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!


David said...

What a fansastic weekend. Brilliantly organised, relaxed, and easy.
thanks, will seee you next year

Daniel said...

Absolutely the best weekend of the year! Will probably pack some waterproofs next time though, silly me! A huge, enormous thank you from myself and the three of my friends I brought along who had never been before who will be here every year from now on too.

g.dawkins said...

Absolutely AWFUL!!! Acoustic festival maybe, folk not really. Soooo crowded with disinterested picnic brigade sleeping, reading eating and talking loudly (so you could hear them but not the music). SO RUDE!! Couldn't get near the music stages without stepping on ranks of 'yummy tots' with their faces lit up by their DSs. Things looked up when it poured with rain and the yummy mummies and dadies took juniors home to get dry. Thought crowds actually dangerous at some points, due a visit from the HSE next year me thinks !! Well not me anyway!! Never again.

jerryslater said...

Really enjoyed the weekend and a varied line up in terms of genre made it all the more enjoyable ( sorry G Dawkins but get a life!!).Best of the bunch were Imelda May, Saw Doctors ( as always) and Edward II. I do have a spoiler though - Myke Clifford and comperes - stop patronising the audience,I was bloody sick and tired of announcements concerning chairs rugs etc, it was every time and nobody took any notice. Introduce the bands then get off or give it up and respect to a fresh face!

jonnogael said...

Really enjoyed it as usual but a few moans, the increase on a pint of Guinness was staggering and the amount of pints sold reflected the widespread discontent.
I'm still waiting for the festival to get a little "elderly friendly" despite receiving an email that a limited number of seats would be made available for the elderly no one on either stage knew anything about it nor did any staff member I approached. As an observer of rules I could only manage to stand for about fifteen minutes inside the arenas before retreating to my chair outside.

g.dawkins said...

Telling bloggers to get a life? That's a bit rich Jerry (I see the need for a varied line-up, just don't call it folk!!) Best to keep it simple and get rid of picnic rugs and chairs from the tents altogether. Put chairs (with some room for dancing) then more people can join in and no yummy tots will get trampled!

g.dawkins said...

oh and totally agree about the price of ale!!

manasota said...

my first time and no complaints - just a few suggestions/comments:
1 - some seating in the bar areas would be nice
2 - some more showers at Coldham Common
3 - bit more African music - Oumou Sangara was stunning
4 - why the Zutons? An OK rock band, but no linkage to folk/world/roots music. Can see their like at any other sort of festival
5 - bit naff for the Co-op to not be allowed to sell booze after 1pm everyday surely?
6 - the site is clearly too small for 12000 people (and their chairs!) and felt claustrophobic at times. Thank god the weather held - 3 days in the rain could have been dreadful
7 - stages in tents need re-thinking. Difficult for many to see artists because of narrowness. maybe wider rather than longer?

jerryslater said...

I agree with you ( G Dawkins) about calling it folk!! But then would it be so popular? I also agree with you about the chairs and rugs in the tents. I take it back! But I wont say sorry cos you are a yummytot basher!!!I have thought for some time that the site could be better organised in terms of tents etc.its strange how people's taste differ......wasnt keen on Oumou Sangara.The Zutons promised so much yet failed to deliver - sorry!

Anonymous said...

I loved it again, Edward II made it for me as I knew they would .

No it's not a purely folk festival, It's the best all round music festival there is, I like the way they've always mixed it up,ok, not everyone works, I still wonder how Devine Comedy played one year but they do pretty well in picking artists ,and it hasn't been a 'fRoots' festival in the 30 years I have been going and I am thankful for that, If I wanted that I'd go to Bromyard or somewhere else. I wouldn't have had a chance to see some real legends if it were.
I think Ken Woollard would still be proud the way his baby has grown,it's a credit to Eddie Barcan and crew.

Julia said...

I agree about the yummytots. The whole place was like a creche this year, and where did all the chavs come from? Ive been going to CFF for 11 years but i think we'll all be off the the other one in Cambridge a week earlier next year and get something for our money for once. Also, I sincerely hope the sweetcorn stand didn't make its rent back! £2.50 for an ear of corn!!

Gail said...

Had an enjoyable weekend but greatly disappointd in the amount of people. Couldn't sit down anywhere (as didn't own chair), when i did manage to sit down was always told to stand up. Even when i visited the club tent,what use to be a place you could sit down and chill and enjoy music....ON YOUR FEET and we were jammed in so tight. You're packing in too many people to the detriment of enjoyment. Often could not hear music over others talking...please louder music, please a lot less people, this will make it more enjoyable. Don't be so greedy with packing us all in.

Padraic said...

We went to Cambridge for the first time this year and really enjoyed it. Several of the acts could not be described as folk but it's all music. Lau, Imelda May and Eddie Reader were highlights for us. Bus transfer to Coldhams Common worked perfectly and all of the staff/volunteers were very friendly and helpful. Roll on next year.
Padraic & Claire

ross said...

Overall an excellent experience. Music was varied,well planned and not too much choice -- sign of a confident festival appealing to a liberal audience apart from g. dawkins who is exactly the kind of ahistorical purist who should stay at home.

Particularly enjoyed Mumford and Sons, Ade Edmondson, Los Lobos, Oumou Sangare, Booker T and Lucinda Williams. Thought Bellowhead were disappointing given the hype.

The seating/standing problem was never addressed by the organisers though it was obvious early on. It was the familiar petit-bourgeois entitlement to space which became annoying: the idea that if you put a blanket down, you own that space for the rest of the day. I do think that the numbers were reaching a maximum. I'd like to see maybe one more Stage 2 sized tent and perhaps some more space for seating on the grass -- perhaps a slope which would enhance the view. I'm not sure how to discourage the Boden/Rohan wearing corps who seem equipped for scaling K2 rather than a festival. Perhaps like Easy Jet you can limit carry-ons to a particular size bag -- it was the equipment not the people who got in the way.

