

Tres Bien Oumou Sangare!

Although Oumou Sangare and her band spoke very little English, their presence on stage said it all for them. Their colourful music matched their dancing, beautiful smiles and Oumou's outfit! Their lively style had the crowd intoxicated from the start and cheering louder and louder as the set went on.

Surprise for Eddi Reader fans

Eddi Reader surprised her fans with an impromptu signing at the Mojo tent. Her queue was so long that at one point, both Martin Simpson and Eddi Reader were doing separate signings at the same time!

Third time lucky for Martin!

On stage 2, Martin Simpson played acoustic guitar of songs from his new album which he launched this weekend. This was his third appearance across the festival and he was following his performance with a signing at the Mojo tent.

Flower power

Eddi Reader had the crowed in stitches before she'd even started her set on Stage 1. The eccentric singer, dressed simply in flowing clothes and red flowers in her hair, told a story about her two sons who fancy the girls from TV show Charmed (which featured one of her songs and therfore 'made her cool') and her heartbreak at the break-up of celeb couple, Peter and Jordan.

Even better than her wit, Eddi's voice was on top form as she sung along with folk artist Heidi Talbot, accompanied Festival favourite John McCusker, local boy Boo Huwardine.


Making his second appearance at the Festival Jim Moray made a welcome return, this time on Stage 2. Leaving the audience in no doubt about just why he has been winning just about every award under the sun this year, he delivered yet another crowd winning performance.

The annual 'Gator' competition

It's a bit of a Festival tradition. Every year the hard working Festival crew enjoy a bit of light relief by having a fancy dress competition for their 'gators' (the Festival buggies that drive various things and people around the site). We think that this year's efforts have excelled themselves...check them out and also the winner who received the trophy from guest star judge Cara Dillon.

It's getting Lau-d in here!

What is different about Lau is that they all sit down to play. However, it doesn't effect their energy. Aidan O'Rourke (pictured here filming the crowd as they play), was often was out of his seat with the shear force he was playing his fiddle. The rest of the band were joined by various guest artists on stage including Bella Hardy, who performed on Stage 1 earlier in the day.

Still crooked!

Crooked Still appeared on Stage 2 with the afternoon sun. They played on stage 1 yesterday as well as playing on stage 2 with the Festival session.

We don't just have great music acts at the Co-operative Cambridge Folk Festival...

As well as all the music there's lots of other stuff going on at this year's Festival.

The Folknet Cafe is where revellers can go and catch up on emails, update their Facebook or Twitter pages, and interact with this very blog (or get a weather report so they can choose the correct footwear!) all while having a hot cup of tea and a bite to eat.

The Hub is a Bedouin tent beside the Folknet Cafe which is reserved exclusively for young people to make music and take part in workshop and sessions that are led by some of the young artists that are also performing on stage.

There's also a duck pond within the Cherry Hinton Hall grounds. And after last night's rain, the pond's residents were pretty happy with all the extra water around!

BBC Young Folk Award-winners Megan & Joe Henwood

Armed with just a guitar and a sax, the young brother-sister combo opened their set with a bitter love song which had the audience at the second stage pretty much hypnotised.

Eventually joined on stage by the rest of their band - which consisted of Peter Knight on fiddle, Barry Moore-Barlow, drummer from Jethro Tull Band, and jazz double bassist, Andy Crowdy, Megan & Joe continued to capture the audience.

What's walking about here then....

These two traveling characters were found wandering around by the main stage bar area. They were keeping the crowds entertained while singing a few renditions of various different songs.

Knee deep in mud

It might be very muddy here at Cambridge, but it doesn't deter this child that seems to be enjoying himself!

Guest blog from the Beeb!

Hi there - it's Clare from the Radio 2 interactive team - enjoying my third festival and happy to be sat here blogging once again and watching the stars of the folk world wander past (as Martin Simpson just did).

Talking of Martin - you can (for the next few weeks) watch 3 songs and look at photos and the setlist from his stunning set yesterday and please do add your comments if you were there to see him. He's a personal favourite of mine - I have to have a hanky handy for Never Any Good and I know I'm not alone!

We're gradually adding video now - so keep checking in. And if you're reading this within the next few weeks, get yourself to the Radio 2 Cambridge Festival site right now and watch all the highlights while they're still available.

And best of all - the video of Jon Boden's 'surprise gig' is now live. Don't miss it - it was one of those great moments when it all falls into place and the music just flows.

Ah, there's Cara Dillon wandering past with a double buggy - a song from her lovely performance is due online very soon.

Off to prepare to dance in the mud to Lau. Hurrah!

Clare - and the Radio 2 Interactive Team

Comparing Stages!

While the technical crew are busily setting up the stages in between artists, the is still someone performing on the stage - the comperes! They have a very important job to do, they have to introduce the artists, keep the crowds and make important announcements from stage when necessary.

