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Band Application

How it works

Every year we get many, many requests from both bands who would like to play the CRF and fans who would like to see their favourite band play – many times more than there are slots available and so we know we can’t satisfy everyone. Of course we are very happy to listen to ideas and we do try to respond when we can.

If you are in a band, manage or represent one, or are simply a fan who would like to suggest one, please read this and complete the form at the end.

Firstly, please check that you understand what our festival is all about. Look at our recent bands, even if it is just the headliners. These are the type of bands we like. We are NOT a metal, covers or tribute festival! Due to the number of inappropriate applications we have received (feels like spam), we will only reply to those bands that are at least relevant to us. To help you, though you can find all this and more in our History section, here are some past headliner (and other) bands you ought to know if you're in the same musical vein as us, to give you some idea (there are even some links to their music):

Classic Rock: Don Airey, Wishbone Ash, Atomic Rooster, Son Of ManKen Pustelnik's Groundhogs

AOR: FM, Dare, Cats In Space, The RoomSpace Elevator, 4th Labyrinth

Hard Rock: Tygers Of Pan Tang, T Clemente Band, Rhabstallion, Hollowstar, Buster James

Blues: Chris Bevington Organisation, The Mentulls, Larry Miller, Ben Poole, Roadhouse, When Rivers Meet

Prog: Focus, Mostly Autumn, Franck Carducci, Caravan, Carl Palmer, Curved Air

Adventurous, imaginative bands: Kinky Wizzards, Square Wild, Spriggan Mist,

Lighter, folkier bands: Solstice, Blackheart Orchestra, Dandelion Charm

However, before you do so please put yourselves in our shoes! Unlike many events, the CRF is run by volunteers - for the love of the music by the fans of the music – it is not run as a commercial enterprise just to make money. Of course everyone thinks their favourite band has a huge following, but  how many of those people will travel to the CRF in the middle of the summer to see them?

Remember, all the money we get from ticket and bar sales goes towards running the CRF - either the current year, put towards the next, or to repay loans from previous years so we can keep the CRF going. Our volunteers are literally just that, giving their time freely, some for the duration of the festival and some all year round.

Our costs

Every event costs us a lot of money to put on and every festival slot, in effect, has an associated cost to us. But unlike many other festivals you might know, we don't get financial support from Councils, Government, music magazines, band fan clubs etc - we rely upon ticket sales and bar income, so we need to be sure that the bands we choose really will bring in enough people to cover our costs. 

These include the venue, the PA, lighting, marquees, stages, security, venue, licences, power supply and fuel, toilets, bar equipment, publicity, flyers and much more. That's before we add in the fees for our headlining artists! On average each slot costs us over £1,000 to provide, so on average each band needs to generate that in ticket sales!

Our challenge to you

So the question we pose is this – if your band was to be offered an early slot but you personally had to buy twenty day tickets to resell to cover our costs, would you be happy to do that? Would people actually buy them, or just say they will?....  To be clear, of course we will never ask you to do that, but that is how we, and you, need to think…. Remember that you can’t count people who are already going (that’s double-counting!) – it needs to be new/different people! If you're suggesting one of the better-known bands for the top of the bill, the same applies but with some big fees to cover too!

Now the good news!

Nevertheless, we've always been a festival that likes to give a chance to new bands, not just play safe with those guaranteed to make us money. There are many examples of bands we've put on that other festivals have picked up on after they've 'made it'. We understand everyone has to start somewhere and it's a catch 22 situation, so we like to help a few bands each year.

What you need to to do next

Please note all the points below. We will be taking notice of them all, not just the form you send us.

  • There is an online form below - fill it in, answering the questions in the way described, and send it to us!

  • If you're with the band, send us some CDs. We tend to listen to CDs (usually in cars!) rather than any other media. Send to:

    • CRF Director at 23 Hop Row, Haddenham, Ely, CB6 3SR 

  • Support the CRF now. Ask us for some flyers and put them out at your local gigs and venues (ask the venue first!)

  • Talk to people about the CRF and share our details on social media whenever you can.

  • Come along to the next CRF whether or not we can fit you in this time. Make yourselves known to us!

  • Is there something else you can do to help us? If so, tell us - join our volunteers!

Basically, don't expect us to support you if you don’t support us!

However do not expect to get a slot first time and please do not keep ringing us for an answer.

Good luck!

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