Friday, July 29, 2011

Cambridge Folk Festival - Part 1 - A Festival of Finesse

The Cambridge Folk Festival has been around since 1965. That’s forty something years for proto-pedants. I first came here sometime in the mid-1970s. It was a bit of a jaunt from London with a few friends although I remember very little about it I am pretty sure we did not pay to get in and it is highly likely that we did not get more sensible and sober as the day went on. Forty something years later and I am back. This time being sensible and sobrer is kind of essential. But as it happens I still do not pay to get in.

This is my third year at Cambridge. It is the neatest, cleanest and tidiest festival site I have worked on,  and possibly in the history of festivals. If Her Maj had a festy  on the lawns of Buck House it would look like this.

Before the PA, lights and video  equipment arrives the sparky boys install the power supplies and working lights. I suspect they are instrumental in keeping their local cable tie supplier in business. They are also one of the few crews on site who actually use most of their cable ties to tie cables.  Every cable is restrained with the enthusiasm of Ms Whiplash at an Old Etonian party. 

Over two dozen cable ties
have made this distribution
board earthquake proof.

Bulkhead lights cable tied to the
stage with admirable attention to detail

The site is planned and laid out to the with millimetre accuracy with all tents and traders allocated a space which is then marked out on the grass. Unlike other events where this is done, when the tents and traders arrive they actually fit into the space allocated – bloody marvellous.

The stages are equally well ordered:

Main Stage
Second Stage

Club Tent Stage
This finesse is also apparent in the campsite:
The John Wayne Memorial Diso

A rare Blue Tinsel tree

A folkies tent is his (or her) castle...

Bring your own garden

Bring your own tree
Bicycle neatly stowed in a tree

Seasonal confusion

High School The Musical - possibly at the wrong festival
Who needs a tent anyway?
  More neat and tidy later...

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