It has been held every year since 1974 except 2010, when it was cancelled due to 'continuing hostility' from drunken attendees and unbridled drug use. After a year's hiatus, the fair continued in a new form, with a perimeter fence erected around the festival and searches to check for excess alcohol, drugs and weapons.
The 2011 parade was part of the UK Centre for Carnival Arts 'Carnival Crossroads' project and featured colourful costumes and samba bands. New to the 2011 fair was a Village Green area with traditional community activities such as re-enactment displays, It's A Knockout, fancy dress pageant and a grand finale. Other attractions were the Wigwam Stage, The Green Area, Kids Area, the acoustic and cabaret bar, and Colonel Maybey's Mechanical Menagerie a new 'steam diesel punk' area, in addition to around 300 stalls selling food and goods from all over. Entry to the fair was free. As in recent years (since 2004) the fair held a free 'film night' the previous day featuring short films made by local people. The fair has always had a strong following of alternative lifestyles and is one of the few free festivals left in the UK that attracts 'new age' travellers.
A range of musical genres are represented at the fair across several music stages. Local bands are predominantly selected to play; however those from further afield also feature. The local band competition also allows local musical talent to come forward and get a chance to play live on a stage in front of a live audience. Children are catered for by totally free and enclosed entertainments area that includes face painters, a family friendly cafe, a marquee full of activities like painting and crafts, storytelling and many other attractions. An Arts area also allows local art to be displayed and for visitors to the fair on the day to try their hand at something new.
From the constitution, the purpose of the fair is:
The fair is run by a committee of local people from Cambridge who elect a Chair, Vice-Chair, Treasurer, and Secretary each year in September/October to form a Steering Group. Sub-committees also operate in order to discuss specific areas of the fair's operation, namely Programming, Finance and Admin, Policy and Community, and Site. The heads of these sub-committees report back at monthly General Meetings - weekly closer to the fair - which provides accountability and allows for the approval (or otherwise) of proposals put forward by the sub-committees.