Skin, glitter, rum, grinding, sin and more skin – every carnival ever.
So… we heard that carnival is as big a deal in Manchester as it is in London (it’s a reallllllly big deal in London).
This weekend, 13th/14th of August, the second city of UK (and the birthplace of Underground )will host its famed Caribbean Carnival of Manchester (CCoM) and we can’t help but want in. Everyone should visit the North Wests largest carnival at least once and we are wide open to the opportunity of a pre Notting Hill carnival turn up, so turn up we shall.
Before we do however, we’ve got to acknowledge and appreciate the beauty that is carnival across the UK. In the 1950’s Britain saw an influx of Caribbean immigrants that brought with them their musical and cultural traditions, racial tensions were high at this time and to recreate a feeling of being home, a group of less than 100 Eastern Caribbean residents paraded through the streets of Manny in true carnival style. This was in 1972 and is known as the first Caribbean Mancunian carnival. The 1970s and 1980s were a period of real social upheaval in Manchester. The Caribbean population that was centred on Hulme, Moss Side and Whalley Range were on the receiving end of social injustice and the Carnival was an opportunity to break out from that. The Manchester scene was really emerging at that time and there were plenty examples of musical integration across the city.
Over 40 years later and this carnival is the biggest celebration of Caribbean music, culture and arts outside of London in the UK.
2016’s edition is expected to be bigger than ever and boasts plenty of new tricks, the theme is celebrating Barbados and Guyana’s 50 years independence and is in association with Bajan Village. A crazy 200,000 people are expected to attend the festivities that will take place in what has become CCoM’s spiritual home, Alexandra Park.
The weekends highlight for the kids, a parade of colourful floats and island inspired (mostly nonexistent) costumes, begins at 12.30pm on both days.
This year Alex Park hosts 10 stages of entertainment that will be graced by a ton of performers from the UK, the Caribbean and Africa. Vibes will be provided in the traditional island way with Dancehall, Bashment, Reggae, Calypso and Soca. Red Bull Music Academy will be bringing their own sound systems to CCoM for the second year in a row; Shy FX & Stamina MC, Toddla T back to back with Chimpo and many more will be controlling their stage.
Steel bands, Mass bands, Jouvert and World Music will also be on offer across the park. Over the course of the weekend party goers can visit new attractions; Strat Corner, dedicated to celebrating Monserrat, Latin & Trini Corner, African corner, Bajan Corner and Asian Corner. These corners are pretty self-explanatory, serving delicious food, music and looks from the region they are named after.
Considering the event is completely free, the optional donation of £1 that is asked for in order to keep the carnival going is fine by us.
For more information about this year’s CCoM visit http://themanchestercarnival.com/newss or if you just like island sounds, tune into Tropical Radio/visit the website http://www.tropicalmedia.co.uk
Worth a mention- a stone’s throw from the Underground HQ in Manchester and this is the Caribbean Club (aka Russel Club) where the music genre would swing from reggae to Joy Division Post Punk.
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