Suggest A Band . . . . even if it's yourselves!

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.

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. Every event costs money and every festival slot, in effect, has an associated cost to us. So before we pick your choice of band, we need to be fairly sure that they will recover what it costs us to put them on. Of course everyone thinks their favourite band has a huge following, but will those people all travel to Cambridge in the middle of the summer to see them?

We need to recover the costs of the PA, lighting, marquees, stages, security, venue, licences, power supply and fuel, toilets and much more even if the band will play for nothing – if you/they need expenses or a fee, then we need to be sure that will be recovered too. Of course the later slots will tend to be filled by the better known bands but the same applies. We do try to give opportunities to newcomers early in the day, but even the early slots typically cost us anything up to £1,000 each to put on. Many bands love to support us, and we like to support them by letting them sell their merchandise and keep all the proceeds (many venues do not) – some bands have played the CRF and sold out – our audiences like buying something tangible!

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? Of course we do NOT ask you to do that, but that is how we, and you, need to think…. And remember that you can’t count people who are already going (that’s double-counting!) – it needs to be different people! And for better known bands later in the day the same applies but with some big fees to cover too!


Yes, we want to play...!

If you are in one of those bands and you understand all of the above then read on!

Firstly, send us a CD. Sometimes (not all the time) we operate our own fully licenced internet radio station 'CRF Radio', and by submitting it you are giving us the rights to play it there if we wish. We use it to promote bands linked with the festival - past and present, and feature up and coming bands who send in CDs/Demos etc. This will also serves as a showcase for bands aiming to play at the festival itself.

Sometimes we send out an email featuring a demo which goes to over 10,000 subscribers, so be sure to submit one that's high quality, ideally as a YouTube video link or alternatively as an MP3 file (correctly tagged) with a note giving permission to play on air.

Then follow this simple plan – none of this guarantees anything but it will help:

1. If you haven't already sent us a CD, record a demo and put it on CD and send it to us. We much prefer these to website downloads, partly because they get listened to most often in the car. Make sure you write the name of the band and contact details on the CD (honestly – you’d be surprised…). We do listen to them but cannot return them.

2. Prepare a biography on paper - include contact details and send to the address on our Contact page.

3. Support the festival by actively flyering NOW - join the street team - ask for some flyers for your local venues and also attend our fundraiser events. Don't expect us to support you if you don’t support us!

4. Support the CRF by linking to us and generally promoting us online.

5. Tell us what you would do to market your appearance at the CRF, and particularly if you're a new band or you don't come from the Cambridge area tell us why will you succeed in bringing in a new audience when countless other bands have claimed they would but failed.

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

Good luck!