Dinner in Lewisham. The newly refurbished Brookmill pub and kitchen is set in a 19th century …
Yoo, it’s a vibe!
Cambridge is where it’s at! Yes, I know.. Who would’ve thought Cambridge would have been the place to go to for a Festival, but I am telling you it is! Since 2014 Strawberries and Creem boast headline acts, such as Skepta, Stylo G, Nelly, Kano, Shaggy, Wiley, J-Hus, AJ Tracy and more. No genre is uncovered, truly. The crowd roar in anticipation, as the artist’s drip with excitement. When the beat drops, there is no such thing as cliques. All become one in the name of culture.
We, at PAUSE, were so intrigued to find out about the goingson behind the scenes. So we did. Please, take a read of our interview with Frazer Robinson who is one the founders of this great event.
Introduce yourself and the role you perform.
Hi, I’m Frazer Robinson AKA Cardinal Sound and I am one of the Founders of Strawberries & Cream Festival. My roles vary from social media management to artist booking & liaison.
Why the name: “Strawberries & Creem”?
Myself, Preye Crooks, Chris Jammer & William Young used to run a club night in Cambridge called Creem. After a few years of filling out clubs, we wanted to find the next logical step to progress. A garden party in 2014 was the first large scale outdoor event we ran for 1000 people, with David Rodigan, Shy FX, Jus Now & Star One headlining.
What’s the significance of Strawberries & Creem to Cambridge?
This is a tough question to answer because quite frankly we don’t know yet! I’d hope that people in Cambridge now start to feel they have a great annual music festival they can attend which is something they didn’t really have before!
Being that you guys started this Festival whilst you were university students, is there a particular detail that you thought was vital to include, to appeal to that demographic?
I think instead of chasing mine it was important to keep the festival good value for money and not rip people off at the bar & food etc like you see so many other festivals do. £6 for a can of lukewarm Fosters is a sure fire way of ensuring students don’t come to your event.
Before you started this event, what would you do in Cambridge for gigs and a fun music filled night out?
Anyone in Cambridge will tell you that for more underground music, Cambridge is slightly lacking. Obviously we had our own nights which were fun enough, but otherwise the only other spot in the city really is the Junction which throws some great parties, albeit sporadically. The Fountain was one an amazing establishment for sweaty club nights and we had some amazing nights there with Waze & Odyssey, Huxley, Citizenn & more.
Who has been the hardest act to book?
I think Wiley is notorious for not appearing to shows, so booking him was definitely the most stressful and the biggest risk. Once I chatted to him on Saturday though he said that was all in the past and I’m not one to bring up past mistakes! He’s a great guy.
Who has been the easiest?
We’ve had a select crew of acts that we consider family to S&C, our guys Star.One for example have been with us from day 1. It’s been a pleasure watching them grow in their career as the festival grows & it’ll be great to see how far they go!
How did you feel when you booked Skepta, and then to find out that Kanye West brought him out for the Brits?
To be honest I was more happy that he was bringing out great music again, I’m not too bothered about Kanye West!
You guys secured two of the most hyped and respects artists of 2017: AJ Tracy & J Hus, how did it feel to confirm them as acts?
I was seriously excited by J Hus. I think the guy has a serious talent when it comes to making music and writing catchy hooks. We’ve all been big fans of his since the early days of his career and to be able to showcase his talent to the people of Cambridge is a great feeling – especially seeing as we know how much hard work has gone into getting him where he is! Unfortunately I was too busy running around like a lunatic to properly enjoy his set, so we’ll have to get him back at some point.
Is there an artist you would love to have on your line-up next year?
I think next year we have to step up once again from Shaggy & Wiley which is no easy task. Possibly a massive BBK set on main stage? Who knows. Me and the guys are yet to have this argument! Might just go the complete opposite way and get Ja Rule & Ashanti back together.
The line-up seems to consist of homegrown UK talent, is that intentional?
List your dream line-up, artists and DJ’s included.
Oh mate this is going to be long.
Artists: Stevie Wonder, Ja Rule & Ashanti, Outkast, BBK, KC & The Sunshine Band, James Blake, Travis Scott, Toots & The Meytals, Busta Rhymes, The Streets, Giggs, Stefflon Don, Collie Buddz, Kojo Funds, Denzel Curry, XXXTentacion, Dave, Flowdan, Riko Dan & Killa P.
DJ’s: Jackmaster (Tweakholic Set), Faithless, SBTRKT, Hunee, Horse Meat Disco, Toddla T, The Heatwave, Kolsch, Goldie, Teklife Showcase, Craig Charles Funk & Soul Club, Ben UFO, Artwork, Denis Sulta, Jeff Mils, Palms Trax, Joy Orbison, Mumdance, Kahn, Scratcha DVA, Hessle Audio, Night Slugs.
What has Strawberries & Creem done for the culture in Cambridge, how has impacted the the town?
I don’t want to make too much of a bold statement because this sort of thing is a matter of perspective, but I’d like to think people in Cambridge are fans of the festival and enjoy seeing the growth every year.. and feel proud that Cambridge has a huge music event like this now!
Strawberries or Cream?
Strawberries all dayyyyy.
Who brings the Strawberries, and who brings the Cream?
Me, Jammer, Will & Preye bring the figurative strawberries, Louise our Head of Ops/COO brings the Cream.
If you did not attend this festival this year, do yourself a favour and be sure to go next year! Strawberries and Creem never fail to sprinkle some sweet toppings, so we look forward to seeing what’s on the spread for their next festival.
Interview & photos by Rhys Marcus Jay.