Mon 1 - Sun 7 July
MUSIC: Sharon Van Etten, Cambridge Junction, 2 July
All the way from Brooklyn, Sharon Van Etten, graces the Cambridge Junction with her electro-infused presence on 2 July. She’s promoting her latest album, Remind Me Tomorrow, an exploration of “the life that gets lived when you put off the small and inevitable maintenance in favor of something more present”, also known as just really lovely vocals to untrained ears like mine!
FESTIVAL: Big Weekend, Parker’s Piece, Cambridge, 5 – 7 July
Is it even summer in Cambs without the Big Weekend on Parker’s Piece. We think not! This year the whole city will come together on the first weekend of July (5-7) for a live music extravaganza and fireworks display extraordinaire. The fun starts on Friday night, with a nostalgia-packed eighties party (shell suits and leg warmers encouraged) featuring Doctor and the Medics blasting out Spirit in the Sky, then it’s Craig Charles taking to the decks, followed by disco favourites Kid Creole and the Coconuts. Saturday and Sunday see French markets, a Sports Zone, The Big Read, an art tent, the Uni’s fun science lab and the Cambridge Mela (a celebration of Asian culture) descend on the park. Plus more awesome music. Check out the line-up here.
FOOD & DRINK: Houghton and Wyton Feast Week, 5 – 14 July
Why just have a weekend of summer celebrations when you can have a week of feasting, say the food-loving folk of Houghton and Wyton, whose Feast Week runs from 5 – 14 July (that’s technically more than a week, but we’ll not be pedants). Expect bizarre English events like a scarecrow competition, duck race and the classic village fete (splat the rat etc.), as well as an American take on things with the Barn Dance. Anyway what about that feast? There’s a bake-off and every event throughout the week will have delicious food and drink stalls to keep you merry.
DAYS OUT: Robin Hood Day, Hinchingbrooke Country Park, 6 July
Muddy-Stilettos’-award-winning family attraction Hinchingbrooke Country Park is proving why it won on 6 July with one of the best family days out we’ve heard of in a long while – it’s Robin Hood Day and you’re invited to help the Sherriff of Nottingham capture Robin Hood & His Merry Men hiding in the woods with the chance to win a goody bag. Dressing up is encouraged (the kids, not you!), there’s unlimited bouncy castle-ing, archery classes, bow and arrow, swords, shields and kite making, a falconry display, and live chain saw demos. It all rounds off with an outdoor cinema showing of Disney’s Robin Hood.
MUSIC: Hifields Festival, Dullingham Polo Club, 6 July
Right, grab a cuppa and settle in because we’ve got so many festivals this month, my Hunter wellies are in danger of getting worn out… First up is Hifields Festival at Dullingham Polo Club on the 6 July. Saddle up for some serious fun, dust off your flower crown and inhale some incense – this festival is all about flower power and celebrating love and peace over some awesome live music. Inhibitions are not welcome here (*downs two shots of vodka before entering*), and you’re encouraged to ‘dance like nobody is dancing’ – excellent, that’s my favourite kind!
MUSIC: NFest19, Needingworth, 6 -7 July
The next occasion to rock those ripped denim shorts is a slightly more sedate affair, NFest19, the Needingworth Music Festival on 6 – 7 July at Needingworth Village Hall. Seventeen acts will grace the two stages and there’s something to get everyone’s toes tapping: Rock, Soul, Blues, Folk, Psychedelic, and Country.
FESTIVAL: Cambourne to be Wild, Cambourne Business Park, 6 – 7 July
All together now: “Cam…bourne to be wildddddd”. Not sure it’s going to trump the original, but it’s certainly got a ring to it, don’t you agree? On 6 -7 July it’s the Cambourne to be Wild festival, The Cambridgeshire Wildlife Trust’s first summer festival at Cambourne Business Park. It’s a family-friendly event, so you can get the little ones appreciating good music and learning to support wildlife in one fell swoop. Saturday is the upbeat dance night with Magic Queen (above) headlining, while Sunday is more chilled with a gospel choir and ukulele bans. Expect lots of food stalls, a fun fair, wildlife trails, willow weaving and an arts hub too.
