Cowley Road Carnival Goes Virtually Live on 5 July

Virtual Cowley Road Carnival Day

5 July

Cowley Road Carnival is virtually set to go ahead on 5 July. This year’s event won’t take place on the streets of East Oxford but will be broadcasting online from 11 am on 5 July with the eclectic mix of music, DJ sets, performances, workshops and other activities you expect to enjoy at Oxford’s best day IN of this year.

Tune in via the Virtual Carnival Live page of the website

The Line Up

The programme features Quatermelon, Little Brother Eli, Patrick Griffin, Sarah Derrick alongside Carnival favourites Sol Samba, Horns of Plenty, Ran Kan Kan and Count Skylarkin’.

Performing on the Road Stage – via YouTube – headliners are Little Brother Eli, an energetic local 4-piece which combines rock, disco and electro sounds with hip-hop rhythms. The band have toured extensively since they started in 2013. Think growling guitars, danceable beats, electro breakdowns and catchy hooks.

Singer-songwriters and acoustic sets will be performed via Zoom where you can see indie rockers Quatermelon, with their signature surf-rock style upbeat contemporary pop music which will scream summer to your ear-holes! Just listen to them bring the sunshine to our lockdown Carnival!

Also on the acoustic zoom stage, don’t miss singer songwriter Patrick Griffin who will be performing his beautiful lyrical songs with unmistakably catchy melodies.

Carnival Day wouldn’t be Carnival Day without some BIG DJ sets and as well as Count Skylarkin’, dance to DJ G’ s Soulful House fresh sound and DJs Tiger Mendoza and Yaya who will be smashing their trademark “Wheedle Scratch” from their respective homes – Tiger Mendoza beats and instruments and Yaya with the cuts. Although they have both been streaming DJ sets live during the lock down this will the first time that they have done anything like this together.

Full details of the line-up and how to tune in to Virtual Carnival Day will be on the website

Take Part

There are plenty of opportunities to get involved too. The plan is to get the whole community behind Virtual Carnival with everyone contributing through submitting music, dance, photography, film, recipes, and other carnival fun to share and celebrate this unique Virtual Carnival Day.


Musician and the Carnival’s technical lead, Benjamin Turner, has written a song for Carnival 2020. From the end of the week, you will be able to download the lyrics and the backing track from the website so that you can film and record your own voice and/or musical arrangement for broadcast on Carnival day itself.

Benjamin says: “We want as many of you to get involved as possible so that our song will be a true reflection of our Carnival Community.”


Get your dancing shoes on! Show us your moves!

Local band - and Carnival regulars - Roguey Roads have written Transform as the track for Dance Carnival which can downloaded from the Cowley Road Works website

Get together with your friends and family, film yourselves dancing along – however you can get together - whether it is in your garden, across Zoom or on your mobiles.

Send in your films to be part of the day via Wetransfer to Anya artistic_producer’, or contact her with any questions.

Virtual Choir & Musicians

You can also join the Virtual choir for Carnival Day at:

Bella from the Raise Your Voice family choir has chosen a beautiful Zulu folk song, Aya Ngena, for the Virtual Choir. Follow the link to download the lyrics and soundtrack from the website and send film of your singing by 21 June to Anya Fox,

You don’t have sing to take part. The score is also on the website, so if you are a musician or a drummer, then join in.

All the films will be edited together into a beautiful video showcasing the singers of Oxford and shared online on 5 July.

Join the Band

Learn to play that infectious Samba beat that is synonymous with Carnival. Ed Finch of the Larkrise School Samba Band shows you how to get the rhythm from instruments at home – including your wheelie bin! See

Send in your Sambas on film to to be featured on Carnival Day.

Join the Procession

If you have watched the procession from the side-lines but would rather be part of it. Now is your chance! Send film and photographs of yourself (and if you can, your group) by 21 June to and these will be included in the video slideshow of processions past, present and future, which will start online at the usual time – 12.30 pm.

Clare O’Hara, director of Cowley Road Works said: “After all this time in lockdown we can’t wait for Carnival joy back in our lives. We will be bringing Carnival vibes direct to your homes and gardens by streaming online. This unique and special Carnival will definitely be unique and one to remember!”

Get Carnival Ready

Get ready for Virtual Carnival Day decorating your home and garden (see the Carnival at Home section of the website for some ideas), make yourselves some delicious festive street food treats (or order in), set yourself up for an amazing day with your family and friends. The gathering might be small but the fun will be big.

Clare said:

“Join us in getting ready for Virtual Carnival day with some art projects. Turn your empty bottles into glowing lanterns, old fabric scraps into dreamer streamers and coloured paper into garlands and decorate your garden. Or why not explode some Carnival art over your local park on 5 July?! Some of our young people’s groups are going to be sharing their makes in Oxford’s parks – join them and make a Carnival area in your local park!

“At home, prepare to feel the Carnival vibes with our Headdress making templates, get your Carnival groove on with our guides to make your own maracas and drums … we even have a samba workshop online to help you get that unmistakable Carnival rhythm from instruments you can find or make at home ”

The key element to being part of Carnival at Home is to send in film or photos of your work, the website features some guidelines to help get you started and share via twitter @CowleyCarnival #VirtualCarnival #CowleyRoadCarnival, Facebook or tag us Instagram.

Clare said: “We are absolutely committed to bringing much needed Carnival joy and colour to brighten the Summer of 2020. We can’t wait to see all your dance moves, music, and masks, singing, and decorations. Especially if you can film it all so that we can stream it on Carnival Day!”

Send in all your filmed contributions for Virtual Carnival 2020 to by the deadline of 21 June. After then, there will be further opportunities to participate and to watch Virtual Carnival Day online at , Facebook, Twitter @CowleyCarnval and Instagram #Cowleyroadcarnival #virtualcarnival #carnivalathome.


[i] Arts Council England

Press release distributed by Pressat on behalf of Cowley Road Works, on Thursday 18 June, 2020. For more information subscribe and follow

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Cowley Road Works · Sing Carnival Song with Vocal Example
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Cowley Road Carnival Goes Virtually Live on 5 July