"Two Dutchmen in stripey swimsuits singing YMCA - that's my festival highlight," said the man from the Classic LPs vinyl stall, selling a mint copy of Pink Floyd's Dark Side of the Moon to another devoted folkie on the campsite. His customers were still dazed after spending Saturday evening in emotional frenzy as rampaging middle-aged Romanian Gypsies - Fanfare Ciocarlia - threatened death by brass; then Toots & the Maytals finished off the rest. Sandwiched between them was Joan Baez, the matron saint of folk music, so stirred by the funky Romanian brass that she burst among them to dance before calming herself for a set she might have sung 40 years earlier, ending in an arm-waving Imagine.
Underlining the ludicrousness of musical classification, the biggest singalong was the Ukulele Orchestra of Great Britain's Anarchy in the UK, the promising Newton Faulkner raised the roof with Massive Attack's Teardrop, and the sublime Rachel Unthank and the Winterset almost stopped the show with an Antony & the Johnsons cover.
Cambridge wilfully ignores trends, admirably pursuing its own eclectic mantra and hanging on to most of its traditional values. The Waterboys set an uplifting tone on Friday night, Mike Scott rounding up anyone on the bill left standing for a cheesy, yet moving, ensemble finale of This Land Is Your Land. And with the likes of Baez, Steve Earle, Bruce Cockburn and Martin Simpson on angry alert, there was plenty of Bush-baiting to at least doff a cap to folk's old radical ideals, even if half the audience seemed, between acts, to be reading the new Harry Potter.