Cowley Road Carnival Live! on 4th July

Cowley Road Carnival celebrations go ahead all over the city as residents are encouraged to join Virtual Carnival online, decorate their homes as the UK’s first Carnival House Floats and enjoy neighbourhood get togethers. The festivities will be completed by a Mixcloud After Party hosted by local DJs from 6pm.

The Cowley Road Carnival spirit is undimmed as celebrations go ahead on Carnival Day, 4 July with the Virtual Carnival from noon -6pm and from 6pm till late with the After Party on Mixcloud.

However, the 2021 Carnival programme has had to be adjusted according to Government guidelines.

“Cowley Road Carnival plans go ahead within Government guidelines.”

Carnival Get-Togethers

Planned Street Parties need to be down-sized to smaller-scale neighbourhood get togethers to be kept within Government guidelines.

Malcom Atkins, who usually organises the Confluence World Music programme on Carnival Day is planning to open his garden in Rose Hill. He says: “I open my garden as a community art gallery on Sundays from 2-4pm and on Carnival Day I plan to have the neighbours round.”

House Floats

Using the 2021 theme ‘Mother Earth’, Oxford residents have been encouraged to decorate their houses or premises in the form of Carnival floats.

There will be prizes for the best decorated House Float and a special prize for residents who best address the Mother Earth Carnival theme.

Staff and pupils at St Frideswide Primary School have all been involved in using recycled materials to make their float decorations which go up at the school on Friday 25 June. The school will be celebrating a mini-Carnival Day on Monday 28 June.

Lauren Arbour, teacher at the school says: “The whole school is really excited. We used Earth Day as a starting point for our designs and the younger pupils have looked at what the planet will look like if we don’t do anything – with smoggy skies and polluted beaches. Our decorations on the Mother Earth theme have been made from recycled materials brought in by parents and pupils to make islands and explorers.”

Alex Singleton has created a House of Sunflowers at his home in Littlemore which he has painted with murals.

He has made a sunflower wall and is encouraging the community to join in, make their own sunflowers and bring then to add them to the wall. Details of where to find it are on the website at

Virtual Carnival @ Home

Everyone from everywhere can join the Carnival celebrations online.

Creative Consultant Director Pax Nindi is hosting the event. He says: “There is only one advantage of having Carnival online and that is anyone can join in, no matter where they are. People can come to the Cowley Road Carnival from all over the globe! It is going to be amazing! I can’t wait!”

Virtual Carnival will stream music and performances live from noon to 6pm featuring a special Carnival performance filmed along the Cowley Road route of the procession by AfroFusion,

There will be music from amazing local bands: Roguey Roads with their new single, Little Brother Eli, The Jerichos, Waterfahl, Sarah Derrick, Scott Gordon Band, Doctor Steevo and from Cacophony Arkestra.

Carnival regulars Horns of Plenty will also be there – It wouldn’t be Cowley Road Carnival Day without them.

Join the Carnival on the website at, Facebook and YouTube.

The party will continue with DJ sets on Mixcloud throughout the evening.

For more information go to the website

Cowley Road Carnival

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.

Clare O'Hara

Executive Director

Leave a Comment