Category Archives: News

Leeds Carnival 50 Heritage

Palace Youth Project Queen costume 1989. Picture: Max Farrar

Palace Youth Project Queen costume 1989. Picture: Max Farrar

We’re delighted to say that as part of our 50th anniversary celebrations, we have been awarded an Our Heritage grant from the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) for the Leeds Carnival 50 Heritage project which will showcase the Carnival’s heritage and history this year.

We’re partnering with The Tetley to stage an exhibition from August to October which will feature archival material, including photography, film, costume, press cuttings, ephemera, artefacts and more exploring the history of LWIC.

We’re looking for a talented Curator who will work with us to make this historic exhibition happen.

Alongside this main exhibition, a touring version will be staged in public spaces across Leeds. The exhibitions will complement Carnival Chronicles which will support volunteers to collect stories and recollections of Carnival from local communities and Carnival contributors. Those stories will then be brought to life in performances to be staged at community venues.

LWIC and The Tetley are currently seeking a curator to work with the LWIC and other members of the Leeds Carnival 50 team to research and realise the static and touring exhibitions. Desk space and curatorial support will be provided by The Tetley.

Download job brief here

Leeds West Indian Carnival 2016


The countdown is on! May 21st marks 100 days to Leeds West Indian Carnival 2016!

We’re expecting another bumper year on Bank Holiday Monday 29th August with thousands expected for the unrivalled atmosphere, great music, and food, not to mention the sparkling parade of floats and hundreds of stunning costumes from across the UK. Continue reading

Counting Down to Carnival!

The countdown to Leeds West Indian Carnival begins with some great announcements for carnival arts in 2015 and beyond.

Thanks to Arts Council England funding for two years, the jaw dropping Leeds Carnival King & Queen Show will return to West Yorkshire Playhouse (WYP) after last year’s phenomenal sell out debut at the prestigious theatre. The funding will also take Leeds Carnival on de Road to other UK carnivals and provide amazing opportunities for young people to shadow experts in carnival arts and at incredible placements with our BBC Radio Leeds and WYP partners.

And that’s not all! Three year support for our annual events programme from Leeds City Council’s arts@leeds funding will continue our efforts to showcase the spectacle, joy and heritage of Caribbean carnival arts to audiences from near and far. Continue reading

Last year’s tropically inspired winning Carnival King & Queen with their amazingly talented designers.  (Image Max Farrar)

Carnival King & Queen in an exciting new venue

State of the art light and sound in a prestigious theatre space will take this year’s Carnival King and Queen to new heights of spectacle.

The King & Queen show is one of the Carnivals most visually stunning and anticipated events. Year after year we see some fantastic costumes in great locations and this year is no different. Here at Carnival HQ we are so excited to announce that on August 22nd the King & Queen Show 2014 is going to be held in one of the UK’s most esteemed theatres, the West Yorkshire Playhouse! The show will take place in the Quarry Theatre, with its state of the art light and sound facilities it’s going to be fantastic.

The show will debut grand, vibrant and beautiful costume creations from all across the UK. They will be competing for the titles of Carnival King & Queen and the honour of leading the Carnival parade on August 25th. The show is going to be the ultimate catwalk for Royal Carnival couture as Leeds West Indian Carnival brings a slice of Carnival to this major theatre space.

The costumes are going to look amazing and the New World Street Orchestra are going to be spreading their infectious melodic Carnival beats around the theatre with its dedicated and state of the art light and sound system. Keep your eyes peeled for more King & Queen announcements over the next few weeks as we will be revealing some more exciting acts and very special guests.

Tickets are on sale now

The King & Queen Show really is one to watch and you don’t want to miss it! On August 22nd The West Yorkshire Playhouse will be transformed into a tropical paradise and the good news is, tickets are on sale now! They are available from Leeds West Indian Carnival on 0113 307001 or from the West Yorkshire Playhouse box office: and are £7.50.

Just to get you in the Carnival spirit, take a look at these incredible pictures from last year!

Leeds Carnival Queen 2013 Julia Russell as “A Tropical Blend” designed by Hughbon Condor (Image: Max Farrar)

Leeds Carnival Queen 2013 Julia Russell as “A Tropical Blend” designed by Hughbon Condor (Image: Max Farrar)

Last year’s tropically inspired winning Carnival King & Queen with their amazingly talented designers.  (Image Max Farrar)

Last year’s tropically inspired winning Carnival King & Queen with their amazingly talented designers. (Image Max Farrar)


Leeds Pop Up Carnival Grand Depart Tour de France

Pop goes Carnival

This year Leeds West Indian Carnival is going to be popping up in some very unexpected places and we are very excited to announce our first Pop Up Carnival in Leeds. On July 5th straight after the Grand Departure of the Tour de France, one of the worlds biggest annual sporting events, the Leeds West Indian Pop Up Carnival will be the next big thing to leave the start line!

30 newly commissioned carnival costumes from some of the UK’s top designers

Leeds Pop Up Carnival costumesOur parade, which is jam packed full of visually stunning costumes – which symbolise peace, love and unity will be accompanied by authentic Caribbean food, arts and craft stalls and the New World Steel Orchestra!

The Pop Up Carnival will bring a little slice of Carnival to Leeds to get everyone in the Carnival spirit! The jaw dropping procession will transform Briggate with its infectious tropical beats, high energy dance moves, live calypso and steel pan tunes and of course the vibrant and beautiful costume creations full of feathers, sequins and gems.

Pop Up Princess costume designer Sheila Howarth said;

“Pop Up Carnival will take the sights and the sounds of the Caribbean to audiences who may not be familiar with the joy that Carnival brings to the streets of Leeds every August Bank Holiday. This is their chance to get Carnival Happy!”

Leeds is our first Pop Up stop of the summer so we hope to see you there! We will also be popping up at Scarborough Seafest and again in Leeds so keep your eyes peeled for more exciting information. Keep up to date on Twitter with all things Carnival @CarnivalLeeds #PopUpCarnival

Pop Up Carnival is brought to you by Leeds West Indian Carnival – with love.

For the press release and hi-res images please click here

Leeds Pop Up Carnival is made possible with support from

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