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Cambridge City Council

The BIG WEEKEND and Cambridge Mela

7 June 2022


Parker’s Piece – FREE

Friday 1 – Sunday 3 July

CELEBRATE summer this July with the return of one of the city’s best loved free outdoor events, The Big Weekend and Cambridge Mela on Parker’s Piece, provided by Cambridge City Council.

Welcoming thousands across three days, the city centre’s historic green open space comes to life with an array of activities, attractions, bar, food stalls, fireworks and amazing music from top artists as well as local talent throughout the weekend.

The city council’s Deputy Leader and Executive Councillor for Open Spaces, Food Justice and Community Development, Alex Collis, said: "Cambridge’s Big Weekend has always been a very special city event each summer. Whether it’s taking part in sport activities, art fun, listening to incredible live music, watching the artistry of dance and song at the Mela, sampling the delights of the French market or enjoying the stunning Friday night fireworks; thousands come together and enjoy visiting Parker’s Piece over the weekend.

"We’re very grateful to sponsor, Cambridge Water for supporting this year’s Big Weekend, as well as giving advice on water use and bringing their ever-popular Water Bar!"

FRIDAY 6pm – 10pm Fireworks

10pm Friday night is party night! And what a Friday night, marking the return of Cambridge’s Big Weekend. Compered by Star Radio and opening with an early evening DJ set, the night’s live music starts with Cambridge’s very own Big 10; renowned for their huge ska sound, entertaining stage antics and loyal following, Big 10 are one of the most popular ska / 2 tone acts in the south-east.

Next up are the sensational S Club, performing pop classics including Bring It All Back, S Club Party, Reach and Don’t Stop Movin’. Then, it’s Friday night headliner, disco diva and the voice of M People, Heather Small; get ready to hear those giant hits once again including Search For The Hero and Proud! The ever-popular French Market makes a welcome return and the evening finishes in Big Weekend tradition, with spectacular summer fireworks.

SATURDAY 12 midday – 10pm

On Saturday, there’s even more to enjoy! More mouthwatering treats from the French Market, and the opportunity to find out about French language and culture with Alliance Francaise; digital activities in the Gaming Hub, getting up close to science in the Cambridge Festival’s Fun Lab; Sports Zone activity, including ping-pong sessions; children’s fun; getting creative and messy in the Art Tent; face painting and activities in the University Museums of Cambridge Make and Create tents.

Local up and coming acts will perform on the Local Bands Stage, showcasing partnerships which include BBC Introducing Cambridgeshire. And, with water consumption a key environmental issue, sponsor Cambridge Water will be on site giving advice and encouraging people to visit their pop-up water bar for a free refill. Plus, whilst stocks last, Big Weekend attenders will be offered reusable metal bottles (*limited stock, one bottle per person whilst stocks last).

At the heart of The Big Weekend is live music and whatever you like, there will be something worth listening to. On the Main Stage look out for: Saturday night headliner English pop rockers, The Hoosiers; hypnotic ‘Fela Kuti’ style grooves, pounding rhythms and soaring melodies from London Afrobeat Collective; Cambridge 8-piece party band Four Doors Down with their funk, Britpop, ska and soul blend; winners of the 2022 Cambridge Band competition, 2022 Cambridge Band Competition Winners Oli Harris & The Lonely Hours and Under 18 winners The Daze; and False Hearts, winners of the NMG band competition. Saturday truly offers entertainment and activity packed hours of free entertainment for all.

SUNDAY 12 midday – 8pm

Panjabi MC is superstar headliner this year, along with Apache Indian, Mumzy Stranger and the VP Bhangra Dancers and Drummers at the ever-popular Cambridge Mela, celebrating South Asian culture: Music, song and dance can be enjoyed in the Bangladesh Welfare and Cultural Association Cambridge marquee, also in the Mela Performance Marquee, with acts from Sanskruti Cambridge, Natyanjali Dance School, and Swara Nritya School of Arts and. Local artists plus stars of the Asian music scene are set to perform on the Main Stage throughout the afternoon.

As well as food stalls, the bar and French Market, Sunday at the Big Weekend will also feature a Mela Performance Marquee showcasing styles of dance from across the South Asian region. An entertainment and activity packed Big Weekend in the heart of the city, looks set to be an unmissable highlight this summer!

Find out more on Cambridge Live's website.