Monday, March 22, 2010

Tale of Two Festivals

Last year:

- A total of 32,500 ale lovers went to Jesus Green over the six days of the Cambridge Beer Festival, with some 15,000 customers on the Thursday and Friday. No arrests.

- About 20,000 revellers went to the Strawberry Fair weekend producing 400 prosecutions and 73 actual arrests.

Unless the Strawberry Fair is reformed radically, it will not be missed by me.
One cost the county £83,000 to police while the police presence at the other was summed by this old anecdote:

“The organisers of one of the early festivals enquired of the police as to whether there ought to be a police presence at the festival, they were politely informed that there was - the control room was contacting the Corn Exchange if they needed any CID officers, but they were trying not to interrupt their drinking.”


  1. Compared with Midsummer Fair though?

    I used to live just across the foot bridge from the common, was perfectly happy to wander around when Strawberry Fair was there, but Midsummer Fair turned it into a no-go area.

    Same goes for the boat owners I knew over the years, most were happy to stay for Strawberry Fair but headed upriver the moment Midsummer Fair was in town.

  2. Although i am a socialist (and wouldn't normally post on a conservatives blog page) i think the tory party has got one policy absolutely right, elect chief police officers. In Cambridge we appear to be lumped with a chief superintendant (mr rob needle) who appears to be politically to the right of Atilla the hun and has no problem with acting like he has a political mandate by opposing the license granted by the city council to strawberry fair. I say lets put him on the ballot paper and see how he does, i'll hapilly stand against him in the election and we'll see who wins

  3. Anonymous, the problem with your premise was the theme of David Cameron's recent speech: vested interests. Massive numbers would be effectively "whipped" to support the candidate most friendly to their interests, eg Strawberry Fair and the arrestable behaviours that happen within.

  4. FD, that's called democracy. But vested interests only hold for a limited period of time (the pendulum swings). Then the new vested interest makes sure "it'll never happen again".Then the pendulum swings again...

    The only other way leads to the gulags...