I’ve been to a lot of music festivals in my time, but never have I wanted to attend more than I did this year. Ok, maybe there have been others that have been a little more exciting, like the time Davido headlined Yam Carnival 2021 but this festival was definetly one of the most anticipated in recent years.
I was excited to be seeing headliners Lil Wayne on Saturday and Tems the next day. Of course, the UK Government decided to make itself known a few days before us getting there. As I left for Cambridge from King's Cross St. Pancras with my friend, most people were talking about Lil Wayne getting denied entrance into the country by the UK Government. The worst part about It? IT WAS GOING TO BE HIS ONLY UK PERFORMANCE SINCE 14 YEARS AGO! Then Tems fell sick the next day but Grammy Award- Winning rapper Ludacris stepped in and didn't disappoint. NSG took to the spotlight on Sunday.
So, Strawberries & Creem kicked off the UK festival season in style. The lineup looked great, the atmosphere and vibe was brilliant, making new friends was awesome, the food and drinks were good but the most frustrating thing was travel.
IM JUSTBAIT MAIN STAGE was very good... 7/10
Ms Banks started the day off for me. I saw her perform last year at Yam Carnival and knowing how engaging she is with her audiences and acts like she doesn't give a care in the world, whilst rapping, she always gets the party started and warms you up for the next act.
Mabel I've seen twice before. Not because she was the main reason I went to the festivals over the last few years, but she's not bad. She's confident on stage, can sing quite well and bust a few well rehearsed dance routines but her song choices aren't always on point. At Strawberries & Creem, I felt she was promoting a new collection of songs and at the end she sang 'Finders Keepers' and 'Let Them Know' that everyone knew. Overtime the audience had started too thin out.
Tion Wayne was great. A momentous triumph for the London rapper and his performance was packed with songs we all knew... 'Man, I'm still up on the roads, could've left (boom)
Still chattin' to my bros on the tech' (bah, bah)
Fuck that, man, I don't give a F (grrr)
What, you wanna get smoked? Cigarette (ayy, ayy)
English, English girl named Fiona
African girl, Adeola
Body-ody shaped like Cola
Back up, back up, ayy, come closer'
The legendary musician Ludacris began his much awaited performance with selections from his back catalogue. He took us back to our living rooms and bedrooms, where we would act like him, try to rap like him, and use language our parents wouldn't approve of. If you're my age, the 90s and 00s was the best decade for music. Who remembers 'Yeah' by Usher or the lyrics 'when you move, I move (Just like that) x2. 'When you move, I move (Just like that. Hell yeah, hey DJ brin' that back). Stand Up! Stand Up'
I wasn't sure if he would be any good but my friend told me that most American musicians just bring it. They know how to put on a memorable show and she was spot on. We were dancing in the rain and I was like "hell yeah" dancing along to every beat.
Even though a small stage, It brought us Girls Can't DJ who were hosting. Izzy Bossy and Jordss kept the party going. Every song just flowed to the next and they played are most popular Reggae, Afrobeat, R&B, HipHop and House music. We all sang along, connected to others around us and just danced. 'When the pimp's in the crib ma, Drop it like it's hot (x 3). When the pigs try to get at you, Park it like it's hot (x3).... and 'Baby corner corner, will you give me sugar and wahala hala. [Chorus] Ma jo monalisa, Ma jo monalisa x 6.
Renegade Roulade Stage... 🎧🎶💿🎹 🎧🎶💿🎹 6/10
You couldn't miss the rave scene. With Wilkinson, Sub Focus and Flava D performing, to name others... The loud EDM beats would make you become curious and want to walk towards the tent and see what's happening. Great House music, the typical EDM feel and each DJ's individual vibe were all present in the crowd.
Now travel. It took just over 1 hour from King's Cross St. Pancras to get too Cambridge North station.
Then from there, there was a team of stewards that led festival goers to a shuttle bus.10-15 minute drive directly to the gate of the festival. Later, coming back was not easy. There were only so many shuttle buses going to Cambridge North station and it got frustrating for many of us. So, my no.1 advice is stay at a hotel or your friend's place or camp on site. To have a 10/10 experience stay the night or whole weekend in Cambridge to have a blast.
I would definitely go again but plan my travel and accommodation better!