Category Archives: News

Good listeners wanted! 

Photo: Max Farrar

We’re on the hunt for volunteers who are good listeners with an ear for a great story who can help us to seek out and capture the untold stories of the people and communities who have helped Leeds West Indian Carnival along their remarkable 50 year journey.

Carnival Chronicles is just one strand of our Heritage Lottery Fund supported Leeds Carnival 50 Heritage programme to mark our Golden anniversary this year.

Once recorded these incredible hidden histories will inspire the creation of a special Leeds Carnival 50 Map which charts important locations and moments during the Carnival’s history. As well as featuring in the Leeds Carnival 50 Heritage Exhibition at The Tetley in Leeds from August to October, these historic narratives will be brought to life on stage by acclaimed writer Zodwa Nyoni in a special theatrical performance touring the city in September and October.

Carnival Chronicles Co-ordinator, Joe Williams, an expert in creative heritage projects said “Carnival Chronicles is my most exciting project yet. I’m looking forward to working with a team of volunteers who will help to preserve hidden stories, highlight unsung heroes and celebrate our shared enthusiasm for that one day in the year when Carnival brings the city to life with colour and harmony that crosses all boundaries”.

If you or someone you know is interested in becoming a Carnival Chronicles volunteer researcher, here’s what you need to know;

  • You should comfortable communicating sensitively and respectfully with a wide range of people and communities.
  • Being a good listener is essential!
  • You must be comfortable working in a team as well as on your own.
  • Reasonable out of pocket expenses will be covered.
  • Volunteers will receive free training in oral history collection.

For further information on how to get involved and contribute to this historic project please get in touch by e mailing

Leeds Carnival 50 Heritage is supported by an Our Heritage grant from Heritage Lottery Fund.

Troupe and Costume Registration 2017

Deadline for registration is Friday 7th April

In this historical 50th anniversary year, we anticipate that troupe and costume participation will be bigger than ever and already have huge interest from across the UK and beyond. By registering early we will be able to plan and make the best arrangements we can for what looks set to be the most anticipated Carnival in our 50 year history.

To register please download the form and email it to or post to Leeds West Indian Carnival, 82 Sheepscar Street North, Leeds LS7 3AF.

Fill in the online form here or

Click below to download the form


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

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)