3:03pm Thursday 23rd February 2012
By Faye Morrison
Kemp Town Carnival organisers begin the campaign to fundraise £40,000 for the main event in June with a launch party this Friday.
After a run of three decades, financial difficulty called time on Kemp Town Village’s carnival tradition in 2007. It made a hugely successful comeback in the summer of last year but relies heavily on volunteers from the local community and fundraising events, such as the launch party, to stay fixed in the 2012 calendar. The carnival is scheduled this year for Saturday 9th June.
Head organiser Mat Cook, of Cook the Rabbit Events, said: “The main purpose of the launch party is to kick-start the massive fundraising task ahead of us. We need roughly £40,000 to make the carnival happen and we cannot do it without the support of the people of Brighton. Putting on an amazing show is a great way to raise money.”
The party will feature performances by Afro-Latino funk orchestra Kalakuta Millionaires, Brazilian 20-piece drumming troupe Maracatu Cruzeiro Do Sul, the Brighton School of Samba, as well as a range of DJs playing an eclectic mix of international sounds. Party-goers are also invited to don ‘forbidden fruit and forest freak’ style fancy dress, with a pair of Playgroup Festival tickets awarded for the most impressive costume.
As well as a way to raise essential funds, the purpose of the launch party is to introduce the colourful carnival spirit into the winter months and get people excited about the summer event itself. This year’s carnival looks set to offer an extravagant array of entertainment and activities, including 20 live bands across five stages; the ‘parade of flowers’ which features over 100 drummers, stilt walkers and belly-dancers; creative workshops; fairground rides; street theatre, and a custard pie fight.
According to organisers, while the carnival has faced some opposition in the past from local businesses and residents for encouraging raucous behaviour, it is generally supported as a successful way to stimulate tourism and trade in the area, as well as to boost community spirit.
Organiser Mat Cook said: “Community-based Carnivals, like Kemp Town, can have significant appeal and positive effects for all generations; be it through music, performance, art, trade and craft or enjoying great food, drink, community games, sporting displays and the multitude of other family based activities.”
Kemp Town Carnival Launch Party Friday 24th February 2012, 10pm-late Concorde 2, Madeira Drive, Brighton £5 entry
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