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Attending the Festival

Your attendance at the Festival signifies your agreement to comply with the Guidance for attending the Cambridge Festival of Ideas.

Can I attend events that are FULLY BOOKED?

Although Festival events become fully booked, there are sometimes spaces available at the last minute. This is because some people who make reservations simply do not attend. We suggest that if you are interested in attending an event which is fully booked and you would like to come along in case there are spare places, that you arrive 15-20 minutes before the event starts, make youreself known to the people running the event and let them know you are interested in spare seats. Once all their ticketed guests have been let in they may call over people who are waiting for places. This is down to the discretion of the event co-ordinators. Not all co-ordinators run a waiting queue system.


Travel instructions

Getting to central Cambridge

  • On foot: all parts of the City of Cambridge are easily accessible.
  • By car: from the South and from London, Cambridge is a short trip up the M11 motorway, exit at junction 9 onto the A11.

From the North, the A1 and M1 link to the A14 dual carriageway straight to the City

  • By bus: take advantage of one of the five Park and Ride Bus stations situated in and around Cambridge.
  • By train: the railway station is 15-minute walk from the city centre. Buses travel frequently into the centre from the station. In addition, there is a regular train and coach service from London Stansted Airport, which is less than 30 miles from the centre of Cambridge.

Getting to the Sidgwick Site

  • On foot: the Sidgwick Site is a 15-minute walk from the city centre. From Regent Street, walk down Downing Street and then Pembroke Street. Turn right onto Trumpington Street and then take the first left onto Silver Street. Continue straight over the junction with Queen’s Road onto Sidgwick Avenue. The Sidgwick Site is on the right-hand side.
  • By bus: as the Citi 4 bus service no longer links the Sidgwick Site to the centre of Cambridge, there are no direct bus routes.

Guidance for attending the Festival

The Festival can get very busy so we ask for your patience with staff and volunteers as queues can occur and resources are limited. The Festival is hosted in working departments and is run by staff and student volunteers, who are all trying to give you the best experience they can, as well as to keep as many events free-of-charge as possible and accessible to everyone.
Please take note of the following top tips and read the guidance document for attending the Festival of Ideas (see further links in the top right hand side of the page):
  • There may be spaces available at events that are listed as ‘pre book’; you are welcome to turn up and enquire on the day
  • Please arrive on time for events; please note that entry may be refused if the event has started or if the venue is full
  • All events are free-of-charge unless otherwise stated
  • Children (under 16) must be accompanied at all times

Local Parking

It is difficult to park in Cambridge. Please see websites for advice:
City Council -
Park and ride -