The saviour of rock is here!…well, at least in Cambridge. The Cambridge Rock Festival rolled on this year but by the grace of one man, Adrian Bayford. Adrian, a local businessman, who came forward four months ago when the festival had lost its original venue unexpectedly, offered his estate at Horseheath Lodge near Haverhill to festival organisers when it looked like the festival may have to end its consecutive run.
An avid rock fan himself, as owner of Black Barn Records in Cambridge, Adrian felt the call and had the means to make the 13th year of The Cambridge Rock Festival a reality. As one of the biggest lottery winners in UK history, Adrian had not only the land to offer up the festival site but the funds to carry the festival this year and take into a new era. He chatted with me about the festival, his shop Black Barn Records, and loving on rock music in general.
How did you come to be involved with the Cambridge Rock Festival?
Dave (the festival organiser) got in touch about 4 months ago by a friend of a friend, and explained to me that where they were they weren’t going to be able to be again for the festival, and we kinda clicked straight away and it kinda snowballed really quick. Its been fantastic.
So, it’s all new but its good. We are planning on keeping it going indefinitely. More will be put into it next year. We will put more into it, and go slightly bigger. There were limited numbers this year because the venue is only allowed 2000 day this year. Because the police and council needed to see how this would be run so it should be different next year.
Tell me about Black Barn Records, it’s a Cambridge go-to for the resurgence of vinyl….
Originally, I had my own second record shop for 25 years but with the lottery win it curtailed my shop but I’ve always been into music so I decided to do a new shop, Black Barn Records, in Cambridge. But, eventually next year, or the end of this year if we get time, we will start pressing vinyl. We want to have our own label. That’s our new thing. I was thinking by the end of year, we will be pressing. So, that’s the next stage.
You are passionate about music, what type of music would you say is your favourite? Who are you listening to?
Oh God, I listen to rock, its always been rock! Anything that’s guitar based really. And, I listen to this band! (Adrian is sitting next to Slyder from the band, The Last Great Dreamers)
Slyder: Mark, our singer, knew Adrian, through the record business, because he is a collector himself, so we got to know Adrian as well. And, he then came in as our executive producer on our album.
Any other plans to get involved with anything else in the music scene?
I have been involved with the new album for the Last Great Dreamers, so we have been doing that. I mean, we could be doing a film, we are in contact with Alan G. Parker, obviously who has done a lot of films, so we might do something with him. Who knows? Watch this space!
Will the festival continue on here? What’s up next year, any spoilers?
We are definitely going to carry on next year! No spoilers yet but I’d love to get the Dead Daisies here, The Last Great Dreamers of course. I spoke to a lot of the organisers here over the weekend and they have shaken my hand and said its actually been the best line up they’ve had ever. And, we pulled it all together in four months. Until I said yes to having here, there was no festival. I am quite lucky in that all the houses here, on the grounds, are mine. And, the other houses near by all like music, so, it’s good. We are really lucky as we are surrounded by trees to protect from sound outside the venue. They have used about 5 acres of land for the festival, we’ve got 90 acres of parkland plus another 100 acres of fields, so we’ve got plenty of space. I’ve got a farm with 850 acres just the other side of Cambridge that could be used as well. So, to get where we have in four months, is not bad.
What’s for sure is that this festival will go on and be stronger in form and presence as it enters a new stage in its history. And, one not to be missed. So, Rock on!!
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