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Culture, Music

The Cambridge Club Festival 2023


On the UK’s hottest weekend of the year, The Cambridge Club festival made a dazzling return to its home in Childerley Orchard, welcoming 25,000 people across the weekend, with headliners Grace Jones, Lionel Richie and Kool & The Gang in a full weekend of sunshine.

With unforgettable performances each night to thousands in the beautiful venue, alongside an array of amazing musical artists spanning across decades and genres, The Cambridge Club festival has kicked off summer in style.

The line-up encompassed more than 50 artists across comedy, electronic, disco and R&B, which made for an eclectic experience across 3 different stages. On the main stage on the Friday night the Mississippi R&B legend Alexander O’Neal heated everyone up with his classic hits, and the truly fearless Grace Jones mesmerised the audience with her hypnotic performance, even climbing on the shoulders of security to get up close and personal with the crowd.

Jones’s immaculate performance may have been spurred on by her pre show feast of oysters and sushi, prepared by local celebrity chef, Tristan Welch.

On the Saturday night main stage Jo Whiley got everyone moving and shaking with her throwback 90’s anthems. British Soul favourites The Real Thing brought their beautiful vocals and 45 years of experience to the Orchard to get the audience grooving, and Lemar treated festival-goers to his soothing melodic R&B vocals. Disco diva Sophie Ellis-Bextor delighted crowds with her pop anthems and Lionel Richie came out to get the crowds dancing all night long to his huge catalogue of mega-hits, finishing off a day of amazing entertainment with some of the biggest names in music.

In an unforgettable moment for everyone present, Lionel Richie had the spotlight stolen during his rendition of Dancing on the Ceiling by 11 year old Evie who wowed the singer with her breakdancing moves. Praising Evie from the stage Richie said: “They say animals and kids will always upstage you, and I’ve just been upstaged. That was sneaky!”

On the Sunday night even more legends graced the stage at Childerley Orchard. Disco trio Odyssey kept the party pumping, followed by Billy Ocean and his band who brought his greatest hits to life. The festival main staged closed with the iconic Kool & The Gang leaving the crowd dancing well into the evening.

The Discovery Den had the tunes going for the whole weekend in its new location in the Orchard, hosting DJs and dance music for the entire festival. On the Friday night Fat Tony and Denise Van Outen made it impossible to not get up and dance, along with Dan Shake and The London Disco Society. The decks kept spinning into Saturday, with drag queen extraordinaire Jodie Harsh getting the music blasting, Twisted Time Machine providing grooves as well as a riotous performance from Bongo’s Bingo. House music institution Eats Everything lit up te Orchard after dark and DJ Stuart Banks made sure the energy never waivered. On The Sunday night Kane Lancam took over the decks, and Abba Disco Wonderland made sure spirits were kept high with some of the band’s most beloved tracks.

The Auditorium of intrigue allowed festival-goers to kick back and laugh loud all weekend long with Andy Askins, Ed Byrne, Andrew Maxwell and more hilarious comedy acts. On the Friday night The Imagination station made sure the little ones were also entertained all weekend long with Tootles & Nibs and The Rainbow Collections. There was also an unforgettable DJ set from children’s entertainment legends Dick & Dom which got the whole family on their feet.

William Young, Festival MD said: “That was a special weekend. From start to finish the atmosphere has been electric. Genuinely one of the loveliest crowds we have ever seen and some of the performances were even more magical than we could have imagined.

Weekend tickets for The Cambridge Club go 2024 go on sale this Tuesday. The Cambridge Club 2023 was a weekend of fantastic weather, groovy vibes and unforgettable performances from the glitterball of musical icons, truly a weekend to be remembered.

Image credit: @garryjonesphotography


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