All Our UK Gigs Folk Magazine and News
Cambridge Folk Festival ´home from home and more...´
With the great Cambridge Folk Festival covering all age groups, an enourmous musical genre, it was diffcult to pinpoint an article that probably hasn´t been written already. Having said that this angle may have too, in which case here we go again.
As a folk loving family we arrived at the earliest possible on the Thursday, eager to to get tent hoisted, get oursleves out and soaking up the atmosphere and of course the music. On arrival the heavens opened and we had the ardious task of putting up a large tent in the rain with a one year old child, this was nothing less of deflating. However yards away we were rewarded for our efforts, Coldham´s common was the family campsite with regualr buses running the crowds to and from the common to the main festival ground. We were expeciting little more than crying babies and want to be relaxed parents. It could not have been different, it was a mini festival delight in itself. A stones throw were numerous tents offering open mics for the adults, craft workshops for the kids of all ages, storytelling and tons of food for all. Greeted by friendly faces and conversation at every moment I remebered why it was so great to be fan of earthy music and people that are also drawn to it. So then came the new task, leaving Coldham´s common.
The main festival ground is a delight, a mix of every age group intermingled and happy in rain or shine. Impromptu music sessions, workshops, instruments you´ve never seen before and many you´ve not heard played in such a way; not always for the better but played with passion nonetheless. Instruments for sale and people there to repair. Nooks and crannies to have jam, a nap or to enjoy your lunch with friends and family. A main stage as unintimidating as any I have ever witnessed, not a moment of awkwardness with a small child, in fact the opposite, a crowd band after band wanting to share a moment to chat with your and everyone else´s little ones. Happy parents with their kids on their shoulders embracing the world rhythms, educating them the best way anyone could, by sharing the live moment together.
When the standing and shoulder carrying took its toll there was the far corner from the main crowds. A place where time could be enjoyed by the lake, the playground and sandpit. Surrounded by a small woodland this became a perfect setting for major acts to be filmed, again another hidden delight and way to see fine musicians up close playing their favoured tracks while the kids entertained each other. Then when this took its toll on the kids they had storytelling around the clock by passionate animated characters who clearly loved what they did whether they were paid or not.
Just when you needed that music fix again, a slightly smaller stage closeby and are curious to see a lesser known act that might surprise or be a name of tomorrow you are confronted by the Den. The perfect size for the kids to snooze and for the adults to sit to a quieter act.
The toing and froing from one area to the next also held surprises for kids and adults a like. Cabaret acts teaching the young ones the importance of eating vegetables and fruit. Face painting, sculptures and pantomime characters. It was an endless delight for all and the only chore was coming back to a place where all of this didn´t exist so readily.
Have I sold it yet?