Cosmic Carnival 2019

CRC procession 2019_Kourosh Khorshdfar
CRC procession 2019 photograph by Kourosh Khorshidfar
Carnival 2019 was the most accessible yet. Photograph by Khourosh Khorshidfar.
The Mini transformed for the procession by apprentices at the MINI Plant. Photograph by Chris Stonehouse
Oxford Brookes University at Carnival 2019 photograph by Heather Robbins.

Cowley Road Carnival 2019 a Cosmic Success.

The Cowley Road Carnival is Oxford’s Big Day Out of the year, and the country’s second biggest Carnival after Notting Hill[i]. The theme for 2019 was ‘Space is the Place’ in recognition of the 50-year anniversary since the moon landings and in celebration of Oxford’s expertise in space science, research and technology.

Micaela Tuckwell, Executive Director of Cowley Road Works was thrilled with the success of Carnival 2019, she said: “This has been a truly Cosmic Carnival! We are completely over the moon! The procession was out of this world. The groups embraced our theme ‘Space is the Place’. We had planets, spacemen, little green men – and women – and a huge Mother Universe! Not forgetting the Sun which shone brilliantly for us.  The atmosphere has been absolutely fantastic with such a good vibe. Everywhere I looked people were having a wonderful time.   It has been a privilege to have been part of this amazing event which bring our community together in such a positive way.”

Early estimates indicate that a crowd of up to 50,000 attended this year’s celebration in glorious sunshine, including 32 groups in the procession of over 650 people and hundreds of other performers, musicians and dancers. The procession featured a MINI car amazingly transformed into a rocket by a group of apprentices at the MINI plant. It was preceded by the Arcadia bug parading along the road before it took up position in the disco zone.

Dan Williams, Development Director of Oxford Business Park was there with his wife Lucy and children Evie (6) and Jacob (2), he said: “Oxford Business Park is delighted to be involved this year in our first carnival. I am here with the family and we are absolutely having a ball. We are looking forward to supporting the event for many years to come.”

Andrea Siret, Head of Community Engagement and Social Responsibility at Oxford Brookes University said: “Another fantastic year at Carnival. Such and amazing array of exciting activities for all. It was very well organised, and we had lots of engagement at our Brookes zone.” Oxford Brookes University have been consistent supporters of Carnival and were there providing activities for children and blood pressure health checks.

Micaela added: “It isn’t just one day, but a whole year of planning by the team. But more than that, our outreach programme helps many groups and individuals to get involved and experience the thrill of learning new skills make costumes and artwork as well as participating either in the procession or through performance.  This includes many of the most marginalised and disadvantaged people in our community.

“This year Carnival has been the most inclusive ever. Both in terms of involvement and engagement as well as for carnival-goers. And we were very proud to have been given a bronze award for our inclusivity by Attitude is Everything’s Charter for making Carnival accessible for Deaf and people with disabilities.”

She went on to thank everyone who had contributed towards making the Carnival such a huge success: “I am in awe of our wonderful team of volunteers and want to say a massive thank you to each one of them. They are amazing. Helping us set up and take down as well as stewarding the Carnival and providing assistance, information and helping us to collect donations. We couldn’t do it without them.”

Funds raised on the day total just over £9,571 up from £7,500 in 2018. Anyone who would still like to donate can do so through the donate  button on the website at

Next year’s Carnival date? 5 July and a whole year to prepare and do it all again! We can’t wait.

[i] Arts Council England