FESTIVAL: AquaFest, Ely, 7 July
Ely certainly knows how to make the most of its riverside location with it’s annual AquaFest on 7 July. 2019 marks the 41st year and it’s spread across three sites: Lavender Green, Jubilee Gardens and the Maltings Green. So, what’s an AquaFest then? Well, there’s all the usual festival staples (fun fair, beer tent, burger bar and a miscellany of charity stalls, craft and business stalls), plus the main event – the Raft Race on the River Ouse. It doesn’t get much more British than this (except that time I stumbled across the annual bed race in Knaresborough!) as numerous decorated rafts race down the river or simply try to stay afloat.
KIDS: TOTFest2019, Rowley Mile Racecourse, Newmarket, 7 July
Got a toddler who’s getting bored of simply wiping sticky fingers on your kitchen cupboards? Then head over to Newmarket’s Rowley Mile Racecourse on Sunday 7 July, and you’ll find the perfect way to tire them out at this awesome kiddy event – TOTFest2019 (yes that’s right a festival for babies!). All the best baby and children’s businesses across the area come together in a riot of colour and noise, that your little ones will love. Think live shows, baby football, live size Peppa Pig and Paw Patrol characters, fairground rides and crazy golf. Go on, you might just enjoy it too!
FOOD & DRINK: Haddenham Beer Festival, Haddenham, 5 – 7 July
Ok, it’s the section you’ll all been waiting for. Where would we be without a food and drink festival in the diary? The gorging begins with Haddenham Beer Festival from 5 – 7 July (not to be confused once you’ve had a few with Haddenham in Oxfordshire, who are also having a beer festival on the same weekend). It kicks off with Festival Friday at the Ouse Valley Singles Club, before the family-friendly Super Saturday and Drinking Up Sunday (someone missed the alliteration memo). In other words – loads of amazing beers to try with live music as accompaniment.
THEATRE: A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Shakespeare at the George, The George Hotel, Huntingdon, until 6 July
Even if you don’t love a bit of Shakespeare, you can’t help but enjoy A Midsummer Night’s Dream at The George Hotel in Huntingdon until 6 July, in their atmospheric Jacobean courtyard (no need to shlep to The Globe when you live in Cambs). The bard’s most widely enjoyed play is performed by an am dram group, but they’re so good, you’d be forgiven for thinking you’d stumbled across an RSC production.
FOOD & DRINK: Peterborough Italian Festival, City Centre, 6 – 7 July
Not jetting off to Italy on your hols this summer? Fear not, you can get your annual fill of pasta, pizza, gelato and vino in none other than Peterborough at the Peterborough Italian Festival on 6 – 7 July in the City Centre. Ok, so there’s no Amalfi Coast views or dreamy Italian men dressed head to toe in Armani, but the Italian food is authentic and seriously tasty.
THEATRE: Here Come The Boys, Cambridge Corn Exchange, 6 July
Feel like it’s still forever until Strictly is back on our screens? Get your ballroom fix a couple of months early on 6 July when three of our favourites Giovanni, Aljāz and Gorka quickstep it onto the stage at the Corn Exchange. Grab your girly friends and marvel at the amazing bodies (oops, sorry I meant dancing talent) of these handsome chaps as they compete in a ballroom battle for their Here Come The Boys tour. Expect dance floor classics, live music and gravity defying dance moves.
ART: Open Studios, Cambridge, 6 -7 July
July is a bumper month for art lovers in Cambridge, because every weekend the community of over 350 artists in the area open up their studios for us nosey parkers to come and snoop around. Entry is free and it’s the perfect way to combine a walk around our beautiful city with discovering some talented local craftspeople.
COMEDY: Jimmy Carr Terribly Funny, Cambridge Corn Exchange, 7 July
You either love a risqué joke or cringe inside when a comedian crosses the line. If you’re of the former persuasion you’ll find this laugh-a-minute show, Jimmy Carr Terribly Funny at the Corn Exchange on 7 July, exceptionally entertaining, as Jimmy jokes about all kinds of terrible and crude things that most comedians won’t touch. Leave your political correctness at home! Let’s just hope he doesn’t find himself terribly funny too. Two hours of that laugh is enough to send anyone insane.