Syd Barrett celebration concert announced with full support from his family | Syd would have been 70 this year‏

Cambridge Live has confirmed a major concert at the Cambridge Corn Exchange to celebrate the life and work of former Pink Floyd member Syd Barrett on the day that a lasting public memorial to him is unveiled.

The organisation, which runs the Cambridge Corn Exchange and Cambridge Folk Festival, commissioned a piece of public art using funding from Cambridge City Council, in collaboration with Syd’s family, to be permanently displayed at the Cambridge Corn Exchange to commemorate his last ever live public performances at the venue in 1972.

The artwork will be publically unveiled on Thursday 27 October in the year that marks both the 10th anniversary of Syd’s death as well as the 70th anniversary of his birth.

Cambridge Live has now also revealed that it will also be marking the occasion with the staging of a celebratory concert the same evening, with a guest list that is expected to include Syd’s family, friends and former associates and with audience members expected to come from all corners of the world.

Entitled Syd Barrett – A Celebration, the concert will feature Swedish band Men on the Border, who reinterpret the music of Syd Barrett and Pink Floyd, backed by the Sandviken Symphony Orchestra, also from Sweden.  It will feature symphonic interpretations of Barrett classics from his solo albums The Madcap Laughs and Barrett including the likes of Octopus and Terrapin with the repertoire flanked by an interpretation of Floyd’s High Hopes.

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The concert will also include lighting from Peter Wynne Willson who worked with Pink Floyd between 1966 and 1968 when he created light shows for their performances at UFO and the Roundhouse and went on to design the lighting for the band’s UK, European and American gigs and tours as well as having since worked with Roger Waters, Radiohead and U2.

Neil Jones, Operations Director for Cambridge Live said “It’s fantastic that we can pay tribute on such a large scale to the city’s most famous musical son. Having played his last ever live concerts at the venue it is fitting that his life and work is celebrated in the same venue as those last concerts and particularly in his anniversary year.”

Rosemary Breen, Syd Barrett’s sister said “Syd loved Cambridge, it always meant home to him. He would have been very surprised and delighted to be recognised in such a unique way. His family would like to thank everyone involved with this memorial.”

Tickets for Syd Barrett – A Celebration are £27.50 (including booking fee) and are available from

Sponsored by Millers Music

The Syd Barrett memorial artwork is made possible thanks to Section 106 funding from Cambridge City Council.

Notes for editors

Syd Barrett and Pink Floyd

Syd Barrett was a founding member of Pink Floyd, one of the most commercially successful bands of all time. They have sold more than 250 million records worldwide and were inducted into the Rock n Roll Hall of Fame in 1996. Roger Keith ‘Syd’ Barrett co-founded Cambridge’s most famous band in 1965 along with Nick Mason, Roger Waters, and Richard Wright. Active with the band for just under five years, Syd’s innovative guitar work and exploration of experimental techniques helped create the band’s unique psychedelic sound and most of the band’s early songs, including the singles Arnold Layne and See Emily Play and much of their first album The Piper at the Gates of Dawn. He also began a solo career in 1969 releasing debut solo album The Madcap Laughs in 1970.

Regarded by many as a creative genius Barrett was also an avid painter. He played his last ever live concerts at the Cambridge Corn Exchange in 1972 as part of the short-lived band Stars with his last ever live appearance supporting the band Nektar at the venue in 1972.

Syd Barrett Public Art

The Syd Barrett public art commission has been made possible through Section 106 funding via Cambridge City Council. Section 106 funding is generated from where the council asks developers to pay Section 106 contributions to mitigate impact of developments. This helps fund new or improved facilities in Cambridge under different S106 categories, such as: community facilities; play areas; open spaces; indoor or outdoor sports facilities; public art and improvements to the public realm.

A decision on the selected artist for the Syd Barrett commission is due on Friday 18 March.

Men on the Border & The Sandviken Symphony Orchestra

Swedish band Men on the Border was started by vocalist Goeran Nystroem and guitarist Phil Etheridge in 2011 as a duo. The album Shine! (2012), was intended as a one-off collection of Syd Barrett songs and during its recording, Syd’s original recordings were not referred to at all, in order to preserve the idea of the album being true interpretations rather than covers. After the release of Shine!, as both Nystroem and Etheridge are songwriters, it was followed up by another album, Jumpstart in 2013, though this time including mostly originals and a further pair of Barrett interpretations. The original songs on Jumpstart also have a Barrett theme, relating scenes and “what if…” fantasies from Syd’s life in the early 1970’s. The band increased to five members in 2014 and is based in Sandviken, Sweden.

The Sandviken Symphony Orchestra has been in existence for 80 years. Originating as a purely classical orchestra in the 1930’s, it has branched out to other genres many times over the last 20 years. The orchestra has also toured abroad several times since the 1990’s, visiting Italy, Portugal, Slovenia, Czech Republic, Hungary and France. This will be the orchestra’s first UK visit.

Peter Wynne Willson

Peter Wynne Willson is an internationally renowned lighting designer and inventor. He worked with Pink Floyd between 1966 and 1968 when he created light shows for their performances at UFO and the Roundhouse; he went on to design the lighting for the Floyd’s UK, European and American gigs and tours. He has designed lighting effects for some of popular music’s biggest names including Pink Floyd’s Division Bell tour; U2’s Popmart tour; Roger Waters’ world tours; George Michael, American Idol, five Eurovision Contests, Fame Academy, The Sugababes, Pink, Barry Manilow and the Opening of the Beijing Olympics. More info:

Millers Music

Millers Music, celebrating its 160th anniversary this year, is one of the oldest music stores in the country. From humble beginnings the store has evolved through pianolas, gramophones, radios, TV, and now in its present form it offers one of the widest selections of musical instruments, accessories, and sheet music around. With every musical genre covered from guitars to grand pianos, bassoons to bouzoukis, and everything I between. Millers has a team of musical experts who do their very best to provide for every musical need and cater for every musical taste. What makes the store truly unique is its Money Back Rental and 0% Credit schemes giving you the chance to try an instrument from as little £8 a month.

About RJ Frometa

Head Honcho, Editor in Chief and writer here on VENTS. I don't like walking on the beach, but I love playing the guitar and geeking out about music. I am also a movie maniac and 6 hours sleeper.

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