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Virtual Cowley Road Carnival Day

5th July

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Tash Noel
Screenshot 2020 06 03 at 10.07.44 lsoynh

You can’t keep Carnival spirit down! After Cowley Road Works, the charity which organises the annual Cowley Road Carnival, took the sad but necessary decision to cancel this year’s street carnival, the team got to work to reimagine a Carnival off the streets! They have been busy planning a Virtual Carnival which will be held online on Carnival Day – 5 July.

The event will be streamed live online throughout the day from 11 am. Details on how to join Virtual Carnival on the day will be published on the website www.cowleyroadworks.co.uk, the Cowley Road Carnival Facebook page, Instagram and Twitter in the weeks to come.

There are plenty of opportunities to get involved. 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.

Sing-a-long-a-Carnival

You have until 3 June to submit words and lyrics that mean Cowley Road Carnival to you, for the Carnival song, which is being set to music from local band - and Carnival regulars - Roguey Roads, by musician and technical lead, Benjamin Turner. Let us know what Carnival means to you by responding to our Facebook post or by emailing him at technical@cowleyroadworks.org. Benjamin will use your words to compile the lyrics for a special song for Carnival 2020.

Once the song has been written you will be able to download the lyrics and the backing track from the website www.cowleyroadworks.co.uk 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.”

Virtual Choir & Musicians

You can also join the Virtual choir for Carnival Day at: www.cowleyroadworks.co.uk/portfolio/virtual-choir/. The chosen song is a beautiful Zulu folk song, Aya Ngena. Follow the link to download the lyrics and soundtrack from the website and send you’re a film of you singing to Anya Fox, artistic_producer@cowleyroadworks.org.

You don’t have to be a singer to take part, Bella has also sent us the score, so if you are a musician or a drummer, we’d love you to join in.

We’ll edit the films we receive into a beautiful video showcasing the singers of Oxford, and share this with our Virtual Carnival viewers 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 http://www.cowleyroadworks.co.uk/portfolio/samba-band/

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 us film and photographs of yourself (and if you can, your group) to artistic_producer@cowleyroadworks.org and we will include these in our 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 definitely need some Carnival joy in our lives. We don’t know how the rules may have changed by 5 July, but we do know that we will be bringing Carnival vibes direct to your homes and gardens by streaming online. This unique and special Carnival will definitely be one to remember!”

Get Carnival Ready

There are plenty of ideas on how to get create your Carnival at Home on the website, 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 and packs – and get your Carnival groove on with our guides to make your own maracas and drums…

You will find all the creative ‘makes’ for children – and grown-ups –using materials at hand in the home on the Carnival at Home section of the website at http://www.cowleyroadworks.co.uk

If you aren’t a performer but love Carnival food, you are invited to send in your favourite recipes. Please email marketing@cowleyroadworks.org.

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!”

To get involved in Carnival at Home see www.cowleyroadworks.co.uk

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