• Smiling ladies photograph by Jim Slade
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About the Carnival

Carnival, takes place, every year, on the first Sunday of July. It runs from 11am until 5pm and attracts audience numbers of over 50,000.

Organised by the charity Cowley Road Works, this event is an award winning cultural extravaganza, winning the 2017 Oxfordshire Business Award for Culture and Tourism, sponsored by Heart FM!!!! Bravo Team Carnival!!!!

Carnival, is a celebration of everything that is special and different about the Oxford Community, it brings together tens and tens of different cultures and community members from a myriad of challenging social backgrounds.

With over thirty programmed stages and cultural activity zones, this creative masterpiece spans across 32 roads and public green spaces, through a site over a mile long.

It takes place in East Oxford, which is home to some of Oxfordshire’s most deprived and challenging communities; it is a chance for even the most culturally and socially disenfranchised members of the Oxfordshire community, to feel inspired by the arts and engaged by the celebration of a cohesive and colourful community.

People involved with Carnival, feel empowered to explore new ideas, new feelings and new opportunities, through access to excellent performance, arts based learning opportunities, cultural exposure, education and direct involvement with the annual programme of outreach projects, that use Carnival, as a springboard for additional activities and engagement.

Cowley Road Carnival is unique because of the site plan and programming; the entertainment stages, performance spaces and DJ zones, are not on moving floats as in other Carnivals, they are all fixed. This creates a magical mystery tour of 34 mini pop-up venues throughout the site, complemented by a mile long offer of global food stalls and curiosity traders.

Cowley Road Carnival achieves a friendly festival atmosphere, which over 50,000 enjoy exploring and experiencing.

In addition to the arts, music and perfomance, CRW also work hard to provide family and toddler activity zones, science and discovery  zones, with alcohol free areas and a zone specially geared up to engage with the elderly, plus a Carnival Village Green with a relaxing family fete atmosphere.

Carnival is not just a celebration. Find out more about our work at Cowley Road Works.