Last weekend saw Strawberries and Creem celebrate its fifth year of fun, in the academically acclaimed city of Cambridge.
What started out as a small-scale Cambridge University garden party, this year sold over 10,000 tickets. Haggis Farm has the spatial capacity to expand to house 50-60,000 guests and S and C shows no signs of slowing down.
The festival’s unique selling point is that their headline acts invoke an aura of early noughties nostalgia with T Pain on the bill this year – needless to mention Shaggy, Nelly and Grandmaster Flash booked for previous editions.
After the quick, hour train ride from Kings Cross to Cambridge, we avoided the 10,000-metre-long taxi queue and jumped on the very convenient shuttle bus to the festival – our views were of quaint buildings and suburban landscapes – lest to mention the horses we passed on the way.
We arrived at the festival, pumped for the day. With such a diverse line up, featuring so many inner-city acts in an almost unlikely location, there were so many on my list to see; Kojo Funds, SNE and Crazy Cousins just to name a few.
With previous forecasts of rain, I had already pre-empted a mud bath and had come equipped with my industrial Dr Martens, however, the weather really held up and the sun shone for Strawberries and Creem.
After checking out the exclusive viewing platform in the VIP area, we scanned the field and made our way to the Hangar stage. We caught Dj Alisha spinning the sickest house set that left me ready to book a flight straight to Ibiza.
After this, we quickly waded our way through the crowd to the main stage to catch Mr Funds. He performed all the tunes I wanted to hear like ‘My 9ine’ and ‘Stallin’ but he really spoiled the crowd by bringing out Abra Cadabra to perform ‘Dun Talkin’. Everybody literally went wild – no problem, no problem!
Later on Not3s joined the party and also brought out some friends, this time NSG for ‘Pushing Up‘ and D-Block Europe for ‘Trophy‘.
The performance that really did it for me, however, was Ghetts. He is SUCH a performer, his energy, his delivery, his stage presence – everything is faultless. He absolutely killed his set with multiple reloads and even treated us by taking it old skool to perform ‘Sing 4 Me ‘. This brought me way back to high school days, phone against the bus window days – nostalgia at its finest.
I’d like to give accolades to festival first-timer Gen who performed with Star One, House Gospel Choir who I saw for the first time earlier this summer and they did not disappoint again the second time around and finally, to presenter Rebecca Judd who did an absolute job of hosting on the main stage.
Last but by far not least, the man of the moment – Mr. Teddy Pain himself.
Self-proclaimed pioneer of the auto-tune genre ‘Hard & B’ really came to shut things down. He performed all the songs of our childhood, ‘I’m Sprung’, ‘Low’, ‘Outta my System’ and of course ‘Buy U A Drank’.
No matter what anybody says, it’s always going to be “Ima buy you a drank, ooo weeee” and not “and thennnn” – like, that doesn’t even sound right!
For a proper festival experience, I cannot recommend Strawberries and Creem enough. You get to get away from the hustle and bustle of the city and the small and intimate feel S and C adopts, makes it feel like the festival is personally tailored to you – honestly an experience like no other.
Pre-register for next year’s info online now: https://www.strawberriesandcreem.com