Camping at Coldham Commons was relaxed holiday in itself and buses worked well.

g.dawkins said...

Not a purist at all (not sure what ahistorical is Ross, but I don't think I am one of them either)!! Just don't like being sold something as 'folk' when it isn't!! I think they are trying to be a mini Glastonbury by getting in a few 'hasbeens' in. Los Lobos started well but then reverted to some sort of second rate rock. Not vaguely mexican and not vaguely anything, there is a pub band in my village who play better stuff than them!!. There are sooo many good up and coming artistes who need exposure and they don't get a look in. I blame the presence of Radio 2, it has to go middle of the road once they pitch up!! If the organisers had put stage 2 at Coldhams common we could have had a lovely uncrowded folk festival with plenty of variety and plenty of space!! The organisers definitely greedy to pack so many people in and then not organise it so that space gets to be a real issue.

Fi said...

Did anyone else think the sound quality was worse than in previous years? Feedback during every performer's set, quieter on stage 1 than usual and dipping the mic volume between songs which made it difficult to hear what the artist was saying

manasota said...

Thought the Watersons were below par by their standards. Mike Waterson simply cant sing anymore, and there were some noticeable blips - like Martin Carthy's false start. Maybe they were unrehearsed because they are trying to do so much with their multitude of projects.

ross said...

g dawkins, Agree about the space and the possibility of Coldham Common but you are ahistorical because you think that folk is generically airtight. No music is and even Los Lobos were true to their roots -- they aren't Mexican, they are Mexican-American. Which brings me to the question: why is the Cambridge Folk audience soooooo white?

Sharen said...

Variety is the spice of life and there was certainly plenty of it at the festival. I didn't love it all, but I did love most of it. The shere skill and accomplishment of those performing was breath taking! Camping at Coldham common was idylic - no complaints here! Roll on next year:)

Pete Burrows said...

This was my 5th year at the festival and I have to agree with the people who commented on the crowd size. It definitely seemed more claustrophobic than previous years. Now, I know it is a family friendly festival but I certainly think a lot of space was taken up by large 'off road' styled prams / push chairs. They take up twice the room of a fold out chair and are empty most of the time. Maybe a secure pushchair storage area outside of the arena maybe called for.

The music however was top notch as per usual (don't care if it is deemed as folk or not - I saw the artist list before I bought the ticket so knew what I was getting). Ella Edmonson definitely should have been on outside of the Club Tent though - Stage 1 maybe, Stage 2 definitely. Sunday evening felt a bit lack luster until 'The Treacherous Orchestra' came one - great choice to close the night!

Also big thanks to all the staff, very friendly and helpful (especially when I managed to lose my camping ticket within 5 minutes of arriving).

Here's to next year.

Lich said...

I enjoyed this year's festival a lot. The weather wasn't too bad, the music was good and so was the beer!
I particularly enjoyed all the eclectic folk bands, i.e. those that combine folk with more "modern" types of music, however, I was hoping to see more traditional bands too.
The management is probably trying to attract more younger people, BUT all I can say is that I'm 21 and I'd never want to miss out on a trad band. (Not that I don't like the more eclectic approach!)

All in all, a great fest!

Alexxina said...

ive got to say i was incredibly disappointed with this years festival :(

ive been going to cambridge for almost ten years, and the place has always meant so much to me, but im beginning to wonder if I want to go again.... It really seems like the crowd is very divided, something thats been getting steadily more obvious over the past few years...there are people who seem go there who love the music, and are really passionate about the vibe of the scene, and then others who seem to go there to stand around looking grumpy and moan about everything!!

example: the treacherous orchestras 1st set at stage 2, me and my friends got into the crowd, about 5 rows from the front, because we wanted to see a high energy band and have a wee dance. before the set started we were chattin away, and i noticed a perfect example of aforementioned second category grumpy woman, who kept turning around and giving us evil EVIL looks....fair enough we were chattin loudly, but this was before the music started! Fast forward ten minutes: the music begins, and we of course begin dancing. Two songs in, and many increasingly dirty looks later, the grumpy mrs trunchbull lookalike turns around ad tells us to stop dancing as we're distracting her and getting on her nerves!

Im not talking 2008 levellers style moshing here, im not talking even half the bouncing of the final set on sunday, just energetic happy dancing, because funnily enough we were watching a DANCE BAND. in the end I asked if we could in that case go past her to the front with all the other dancers and her reply was: 'We were here first'.

Ive always liked the vaguely disgruntled nature of the festivals audience, its got a funny charm about it. I've always found it hillarious that if someone shoved through the crowd they got a reprimanding glare or shake of the head, but in the past there was always an edge of good nature to it .... but nowadays its getting less and less cute and actually more and more rude. The whole feel of the place is definately changing, i dunno why, maybe its to do with the internet sales opeening the place up, maybe its to do with the folk movement itself - though as an absolute folk enthusiast i really hope not not!

Its not all bad of course, and despite this i still had an awesomely good time!! one thing i will always love about this festival is the range of ages, and despite the general murmerings about prices, this is still one of the cheapest of the 'bigger' festivals ive ever been to. and the late night bus rides back to coldhams are always hilarious, though we only went round the roundabout once this year despite a foot-stompingly amazing version of Animal Fair and Wheels on the Bus!!!!!

ps sorry about the rant, but i felt really really let down at the end of this years fest as you can probably tell!

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