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.


14 May 2008 06:26 pm
karohemd: by LJ user gothindulgence (reflection)
Mrs McGrath reminded me that I actually wanted to go the Cambridge Folk Festival this year and then I remembered that the tickets went on sale last weekend. Thankfully, Cambridge Resident Tickets were still available so I'm going to see K D Lang, Levellers, John Hiatt and a load more. Yeeehaw!
Quite steep at 89 quid but I have no accommodation costs and little travel costs, too so it's not that bad and considering seeing either of those mentioned above would cost at least 35 or so in London, that's OK.
karohemd: by LJ user gothindulgence (reflection)
was fantastic if a bit warm in places.
Got there around 12 walked from Victoria Ave to the cityside entrance, bought a programme and got a text from [livejournal.com profile] faerierhona that she was here and having lunch. I just wanted to call her back to see where she was and walked right into her as I went around the corner of the stall.
Shortly after, [livejournal.com profile] puddingcat, a BRIGHT PINK [livejournal.com profile] nurse_liz and [livejournal.com profile] professoryaffle turned up. Then [livejournal.com profile] puddingcat and [livejournal.com profile] faerierhona dealed BPAL which looked incredibly dodgy indeed. ;o)
After food was found, [livejournal.com profile] cabd, [livejournal.com profile] elliphant, [livejournal.com profile] bloomeenee and others had turned up, too. We chatted a bit and then I went to find [livejournal.com profile] raggedy_man and [livejournal.com profile] nekofairy666, stopping to listen to a cool Rock'n'Roll/Soul band.
Found them and wandered back to find the Northern Babes gone so we had a look at the Film tent (which was boiling and didn't have a [livejournal.com profile] belak_krin inside). I then headed to the East Stage while [livejournal.com profile] raggedy_man went to see [livejournal.com profile] puddingcat to give her some books. Completely contrary to the Strawberry Fair law was that I never saw the Northern Babes again to say good-bye. *grump*
The band at the East Stage was very strange with various people doing very different things so I chatted to [livejournal.com profile] toripink a bit and then wandered on.
My next stop was the Green Stage where a reggae-ish band from Devon played cool stuff involving horns. Got some great shots of them.
The Theatrikals stage had a Classic/Cheese/Funk Rock band on with a singer channeling Robert Plant and they were really rather good.
Randomly saw [livejournal.com profile] raggedy_man, [livejournal.com profile] nekofairy666 and [livejournal.com profile] robinbloke again and shortly after [livejournal.com profile] the_mendicant with sons. We wandered around a bit and then parted ways again, I ended up at the Theatrikals stage again where a superb band called Points of Origin played all kinds of classic soul and similar songs in a sort of funky ska style. Very very cool.

After they had finished, I bought some falafel and then a crepe with strawberries and found a shady spot by the Future stage to relax a bit.
I wandered around some more and then headed to the East Stage where Rome Burns had just started their set. It was short but very sweet indeed, especially compared to the quality of some of the other bands there. Halfway through their set, the battery on the D70 ran out and I had to switch to the Fuji as I had forgotten to pack a spare. Sooo stoooopid!!! At least I got two vids out of it, which might even be reasonably good, at least for YouTube.

After RB had finished, found a shady spot with [livejournal.com profile] raggedy_man, [livejournal.com profile] robinbloke, [livejournal.com profile] razornet, [livejournal.com profile] vyvyan, [livejournal.com profile] owdbetts and [livejournal.com profile] deborah_c to relax a bit, chat and listen to crap music. Thankfully, the next band were a lot better so we listened some more.

Various people had to leave at this point, so I casually wandered back, was interviewed about the fair by a reporter for Radio 209, had curried goat, stopped occasionally to listen to some more music but nothing struck my fancy much so I walked back in the fading sunshine. As I had just missed a bus, I walked all the way home, which wasn't too bad.
I had a long shower because I was feeling really sweaty and spent the rest of the evening watching Seven Ages of Rock, making a photo preview while chatting to [livejournal.com profile] jupiter_jones and later [livejournal.com profile] suzerain.

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