Cambridge Rock Festival started out in 2004 and it was meant to be a more relaxed alternative to the mammoth festivals around the UK. And it worked beautifully, as the event’s popularity grew more and more each year until it became a staple for mid-range festivals. Held in the green oasis of Cambridge, it is the perfect event to lay back with a cold beer and listen to some good old-fashioned classic rock.
Last year, though, Cambridge Rock Festival was in danger of being cancelled due to venue-related issues with the Haggis Farm Polo Club, where it was held for nine consecutive years. Festival director Dave Roberts said that they were unsure whether or not to go through with their event, which would have left about 3,000 fans deeply disappointed. Only two weeks before the festival’s debut, Mr. Roberts got some last-minute assistance from a rather unexpected benefactor, lottery winner Adrian Bayford.
Mr. Bayford is one of the biggest lottery winners in Great Britain. Back in 2012, he and his wife played the UK EuroMillions and got their big break by scooping a £148 million jackpot. Since then, he has become quite the local celebrity. With a lottery jackpot on his hands, the sky was the limit for Mr. Bayford, but he chose to get more in touch with one his life-long passions, music.
In 2016, he opened Black Barn Records in Cambridge, a small music and memorabilia store, which he put a lot of effort into. So, when he heard that Cambridge Rock Festival was in trouble, he immediately decided to come to its rescue. He offered his estate, Horseheath Lodge, as a venue opportunity for the festival entirely free of charge. “He has come to us with his love of music so the two knitted together.”, said Dave Roberts about his interaction with Adrian Bayford.
With the help of rock fan Bayford, the Cambridge Rock Festival had one of its best editions at Horseheath Lodge. Headlined by Eddie and the Hotrods, the festival welcomed as many as 80 bands and the fans were very excited about the new location. In fact, the festival’s collaboration with Mr. Bayford proved to be such a success that this year, the event will be held on the lottery winner’s estate for the second time.
According to the official site of the Cambridge Rock Festival, Black Barn Records is now one of the main sponsors of the event and Horseheath Lodge is its new home. The 2018 edition will feature acts from 75 bands, including Focus, Atomic Rooster, Son of Man, and many others. Earlybird tickets are already available and more bands may be announced in the following months.