One of Britain’s favourite family-run music festivals is heading online next week.
The Cambridge Rock Festival started in 2004 and was known as the Rockinbeerfest, taking place at Huntingdon Racecourse with headliners being Dr Feelgood, The Stranglers and Wishbone Ash .
It quickly gathered wider support and a team of volunteers to help run it, many of whom are still involved today.
Coronavirus put paid to the original plans for this year’s Cambridge Rock Festival, which was due to take place at its new Peterborough venue.
But in its place, the organisers are presenting Virtually the Cambridge Rock Festival 2020 to run on the dates the festival would have taken place, June 18 to 21.
The virtual event will feature a line-up using all the high definition footage that exists of former Cambridge Rock Festival performances.
Among the more than 40 acts that rock lovers can enjoy free of charge are Atomic Rooster, Larry Miller, Don Airey, Frank Carducci, Chris Bevington, Mostly Autumn, Son of Man with Deke Leonard, Heather Findlay and Ben Poole.
Festival spokesman Ian Stuart said: “It’s going to be freely available, a thank-you from us and the bands for your support, and something to lift the spirits.
“Tickets for the festival are, for one year only, completely free. A great deal of it will be in high definition, so put the dates back on your calendar, get your beers, get settled in and in front of a big screen, ready to be at the festival in spirit if not in person!”
Plans are already in place for the festival’s physical return next year, which will take place at Peterborough Showground from June 17 to with acts including Focus, Cats in Space and Pendragon.
Ian added: “We hope that this will give you a taste of the unique friendly rock festival that is the Cambridge Rock Festival , and we look forward to seeing you in person in 2021.”
The annual music festival has seen nationally and internationally well known acts perform on its various stages, but has also taken the opportunity to promote new and local bands too - the total number is over a thousand.
The event has been shortlisted for awards, with many major acts having appeared in previous years, including Asia, Uriah Heep, Focus, The Quireboys, Magnum, Thunder, Hazel O’Connor, Caravan, FM, Carl Palmer’s ELP Legacy, Eddie And The Hotrods, Snakecharmer, John Otway, Tygers Of Pan Tang, Mick Ralphs, Don Airey, Praying Mantis, Deborah Bonham and Barclay James Harvest.
York-based Mostly Autumn holds the record for number of appearances having played every year apart from the first.
Many bands have travelled from overseas – 2016 saw the T Clemente Band fly over specially from the San Francisco Bay area of California just to play, and they’ve been back every year since.
Visit the cambridgerockfestival.co.uk website for details of this year’s virtual festival and what’s in store for 2021.