And so it all begins!

The story began in autumn 1964 when Cambridge City Council decided to hold a music festival the next summer. They approached local firefighter and political activist Ken Woollard who was a regular attender at the newly formed Cambridge Folk Club. Ken had been inspired by a documentary, Jazz On A Summer’s Day, about the 1958 Newport Jazz Festival. He wanted a festival that preserved the values of the fast evolving folk club movement and expressed his socialist ideals, one which covered a wide spectrum of music, and most importantly had a friendly family atmosphere. The first Festival sold 1400 tickets and almost broke even. Squeezed in as a late addition to the bill was a young Paul Simon who had just released I Am A Rock.

Cambridge Folk Festival 1965: Paul Simon, Clancy Brothers & Tommy Makem, Bill Clfton, Stan Kelly, Ethan Signer, Arthur Rosenbau, The Strawberry Hill Boys, Doris Henderson, Shirley Collins, Bob Davemport, Peggy Seeger, Hedy West, Isla Cameron, The Watersons, Pete Sayers

Broadcast and media partners