Picture an idyllic setting in the middle of nowhere. Imagine a few horses off in the distance and green grass stretching as far as the eye can see. Now throw in 10,000 20 something year olds, a ton of colour, life and sound – you’ve got Strawberries and Creem. Set in the outskirts of Cambridge, the festival celebrated its fifth year with headliners Not3s, T-Pain, David Rodigan and more.
The Big Top Tent was the place to be with sets from Crazy Cousins, Ghetts and House of Pharoahs. Kenny Allstar shook things all the way up with a ton of special guests like Ambush, D Block Europe and Afro B plus Birmingham’s new kid on the block Mowgli.
One of the liveliest shows came from breakout star Octavian who’s been refreshing UK Rap with his mellow flow over elements of experimental dance, Rap and Grime like on ‘Party Here’. Accompanied on stage by DJ, producer and fellow Essie gang member J Rick (perhaps the sickest hypeman out there) Octavian wowed the crowd with recent drops ‘Hands’ and his Mura Masa collab ‘Move Me’.
While the day coincided with four World Cup matches, football fans were lucky to see the games being screened on a giant screen in the middle of a field. This meant you could still skank out by The Hangar stage to Jackathon’s DJ Heidi whilst watching France and Australia kickabout.
Backstage in the VIP area shoulders rubbed and a few random famous faces were spotted including Love Island’s Marcel, former EastEnders actress Preeya Kalidas and Skepta who played the festival back in 2015. Meanwhile, guests were offered free teeth whitening and sweet treats like cookie dough with ice-cream.
Over on the mainstage, there was the unmissable duo DJ Luck and MC Neat who carried the crowd through staple classics from Grime, old school Garage, a bit of Bassline and splash of funky house. Their Garage all-stars showcase had all the old school ravers moving and shaking. The throwback hits continued on with headliner T-Pain aka the king of auto-tune who had everyone feeling nostalgic whilst singing along to ‘Buy U A Drank’ and ‘I’m Sprung’. You’d be lying if you said you didn’t know all the lyrics.
Despite all the #TBT acts, the overall vibe of the festival was young and fresh which pretty accurately reflects the founding crew behind Strawberries & Creem which is run by the youngest independent team in the country with the average age amongst them being just 24 years old. Having started out as a series of parties thrown by a group of university students, the festival now draws in a mass of youngsters pouring in from Birmingham, London, Manchester and further afield. It’s a pretty impressive fete considering Strawberries and Creem is only in it’s fifth year and will continue to grow and grow.