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Cowley Road 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. 

We also have kit we can loan if needed.

About the Festival

The 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.

About the Science Zone

In addition to the arts, music and performance, 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.

The Carnival is now seeking expressions of interest for stalls in the Science Zone. The theme is 'Space is the Place', which could be interpreted around activities to do with outer space. Or it could be any research or topic related to any sort of space - the space between atoms, the space within a cell, the perception of our environments, green spaces, purple spaces - if you can imagine it, it fits.

If you've ever been to the carnival you'll know it's a very busy and bustling place so any stall will need to be big and bright, and the activities will need to be interactive, easy and fun. We went in 2018 with Sing Song Physics and did struggle a little bit with songwriting because there are many stages playing out music, however talking and arts and crafts activities worked fine. The background noise is something to take in to account when planning your activities.

The creative producer for the carnival said, "when thinking about your stalls, think big and bright, colour and anything moving helps to draw people to your stalls and activities, you simply can't be too colourful for carnival, remember that you are competing for the public's attention with over 100 other stalls as well as all the local street traders."

The audience is a mix of teens and adults, out to enjoy the atmosphere, and generally parents take younger kids along earlier in the day.

Kit loan

You'll need to be able to provide your own tables and cover - but thankfully for you we have:

  • 2x dome gazebos with sides and sand weights
  • 2x 3x3m printed canopy gazebos:

Gazebo branding example
(each side has a different icon covering MPLS and MSD disciplines)

  • 4x 6ft trestle tables
  • 2x University of Oxford-branded table cloths.

If you'd like to borrow any of this, just get in touch.

The cost to take part is £200 per stall.

How to get involved

To submit an expression of interest, email Anya Fox (Creative Producer) with a title for your stall and a brief description of the activities, and how you'll make your stall fun and eye-catching.