Carnival Home

What's On

Running from 16 - 18 July, 2021, the programme features international and Scottish artists including musicians, dancers, poets, acrobats, jugglers and cooks. Carnival and ‘social distancing’ are not exactly what you’d call mutually compatible concepts, so we've created an online programme you can tune into and recreate some of those Carnival vibes at home. The three-day celebration will feature a vibrant mix of performances and workshops - all free and brought to you on Youtube and Facebook. Check out the programme below, and we'll bring you lots more information on timings and how you can get involved in the coming weeks

Check out the programme

Day one features carnival arts from four companies around the world:

  • Harlem Samba School, based at Frederick Douglas Academy a performing high school in New York City, are a Brazilian percussion ensemble modeled after the samba school baterias of the Rio de Janeiro carnival.
  • Organised by the Encosta do Sol Parish Council, in Lisbon, Portugal, Bombrando Drum Group mix percussion and bagpipes. They play vibrant Portuguese and African rhythms, mixing genres to include classic like Bolero by Maurice Ravel, Thriller by Mickael Jackson
  • A South African based inclusive company of artists with mixed abilities/disabilities using Physical Theatre, Contemporary Dance, Sign Language, Unmute Dance Company are based in Artscape Theatre in Cape Town, South Africa
  • Mixing street theatre & Carnival Parade, La Paranza del Geco, from Turin in Italy play folk music like tarantella mixed with Commedia dell'Arte movements.

We also present carnival work being made in Scotland from three community groups:

  • Masked Words explores the the history of Caribbean people in Edinburgh through drama, spoken word and poetry.
  • A samba band based at Windygoul Primary School in Tranent catering for people with autism. The band is led by Pulse of the Place musical Director, Rohan Seilman
  • Artist in residence at Edinburgh Children’s Hospital, Rosalind Ann Sanderson presents ‘Wave the Flag’ showcasing flags made by hospital residents
  • No celebration would be complete without food and Oliver Brown from Ital Fish hosts a cooking demonstration of a vegetarian food with Jamaican influences.

More information coming soon!

From the comfort of your own home, you can travel the world with Edinburgh Festival Carnival:

  • They have led Edinburgh Festival Carnival’s parade for the last few years from Amsterdam KalentuRa Drum Group mix Caribbean rhythms.
  • Rooted in the culture of the Reunion Islands, Soul City uses Hip Hop dance as its primary form of creative expression.
  • From juggling to acrobatics Circo Fantastico Circus Arts Company from Costa Rica offer workshops to disadvantaged young people.
  • From Toulouse in France, Samba Résille percussionists revisit the rhythms of Brazil, including enredo, reggae, baião, merengue and updates with funk, ragga, hip-hop, drum'n bass ...

We also showcase carnival arts taking place in Scotland with:

  • Edinburgh’s Chinese Art and Culture Community showcase the thousand-year-old dragon and lion dances designed to bring good fortune.
  • Music producer Nicholas Kisitu will work with young people of African heritage at PASSION4FUSION to produce hip-hop and Afrobeat tracks with lyrical content (rap, spoken word and song).
  • Working with young people from Edinburgh’s South Asian community, choreographer and dancer Priya Shrikumar creates a new dance performance work (called Tatties) that address the issues of cultural identity and bullying, whilst celebrating the vibrancy of carnival.
  • Percussionist Jose Rojas Navea will deliver Latin American drumming workshops with young people at Creative Spark Theatre Arts in North Glasgow.
  • Finally, to energise the taste buds, Chantel hosts a demonstration of Trinidadian vegetarian cuisine

For day three of Carnival, we travel (virtually) to:

  • Santiago de Cuba, Cuba. The home of Conga, Rumba, and Son host an annual carnival that boasts an explosion of colour, contagious drum rhythms, and dance.
  • From Lusaka, Zambia Barefeet Theatre/Circus Arts perform with heart-in-mouth acrobatics and daredevil circus
  • Jamaica's leading contemporary dance company Lacando - A United Caribbean Dance Force are based in Kingston. Their company includes dancers, drummers, and moko- jumbie (stilt walkers) creating breathtaking work.
  • Scottish costume maker Spyros Gkoumas and Capoeira teacher Kasia Wypiorczyk present ‘Eco Warriors’ a project that will work with children and young people from Strengthening Communities for Race Equality Scotland and Goodtrees Neighbourhood Centre.
  • The final cooking demonstration is delivered by Mercedes and focuses on the cuisine of Latin America
Carnival participants

Welcome to the 2021 Edinburgh Festival Carnival