There’s only one month to go before the gates to Cherry Hinton Hall open to fans for Cambridge Folk Festival 2019.   Organisers have now announced sustainability plans and on site activities.

Returning this year with an ‘Outstanding’, A Greener Festival Award, Cambridge Folk Festival now furthers its sustainability commitment and announces the ban on single use plastics.

Rebecca Stewart, Operations Manager said: “We have always tried to stay ahead of the game when it comes to environmental issues.  We’re really proud of our ethos and success with green initiatives. We try to work a year ahead, letting traders know that we had made the decision to go single use plastic free in 2019. This year is the first year we will see the difference.  We estimate it will save over 15,000 bottles from entering the waste stream and accounting for a huge reduction on our overall waste.

For 12 years, Cambridge Folk Festival bars have operated the cup deposit scheme.  That has saved over a million plastic cups from waste to date.  The past five years have seen vendors offer discounts for those using reusable coffee cups. For over a decade, caterers have used biodegradable packaging and utensils.  There has been a ban on plastic straws and stirrers enforced since 2017.

Anna Smith, Executive Councillor for Communities at Cambridge City Council, said: “The city council declared a climate emergency in February.  We are proud of all the work being done by the Festival team to reduce the waste and environmental impact of this incredible event. In addition, Cambridge has to be one of the most family-friendly, complete with children’s concerts and a paddling pool.”

More on offer at the Cambridge Folk Festival than just music

The ‘Wellbeing Area’ area returns with all things therapeutic on offer near the duck pond at Cherry Hinton. Across the weekend, daily Tai Chi (9.30am-10.15am), willow workshops (10am-12pm), drawing workshops (11am-12pm) will be on offer.  Additionally, there will be yoga sessions (Friday and Saturday 11.30am-12.15pm) are all available to encourage festivalgoers to channel their zen.

Cambridge Folk Festival will also see varied workshops to take part in.  They range from instruments, songwriting, singing and even knitting to talks and panel discussions including the Women’s Panel and Mental Health in the Music Industry. Following on from a run of high profile suicides in the music industry, last year saw the first of these talks on site. This year, Cambridge continue to open up the conversation.  There will be panelists joining MIND representative Lucy Oliver-Harrison to discuss mental health in the music industry and beyond.

New for 2019,  is Index on Censorship.  It is a non-profit organisation that fights censorship and defends free expression.  They will, as dusk draws in, welcome fireside folk tales for grown ups in a series of uncensored folk tales as they’ve never been heard before.


The festival champions local talent

In addition to the scheduled artists appearing on the main stages at the festival, the cream of local talent will be showcased.  That is all thanks to the folk clubs in and around Cambridge. They include the established Cambridge Folk Club, Black Fen Folk Club, Acoustic Routes and St Neots.  Also included are the new clubs The Bridge and New Roots.  All members will be taking to the Club Stage across the weekend.

Not to be missed is the selection of traditional Irish music sessions and ceilidhs playing to the early hours. Continuing the movement and a first for Cambridge Folk Festival, The Sisters of Elva Hill will perform an hour-long, narrative folk ballet, sure to impress.

Little ones are more than welcomed at Cambridge Folk Festival and there’s plenty to keep them amused over the weekend. The Hub tent plays host to Children’s / Youth’s dance and music workshops.  The fun continues in the playground, paddling pool and music making at the Coldham Common campsite. Magicians, circus acts, entertainers and face-painters will also be on hand to keep the kids happy in between the bands.

For the full list of on site activities and 2019 tickets on sale now, visit


Browse away from the Cambridge Folk Festival…

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