In a little tucked away field known as Haggis Farm, lay the home for Strawberries & Creem. On June 17th, glitter-headed girls and burnt-necked boys enjoyed a day of music, sun and great food and drinks. But if you weren’t busy enough hunting for shade or waiting for J-Hus to sing Did You See, you may have noticed some other things…
1. You bumped into nearly everyone you knew
There was no chance of walking to the toilet without seeing five people from your secondary school, your friend’s brother and twelve people you have on Facebook but don’t actually know. The best – or worst depending on who it was – about upcoming festivals, is that the reduced number of people in comparison to large festivals, not only means it’s easier to actually see the artists but it’s not a rarity to see someone you know. It’s the festival’s third year and the capacity has multiplied by five to 5,000, since beginning in 2014. Hopefully in a few years time it’ll be so busy that your long lost friend from sixth form won’t catch your mess of a self stumbling around.
2. There was a strong message of peace, love and unity
Amidst some really awful times in the UK, the artists, one of which being Shaggy, made sure to promote love by showing the peace sign in the crowd, shining their light as a sign of togetherness and chanting “fuck you” after the word “racism” was shouted. A call for justice for the victims of Grenfell Tower was also expressed by one grime artist who explains that was his area and told the crowd how together we are powerful. Suddenly you felt really part of something, great vibes and strong messages.
3. Shaggy really does suit his name
The American-Jamaican singer put on a spectacular performance, singing all the hits including It Wasn’t Me, Angel and Oh Carolina but it wasn’t really his voice that got people looking. Shaggy’s dancing was on another level, this man’s pelvis could quite possibly be motorised. His thrusting was enough to make Elvis have a jig in his grave. But fear not it was educational as he informed the crowd how to do the “Jamaican-get-them-pregnant-again-and-again whine”, complete with facial expressions. Among the crowd were people who lived in the Cambridgeshire village, Cambourne, a place where the birth rate was higher than that of India – this whining lesson may leave Shaggy responsible for a housing crisis.
4. So Solid Crew were an incredible throwback
There’s no smug feeling quite like knowing all the words to a song, So Solid Crew gave everyone that opportunity with 21 Seconds, thanks guys.
5. And music is much deeper than just songs…
Many artists mean a lot to their fans and festivals are the opportunity to bring the two together. A woman named Zoey was spotted at the front of So Solid Crew’s set, the lead vocalist Lisa Maffia began to directly sing to her. Zoey continued to dance away but started to cry a little, she told me:
“I feel so silly but I’m 30 years old now and I used to listen to them as a teenager. They’re from the same area as me, I know their brothers and their sisters. Seeing them up there doing so well makes me realise you can achieve big things, even in my area.”
6. Grime artists are immune to heat
The heat at Strawberries & Creem was around 26 degrees on the day. The fake tan was more streaky than fleeky and glitter was now being used as sweat camouflage. However, many grime artists were seen in tracksuits despite the weather. This goes to show that apparently if you’re than cool on the inside, this has physical effects. But in all honesty, I don’t think we’d ever catch AJ Tracey in three quarter length jean shorts, even if he was in the Sahara Desert. The odds of Wiley in the classic maga-lad-short-shorts? None. But he put on a great show.
7. A picture with the S & C sign is a must
In this digital world we need to feed our Instagrams and Snapchat stories like newborn babies. And if you’re at a festival a picture with the sign is a massive essential. But trying to get a picture with the S & C sign can be worse than bagging one with platform 9 and 3/4’s at Kings Cross.
8. Occasionally laughing to yourself that such a festival exists in Cambridge
As you glide around the many food stalls spoilt for choice of churros, crispy duck, BBQ food and so much more – you stop and realise that there’s literal decent DJs and artists playing at Grantchester Road. It’s a Saturday and we can actually listen live to J-Hus and not to an awful chant of Will Grigg’s on Fire remixed in with Dancing in The Moonlight at the Regal. WHAT DID CAMBRIDGE DO TO DESERVE THAT?
9. Not only the locals attended
It’s comical that within such a picturesque city, home to some of the most intelligent, hidden away in Haggis Farm is bucket hat wearing head boppers. And not only that but reality stars like Love Island’s Olivia Buckland was there – who already said she was keen to return in an interview with Tequilher – Made in Chelsea’s Tina Stinnes, Britain’s Next Top Model finalist Tululah Eve, Presenter Mason Smillie and many more friendly faces. At first you’d think, why on earth would you come to Cambridge? But after attending the festival, you knew exactly why.
10. It’s better than anyone expects and you’ll definitely be returning
If we’re all going to be honest, I don’t think anyone would expect much from a music festival in Cambridge. But didn’t you hear? Cambridge is more than punting and universities, we do music now.