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Our guide to Cambridge Big Weekend 2019

Parker’s Piece will once again be staging the annual Big Weekend, with music and other entertainment, along with Cambridge Mela from today (Friday, July 5).

Big Weekend, Parker's Piece
Big Weekend, Parker's Piece

This three-day festival of music and entertainment is organised by Cambridge City Council - and is a free event running until Sunday (July 7).

The Big Weekend is also set to be even greener this year. People are being encouraged to use public transport, cycle or walk to the event, particularly on Saturday when the roadblocks by environmental campaigners, Extinction Rebellion, are to be staged.

Cambridge Water will be on site encouraging people to visit their pop-up water bar and refill your bottle for free.

Plus, while stocks last, Cambridge Water will be offering Big Weekend visitors a water bottle swap of their existing plastic single-use bottle for one of their reusable metal bottles

Cllr Anna Smith, executive councillor for communities at city council, said: “The Big Weekend is always a brilliant event and a highlight of many people’s summer.

“Cambridge City Council recently declared a climate emergency and we would urge everyone coming to do their bit to be sustainable by bringing their own water containers (there will be places to fill up on site), and coming to the event on foot, by bike, or by public transport.

“Initiatives like introducing reusable beer cups and supporting the use of reusable water containers by providing a pop-up water bar are all part of a general move towards greener events.”

The Cambridge Mela celebrates the best in Asian culture.

Here's our guide to what's on at Saturday's Big Weekend:



Friday night is party night, 80s style. And what a Friday night it is at this year’s Big Weekend. Who better than the master of funk, Craig Charles to get things started, with two DJ sets throughout the evening doing what he does best, playing his unique collection of classic 80s and 90s tracks.

Big Weekend 2019 (13438169)
Big Weekend 2019 (13438169)

Next up, continuing the 80s theme, is flamboyant party band, Dr and The Medics of Spirit In The Sky fame. The 1986 hit was number one in 23 countries and sold more than 24 million copies worldwide.

And taking the night up to the stunning summer fireworks display at 10pm, will be enduring 80s disco legends, Kid Creole and The Coconuts with their unmistakably unique dance sound – reggae and calypso via funk, pop, new wave and disco.

Big Weekend 2019 (13438174)
Big Weekend 2019 (13438174)



On Saturday, there’s even more to enjoy. Mouthwatering treats from the French market, and the opportunity to find out more about French language and culture with Alliance Francaise. There is screen time in the ARM Gaming Hub, in partnership with Cambridge Regional College and you can get up close to science in the University of Cambridge’s Fun Lab.

Big Weekend, Parker's Piece
Big Weekend, Parker's Piece

They'll be more fun in the sports zone; storytelling with The Big Read; activities in the University Museums of Cambridge Make and Create tents and circus skills with Cambridge Community Circus.

The ever-popular BPM Live Silent Disco takes place once again on Friday and Saturday night, so come down and throw some shapes on the dancefloor.

Local up and coming acts will perform on the local bands stage, showcasing partnerships between Cambridge Junction The Fiver, Anglia Ruskin University and, for the first time this year, with local music institution, The Flying Pig pub.

Also new this year is The Alley Club Marquee, bringing an amazing programme of classic ska and reggae to the Big Weekend.

At the heart of The Big Weekend is live music and whatever you like, there will be something worth listening to.

Big Weekend 2019 (13438190)
Big Weekend 2019 (13438190)

On the main Stage look out for: Legend, seven great musicians and singers dedicated to the music of Bob Marley; House Gospel Choir, an electrifying House meets Gospel experience; pioneering DJ SonnyJi renowned for his ‘Bhangra Mixtape’ shows on BBC Asian Network; Cambridge ska institution Big 10; Cambridge Rock Choir; winners of the Cambridge Band competition; instrumental jazz fusion/rock from Cambridge band Will Pears Trio; and Deep City, winners of the NMG band competition.

Saturday truly offers entertainment and activity packed hours of free entertainment for all.



French Market at the Big Weekend 2016
French Market at the Big Weekend 2016

As well as food stalls, the bar and French market, Sunday at the Big Weekend will feature a dance marquee showcasing styles of dance from Scottish Country dancing, Polish folk dance, belly dance and Lindy Hop.

The ever-popular Cambridge Mela, celebrates Asian culture: music, song and dance can be enjoyed in the Bangladesh Welfare and Cultural Association marquee, also in the Mela performance marquee, with acts from Natyanjali Dance School and Sanskruti School of Dance. Local artists plus stars of the Asian music scene are set to perform on the main stage throughout the afternoon with Panjabi MC, Apache Indian, SonnyJi and more.

Day-by-day, the line-up


Live music and fireworks including:

Star FM: 6-6.20pm

Craig Charles (Set 1): 6.20-7.15pm

Dr and the Medics: 7.20pm-8.15pm

Craig Charles (Set 2): 8.20-8.55pm

Kid Creole and The Coconuts: 9-10pm

Fireworks: 10pm


Live music, food and family fun with:

Big 10: 4.30-5.20pm


House Gospel Choir: 9-10pm


Live music, dance and The Cambridge Mela with:

Panjabi MC: 4.25-5.10pm

Apache Indian: 5.40-6:30pm

Sonnyji Sounds: 6.30-8pm

Read more:

Extinction Rebellion protesters: Why we're blocking Cambridge roads during Big Weekend

Extinction Rebellion to block roads and Grand Arcade car park during Cambridge’s Big Weekend

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