Beat Carnival’s “Let’s Party” Carnival Parade on Saturday 20th June
Beat Carnival is calling individuals and families to join their annual carnival. This year it’s the “Let’s Party” Parade, celebrating the 21st Anniversary of Beat’s Carnival Parade in the City.
The parade of over 700 participant-performers features 10 carnival bands, 100 Urban Ballet dancers, the Belfast Guitar Orchestra and Belfast Community Circus School on its 30th birthday. Carnival starts at 12 noon from Custom House Square, parading through the City Centre and returning to Custom House Square for carnival bands performances from 1:15 to 2:30pm.
Beat Carnival is Northern Ireland’s Carnival Arts Company, based in Belfast, encouraging the City to think big about celebrating our creative, community life in ways that are ambitious, ‘made in Belfast’ and welcoming to all. Over the past 21 years Beat has produced spectacular carnival arts in ways that are relevant and culturally inclusive: increasing art access, participation and skills through 14,500 arts workshops and attracting over 65,000 parade participants and 5 million audiences in events around the country.
David Boyd, Beat’s Founder-Director says:
“I am hugely proud of the artists and participants who have been part of making Carnival here over 21 years. Some of this year’s team have been working with Beat since year one; many have taken their skills and enthusiasm to create exciting work elsewhere; most importantly, others are joining now who weren’t born when Carnival danced its first steps in Belfast.
In 2015, times for arts organisations are hard, with a financial climate that is severe and worsening. Carnival was created in Belfast as a counterblast to bleakness. We have never charged participants or audience for any of our events or weekly activities. We encourage celebration and we depend on goodwill. On Beat’s 21st anniversary we invite you to bring festive goodwill and join the carnival party. HAPPY CARNIVAL!”
Fionnuala Walsh, Head of Participatory Arts at the Arts Council of Northern Ireland, says:
“In a time of cuts and austerity, the Beat Carnival’s June parade will help inject some of that feel-good factor back into Belfast. Founded on the belief that the arts really are for everyone, this all inclusive, free family event will bring communities together for a truly spectacular performance.”
Beat Carnival’s work is made possible with support from principle funders Arts Council of Northern Ireland and Belfast City Council. “Let’s Party” Parade is also jointly supported by the Department of Culture Arts and Leisure and Belfast City Council, through the Community Festivals Fund and the Department of Social Development through the Belfast City Centre Event Grant Funding Programme.
Beat Carnival’s festival programme through the week from 13th to 20th June offers free carnival arts workshops to the public: see www.beatcarnival.com for more information.