After a two-year hiatus, Bath Carnival will return to the city centre this summer – bringing together people across B&NES and the surrounding area for a celebration of culture, creativity and diversity.
Local schools, community groups, charities and freelance artists will collaborate throughout May, June and July to prepare their performances for the big day which takes place on Saturday 9th July. As well as hundreds of drummers and dancers, this year’s carnival will feature new giant puppets, professional carnival costumes and pedal-powered structures.
In addition to the street performances, the annual party also returns to Sydney Gardens with a range of FREE, fun festival-themed activities for adults, children and families. A main stage will play host to an eclectic selection of live bands including Afrobeat and Neo-soul acts, live hip-hop groups and funk outfits.
Expect a carefully selected range of food and drinks stalls as well as interactive workshops and free pitches for local charities. As always, children will be catered for with the Super Pirates curating a play zone with kid’s raves, giant inflatables, messy play, walkabout and group games.
The ‘Grown-ups’ can move indoors for an after-hours party at Komedia with the official after-party taking the revelry into the earlier hours.
Community outreach programme
Throughout May and June experienced carnival artists and practitioners will be delivering new arts-based activities in the community. Local charities will also be taking part in the creative process with services users from Achieve Together, Mentoring Plus, Wheels For All and Black Families Education Group receiving free and accessible arts, crafts and music sessions.
Community groups, local businesses and members of the public can sign up to perform in the procession via the website, with over 1000 performers expected to take part on the big day.
As well as a team of industry professionals, there’s a supporting group of 100 volunteers that will play a vital role in delivering a safe and vibrant carnival. Members of the public are invited to sign up to a three-hour shift as a festival steward and can even do their shift with a friend.
No experience is necessary with roles including basic tasks such as collecting donations in one of the authorised buckets, using a clicker to monitor footfall via one of the entrances and running the merchandise stand.
Stu Matson, Bath Carnival Director, said, “It’s been quite the journey since our last event in 2019. We managed to keep the carnival community project alive throughout the lockdowns by adapting arts-based workshops and performances for online participants and audiences. But nothing can ever replace the real thing, so we’re excited to get back to what we do best: uniting the community and bringing people together for a celebration. It’s not too late to get involved either; there’s still time to sign up for a creative workshop, to perform in the procession or volunteer at the event.”
A full event schedule is available here.