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Cambridge Folk Festival

Cambridge Folk Festival

One of the premier music events in Europe and one of the longest running and most famous folk festivals in the world.

Cambridge Folk Festival has become hugely popular attracting around fourteen thousand people, many of whom return year after year. The Festival is renowned for its eclectic mix of music and a wide definition of what might be considered folk.

The story began in autumn 1964 when Cambridge City Council decided to hold a music festival the next summer. They approached local firefighter and political activist Ken Woollard who was a regular attender at the newly formed Cambridge Folk Club.

Ken wanted a festival that preserved the values of the fast evolving folk club movement and expressed his socialist ideals, one which covered a wide spectrum of music, and most importantly had a friendly family atmosphere.

The first Festival sold one thousand four hundred tickets and almost broke even. Squeezed in as a late addition to the bill was a young Paul Simon who had just released I Am A Rock.

To this day the Festival embodies the same philosophy from the early days, while it has grown into a major international event.

There, in addition to invited artists, members of the audience including some well known names get up and perform. Indeed very often the real stars are not the booked acts but the audience themselves, who create their own music in sessions in the bars and long into the evenings in the campsite.

Acclaim for the Festival has grown in recent years and there have been a number of award nominations. The Festival regularly receives excellent press coverage and reviews in both the national and local press.  BBC Radio 2 have broadcast extensive coverage of the Festival for a number of years. BBC 4 have previously televised the Festival, it is now being televised on Sky Arts.

Cambridge Folk Festival Website


City Roots

Cambridge Folk Festival presents City Roots, a Festival taking place in February 2017 which embraces the spirit of the Festival, strengthening the link between folk and roots music and the City of Cambridge.

City Roots Website

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