I am still on my quest to visit and support our UK carnivals, and the Manchester Caribbean Carnival was the next stop on the list.
Travel to Manchester
It is relatively easy to get to Manchester from London, as there are regular trains from Euston to Manchester Piccadilly, and will get you there in just over 2hrs. Train tickets prices ranged anywhere from £24.00 to £92.00 for a return fare, depending on when you purchased. Although, once you arrive in Manchester, it is literally just a bus ride from the station to Alexandra Park, or it is approximately a 20-30 minute walk. However, it is worth noting that as you are going into Moss Side, it is advisable to take the bus or a taxi from a reputable firm.
‘On de the road’ with WeR1 Mas Band @Manchester Carnival 2018
Manchester carnival took to the streets on Saturday 11th August, with parade bands that performed and danced to the delights of the community. WeR1 Mas band from Manchester, to me, was the highlight of the carnival with its procession of ‘blue’ prominently featuring in the parade.
Check out @realsocadeal Costume of day, featuring WeR1 Mas band costume presentation.
The following bands that showcased in the carnival were:
- WeR1 Mas
- Jet Black
- Air Squad
- Pure Elegance
- Valentina Collection
WeR1 did feel like one of the biggest floats, sponsored byZiva cakes and partnered with RDR. DJs on the road were Prince Vern, DJ Triple M, DJ $pice UK and Kultxre, playing the sweet soca tracks for the band. Triniboi Joocie also performed on the truck belting out his hits and brought the road down with ‘More Hose’.
Triniboi Joocie performances
Manchester carnival is definitely alive and kicking, the carnival vibe there is infectious. All the mas bands performed choreographed routines along the entire route and were encouraged by the vast crowds that lined the streets, to ‘jump up’ and enjoy the spectacular parade. This carnival is for all ages and it was amazing to see how the children are prominently featuring throughout the carnival parade.
The procession was actually only on the route for approximately 1.5hrs, with all floats then parading into Alexandre park for the main stage and judging. The choreographed routines by all the performing bands are the main feature, that packs out the park and has all the bystanders cheering them on. It is not meant to be a professional dance-off, but a variety of masqueraders, of all ages, performing to their musical arrangement – it was fantastic to see the youngsters getting into the vibe of mas. Although the procession may be short, the carnival festivities continue on in the park, with guest DJs playing music for the crowds until 10pm; and as with London, there were the after parties. Manchester is a haven for music and if you don’t have to travel back to London, you could stay and fete at the numerous parties that were on offer.
Manchester Carnival Gallery
@Realsocdeal says “Support our UK Carnivals”
Having visited a few carnivals around the UK, the difference is noticeable, in comparison to London and the Caribbean. Whilst, the staging is completely different, the routes are shorter, the total number of bands are predominately smaller and the policing is very slight. Nevertheless, these carnivals are unique, unspoiled with over policing, with amazing community vibes and are child friendly. In addition to this, the costume price in comparison to London & the Caribbean is ridiculously good value for money, as to play in costume for WeR1 Mas band cost £50. Yes, £50 for a full costume package. A decent package which included your costume, a meal, and refreshments once you got back to the park.
It is also important to note that these smaller carnivals are not to be underestimated, for they are growing in audience & attendance numbers each year. They also deserve our support and urge all to travel, visit and support all our UK carnivals.
Music Credit Videos
Check out my other posts for reviews on Caribbean carnivals!