Entries for this year’s band competition are now closed.

The Grand Final of the Competition will be held at Cambridge Junction on Friday 26 April.

There are a number of cash, performance and artist development prizes up for grabs including the prestigious ‘Kimberley Rew Songwriting Prize‘, and all finalists will get to play at Strawberry Fair 2024 on Saturday 1st June!

First launched in 1985 at Cambridge’s Guildhall, the competition picked up immediate national attention thanks to Trevor Dann and The Old Grey Whistle Test. Infamously, Colonel Gomez caused a national controversy with their performance on that show, controversy that even led to questions being asked in Parliament about the incident! More was to come though, with the ‘debatable’ decision to award the first prize to The Detective – a decision that caused consternation amongst some as, although they made the tapes themselves, The Detective performed on stage to a backing track!

In the last 30 years the Cambridge Band Competition has produced some great winners, and stars who have gone on to do bigger things!

Ezio were named as Tony Blair’s favourite band and has established an international following, Ben Miller of Armstrong & Miller came third in 1990 with a trio called The Dear Johns, and one of the most memorable winners – thanks to pure energy and great music – were Tom Dalpra and Nutmeg.

Members of other bands have gone on to work with some top names in the industry, and all have fond recollections of being involved in the event.

The heats and finals have been held at various venues in Cambridge over the years, including The Guildhall, The Corn Exchange, Lola Los, The Soul Tree and the Barfly. In recent years the heats have been held at the Portland Arms with the finals taking place at the Cambridge Junction.


2023 – TONYT
2022 – Oli Harris
2020/21 – Strawberry Lace
2019 – Grassroof
2018 – Influx of Insanity
2017 – Flint Moore
2016 – Permission to Dance
2015 – Swamptruck
2014 – 4th Labyrinth
2013 – The Simpletone
2012 – Grace Sarah
2011 – Supercasino
2010 – Th’ Parish
2009 – Ed Hope and Friends
2008 – The Winter Kings
2007 – The Hot Bang
2006 – The Alex Harris Band
2005 – Lounge
2004 – AR (AnAchoic Reflection)
2003 – Houston 500
2002 – Bag One
2001 – Alice Band
2000 – Calling Orson
1999 – Simplicity
1998 – Fabulous Kitchenware
1997 – FUR
1996 – Summerhouse
1995 – Beach Blanket Bingo
1994 – Summerhouse
1993 – Ezio
1992 – Tribe of Dan
1991 – The View from Without
1990 – The Big Blue
1989 – Cherry Orchard
1988 – Nutmeg
1987 – Spirit Walk
1986 – Double Yellow Line
1985 – The Detective

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