Carnival 2020

Carnival 2020

Cowley Road Carnival to Celebrate Mother Earth

The annual Cowley Road Carnival is an unmissable Oxford icon, regularly attracting up to 50,000 people, all drawn to the event’s unique atmosphere and the huge range of attractions and activities on offer, including dance, music and an irresistible array of street food from all over the globe. If you haven’t been before, make sure that you don’t miss it this year on 5 July. It is a truly amazing spectacle and one which brings the community together.

Thanks to Bounce Design who are partnering with us again this year on all our Carnival branding and artwork.

Photograph of the Earth in the procession in 2019 by Kourosh Khorshidfar


This year the theme is ‘Mother Earth’ to celebrate the Natural World while also drawing attention to the global issue of climate change.

Mother Earth is the perfect theme for 2020. The groups in the procession can interpret the theme as broadly as they like. There is a huge scope for the schools and other community groups to express love for the natural environment and focus on global and local environmental issues. We can’t wait to see their creative interpretations in the costumes and processional structures.

Bearing in mind the green agenda, Carnival-goers can expect ‘Carnival Unplugged’ with a gentler vibe and acoustic melodic sets on the Manzil Gardens Music Stage.

Louder beats to be found on ‘Electric Avenue’ further down the Cowley Road nearer the Plain.


Starting from the Plain at 12.30 pm, around 700 people are expected to participate in the procession, which is the focal point of Carnival Day on 5 July.

Oxford Spires Academy have made an octopus as part of their artwork project for the procession, supported by the Oxford Business Park.


The group of young arts leaders from years 9 and 10 have been hard at work with younger students from Year 7, reusing reclaimed materials (the tentacles are made from coffee cup tops and the eyes from fabric conditioner bottles) to make the spectacular sea creature which will be carried by the group in the procession at Cowley Road Carnival on 5 July.

Karen Dix, Head of Art at the School, said: “It is a great opportunity for the arts leaders to use their skills and enthusiasm to enthuse and guide the younger students.

“It is great for them to have a real-life brief working towards a tangible goal, and one which is right at the heart of the community. It is why we love doing it.”

Work with a further four schools will be supported by the University of Oxford in collaboration with academics from Zoology and Earth Sciences.


There are many ways to get involved in this year’s Carnival, organisations and individuals are invited to join in:

  • Support a school or community group training programme.
  • Sponsor a zone with full branding for your organization.
  • Take part in the procession.
  • Take a stall.
  • Bring a team of volunteers to help on the day.

It’s all great fun and an unmissable event. Businesses who have already agreed to support Carnival this year include the Oxford Business Park, Oxford Brookes University, the MINI Plant, Bounce Design and Daily Info.

We are thrilled to be working with the University of Oxford to bring Carnival arts and earth science to four local schools, and with Oxford Brookes University to bring great green technology to Carnival. We couldn’t do what we do without great support from the Oxford community and that includes businesses. We are incredibly grateful to the Oxford Business Park for being so amazingly supportive and who are sponsoring us again for a second year. I urge other businesses to join them and pledge to help us do more work.

Dan Williams, Development Director of Oxford Business Park said: “We are delighted to be supporting our local community again as diamond sponsors of the Cowley Carnival. The Cowley Road links the business park to the City and the Carnival is the perfect way to celebrate this vibrant community, we can’t wait for the 5th July.”


Cowley Road Works (CRW), the charity which organises the Carnival, works with the community all year round.  Our year-round programme of work brings the community together, helps people to access opportunities and learn new skills.

Businesses and other organisations are urged to get in touch and discuss how they can support a school project or community group training programme. If you would like to find out more about how to get involved please contact  Clare on to explore the possibilities.