karohemd: (Photo)
Strawberry Fair is an annual (except for last year) free festival on Midsummer Common in Cambridge. Last year, the police objected to the event because policing it had been difficult (disorderly conduct, drugs etc.) and the council didn't grant the license. This year, the setup was changed, Midsummer Common was fenced in and the number of entry points severely restricted so you couldn't simply walk onto the Common. Spot checks were made at the entrances for drugs and excessive alcohol (restricted to four cans). I wasn't stopped on the way in, possibly because it was still early and I didn't look like I would cause troubles with my two fancy cameras strapped to myself.

This year I was early enough to catch the parade coming in which had a steel/drumming band, stiltwalkers and other costumed participants.

The main difference to the setup of the fair was the lack of a big main music stage on the east end and other stages (like the Reggae Tent) were missing as well. I found the music generally lacking in quality or maybe I was just in the wrong place at the wrong time.
Instead, there was a large cordoned off area called the "Village Green" in the centre with organised events like The Knights of Honour reenactment group's fighting displays.
The Cambridge Community Circus was present as well and made for some of the best photos I managed to get (see below).
As the stalls went it was either food (more expensive again, 6.50 for a portion of curry goat and rice with more bone than meat) or rather commercial ones selling clothing, accessories and tat. Most of the little stalls/traders were missing.
The weather was good, there was always a nice breeze so even when it was quite hot (hottest around 5pm!) it was bearable.

Overall, it was a good day out (I had to leave around 6 because my back was complaining too much) but it felt a bit subdued compared to previous years. The official numbers said there were a lot fewer arrests (13 compared to 73 in '09) but I think I saw just as many drunken yobs as in previous years.

Here's the Cambridge News article on the Fair. I randomly walk through the frame in the first video at 1:28 (but sadly with the head cut off). BBC Cambs' selection of my photos is here.

karohemd: self portrait (photo 85mm)
The opening night of Sacrilege last night seems to have been a big success. Excellent turnout, lots of people I hadn't seen in years and obviously the reopened Q Club which holds a lot of fond memories for the local alternative crowd. As was to be expected, the music was rather 1999, which was pretty much the intention.
So yeah, finally an alternative night in Cambridge on a Friday!

  
 
  

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karohemd: (Photo)
was good. The weather held until I left 9:30ish because my feet were telling me they wanted to be put up and wouldn't support me much longer. I made it there just after 12 and met up with a number of friends. I picked up my press pass and stuck it to my hat. ;o) I moved between the stages all day. Except for Special Preserve (great blues) and The Neutrinos (both in the acoustic tent, the latter will get a separate post), music was nothing special this year and except for that world music group and again The Neutrinos not particularly interesting to photograph, either. Shame, really.
I also had my usual food selection (falafel for lunch, curry goat for dinner and a crepe for afters) but didn't buy anything else. So, here's them photos:

 
  
 

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Still more on flickr (which will be expanded over the next week or so)

February 2013

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