Your Ultimate List of Festivals in Cambridge 2023
Heading to Cambridge for a break this year? It’s difficult to run out of things to do and see in this city, with such a rich history and culture in its cobbled streets. But what many admirers of Cambridge might not know, is that its festival calendar is full to bursting each year. From music to crafts, science to the arts, the Cambridge festival scene is already bustling with activity for 2023, and we can’t wait to dive in.
Ready to plan your calendar? Here’s our rundown of the best festivals in Cambridge this year.
Cambridge Literary Festival
When: 19-23 April
Where: Historic Cambridge venues across the city
Bringing together the nation’s best writers, thinkers and speakers, the Cambridge Literary Festival is fantastic for both book lovers and interested tourists too. Expect to hear discussions on every topic from health and wellbeing to nature to writing romantic comedies.
If you can’t make their spring edition, don’t worry – the Cambridge Literary Festival hosts events throughout the year, encouraging burgeoning readers to pick up some literature (in any form they like) and get inspired.
Cambridge Beer Festival
When: 22-27 May
Where: Jesus Green, Cambridge
For the ale connoisseur in your life, the Cambridge Beer Festival is a must-visit. Taking place twice a year during May and November, this festival is understandably popular among both locals and visitors to Cambridge. With a huge range of ales, ciders, wines, and beers, the festival also features some fantastic food options, ensuring your trip will leave you satisfied!
The Cambridge Club Festival
When: 9-11 June
Where: Childerley Orchard
For the music lovers, the Cambridge Club Festival is a firm favourite among Cambridge natives, and this year’s line-up is truly something special. As a family festival of music, arts and culture, the Cambridge Club Festival is all about good vibes and joyful moments heading into the peak of the British summertime. With great musical headliners including Lionel Richie, Grace Jones and Billy Ocean, and some stellar body and soul activities (disco yoga anyone?), we can’t wait to grab our tickets for this one.
Cambridge Shakespeare Festival – midsummer
When: 8 weeks across midsummer
Where: Garden venues across Cambridge
Appropriately held in midsummer each year, the Cambridge Shakespeare Festival is the UK’s best-loved open-air Shakespeare festival, providing a stunning space for performers and audience members to come together to celebrate the Bard.
The festival runs for eight weeks in total, with performances taking place each evening at 7:30pm in garden venues across the city – giving the perfect vivid lighting for the actors, who all perform in full period costume with live Elizabthan music to accompany.
Cambridge Folk Festival
When: 27-30 July
Where: Cherry Hinton Hall
Seen as the highlight of the Cambridge festival calendar each year, the Cambridge Folk festival is one of the longest running folk festivals in the world, and attracts about 14,000 people each year, many of whom are repeat visitors.
Enjoy the very best of traditional folk artists and contemporary acts from across the UK, Ireland, and internationally, with a mix of music to suit every taste.
The festival also prides itself on investing in young talent, with its dedicated stage The Den providing a platform for artists under 30, and The Hub area available for young performers to take part in workshops and playing sessions.
Musical headliners for the Cambridge Folk Festival 2023 include The Proclaimers, Rufus Wainwright and Imelda May, while guests can also indulge in the huge variety of activities at the festival, including sculpture, den-building, tai chi and songwriting.
Cambridge Film Festival
When: October 2023
Where: Indoor and outdoor venues across Cambridge
Established in 1977, the Cambridge Film Festival is committed to bringing independent films to the broadest possible audience, championing stories from both British and international filmmakers and fostering a passion for cinema among its patrons.
2023 marks the 42nd edition of the festival, and with its submissions remaining open until the summer, there’s plenty of time for independent filmmakers to get involved.
With a huge dedication to encouraging young talent in the industry, the festival has established a dedicated Industry Day, where talks and workshops focus on developing skills and networking for young filmmakers, and the CFF Youth Lab, which is run by and for young talent in the industry.
overs of the cinematic craft, all films that are shown at the festival are open to the public – perfect for a Cambridge date with a difference.
With so much going on in Cambridge this year, having a comfortable base to enjoy the festivities is essential for your next trip. Clayton Hotel Cambridge lies in the heart of the city with easy access to many of the venues for this year’s festivals. With great deals available for families, couples, or business trips, find everything you need to know about your next trip to Cambridge with our Clayton Concierge.