Strawberries & Creem is on 15th Junestrawberriesandcreem.com

Recent years have seen an explosion in new one-day music festivals, primarily in, but not limited to, London. This phenomenon has developed alongside the rise of a ‘staycation’ culture, that has seen people refrain from flocking abroad in favour of a short break without having to even flash a passport.

A week in the sun in some unspecified holiday destination, away from the dull tones of Brits complaining about the weather, remains obviously appealing to those looking for a complete escape. There is also a continued presence of those loyal to the muddy fun of British camping, and with the rise of glamping at the other end of the spectrum, the joy of the British festival has never quite disappeared from view.

There is a sense of enjoyment in the moment, the fleeting nature of the day part of the deal

But without the need to lug around backpacks full of tent poles, or raise the funds to cover a longer stay, it’s understandable that one-day festivals, be it London’s Lovebox or Manchester’s Parklife, have gained a mass following in the last few years, appealing to those looking to enjoy the fun of a camping fest compressed into a day. The ability to get ready, go out, and come back in the space of a day is easier, quicker and understandably appealing for students in particular, often grappling with a lack of free time.

In Cambridge, a small market town with arguably limited musical offerings when compared to its much larger neighbour, the growth of the one-day festival has provided long term residents and students alike with the classic festival experience of food, booze, and a good boogie. All without the need to spend hours on the train, splash out on accommodation, or argue with friends over tent sharing arrangements.

Kano at Strawberries & Creem in 2016@strawberriesandcreem

Perhaps most evident to us is Strawberries & Creem festival, its roots in the university and city (originating as a Fez club night) influencing its unique aim to ‘Celebrate Heritage, Champion Future’. With a lineup that combines both urban as well as ‘throwback’ acts (this years containing names like Stefflon Don, Mahalia, and Sean Kingston), this one day event provides music lovers with performers of a status often missing from typical Cambridge nights out.


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Recognition of the rarity of seeing these performers live just a mere bus away from the inviting calls of your bed furthers this sense of enjoyment in the moment, the fleeting nature of the day part of the deal.

The rise of garden parties as alternative May Week events in recent years, such as Newnham or Murray Edwards, have highlighted this sense that cheaper, fun days out are worth the money. Whilst May Balls will remain a (arguably problematic) staple in the Cambridge Uni calendar, the growth in alternative events is suggestive of a market increasingly catering for more diverse demands.

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