Brilliant Bella!

Following her stage 2 performance yesterday, Bella Hardy, with her merry band consisting of Cello, Violin, Harp and Squeeze box, opened stage one on this final day of the festival. Not only does she work at the Festival hub, she is also launching her new album at the festival as well as doing a signing at the MOJO signing tent.

Good for everyone...

Bubbles, keyrings, and mini seed pots were just some of the attractions on offer at the Co-op's trailer. Children also enjoyed taking part in a special Ethical Quiz. They chewed their pencils whilst considering questions about recycling, clean drinking water from 'PlayPumps', schools using solar panels and more. Ethical prizes included a butterfly theatre!

Sunday morning at the Festival

The sun is out, the Wicker man is still smiling, The Archers are playing through the PA, the hangovers are clearing, the shops are doing a brisk trade, the puddles are subsiding, the musicians are getting ready, the crowd are waking up...and this is far too long a sentence with a considerable lack of punctuation.

Mud mud, glorious mud!

Sunday morning, and the morning after the night before. A few Festival-goers heads were a little muddy...but that was nothing compared to some areas of the site following the torrential downpour the night before! But Sunday so far is living up to its name - the sun is out, people are ready on their mats, rugs and chairs and the Festival tradition that is The Archers is blasting out of the PA to gently wake people up ahead of another day's Festival-ing. Lovely.

Saturday, 1 August 2009

The sizzling Saw Doctors

What a way to end the evening! The Saw Doctors had the crowd cheering along, singing and dancing from the moment they stepped on the stage. As the lights flashed on stage, their style, which is somewhere between folk, rock, punk and pop, has got them to No.2 on the Irish singles charts. Half way through their fourth song, the band all swapped instruments and continued to keep in time, ending up with the drummer becoming the lead guitarist!

Los Lobos livin' la vida loca!

Los Lobos and their flare livened up the main stage with their lively Latino sound. People were clapping and cheering and had forgotten the rain that continued outside. Their Mexican folk songs echoed through the fresh air and you could feel the rumble of tapping feet.

Umbrellas and rainbows!

As the rain begin to seize, a rainbow appeared over main stage as the sun began to set.

Bobbing at Booker T.

While Booker played, it began to rain and sea of umbrellas continued to bob along to the rhythm of the beat.

Booker T.

Saturday night moved up several gears when Hammond B3 legend, Booker T. took Stage 1 by storm. What a set! Classics like Green Onions, together with material from his new album brought the sound of Stax to Cambridge. And the Festival was all the better for it. He even managed to turn a black sky gold.

Enchanting Diana Jones

Diana Jones appears on stage elegantly dressed compared to the muddy puddles of the festival. On stage, she described her second song as a result of a night with her girlfriends and wine talking about ex-boyfriends and ex-husbands and how she feels she should always follow this song with a love song.

Beth plays a blinder, but the heavens open!

Arriving on stage a few minutes late, Texan singer, songwriter Beth Neilsen Chapman told the crowd that she had been waiting to play the Cambridge Folk Festival since she was 10 years old and that she was so pleased to be here. And pleased we were to have her. A moving and rousing set left a deep impression hampered only the clouds opening during the last 10 minutes in what can only be described as a 'mini-monsoon'.

Whilst unberellas opened and those without darted for cover, Beth was unswayed delivering a perfect Festival set. Sorry about the weather Beth - and so pleased you finally got your wish to play Cambridge.

Sir...your audience awaits

An expectant crowd await the arrival of the legendary Booker T.

From The Hub to Stage 2

Also known for the great contribution she makes to the Festival with the work she does with young musicians in the Hub and the Festival's Young Musician Competition, Bella Hardy remains a true Festival favourite. Performing alongside musicians who appeared on her latest album she delivered a strong set to a raptuous Festival crowd.

Brian McNeill's album launch

At the Mojo signing tent Brian McNeill launched his new album and performed an impromptu performance to a delighted crowd.

Feeling hot hot hot!

Eagerly anticipated Hot Club of Cowtown set stage 2 alight with a blistering set. Elana James was as cool as folk, in her staggeringly high heels and hot pink dress as she fiddled for all she was worth.

It's that man again!

Not content with wowing a rapturous Stage 1 crowd the night before with Bellowhead and also leading the Festival's impromptu flashmob session this morning, Jon Boden made his third appearnce at The Co-operative Cambridge Folk Festival with his solo band, The Remnant Kings.

Suited and booted to the max, Jon delivered another consistently good performance to an appreciative crowd. A busy man...and a fine fine performer.

Stage 1 is on fire with Blazin' Fiddles

A cloud of rosin appeared over main stage as the blazin' fiddles played furiously on their violins. One of the popular contemporary Scottish artists on this year's bill, their songs escalate into a musical explosion backed by guitar and piano