400 performers at Edinburgh Festival Carnival

Organisers are looking for volunteers to wear colourful costumes to help the carnival go with a bang. Picture: Ian Rutherford
Organisers are looking for volunteers to wear colourful costumes to help the carnival go with a bang. Picture: Ian Rutherford
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The Edinburgh Festival Carnival will be returning to paint the town red once again after last year’s inaugural event attracted a crowd of 25,000 people.

Over 400 performers from 35 countries across the world, including street musicians, dancers, theatre and circus performers, will take to the streets to mark the start of the 
Edinburgh Summer Festival.

Volunteers are again being sought to wear some of the colourful and extravagant costumes which made last year’s event such an memorable 

Giles Agis, executive director of Brouhaha International Events, said: “We had so much fun at last year’s event that we jumped at the chance to come back. As with last year, we’ll be looking for individuals and families who don’t mind putting on some outlandish, eye-catching garb, and being the centre of attention for an afternoon.

“There’s no need to be an experienced dancer already but as some of the pieces are quite heavy we will need a few quite strong people to come 

The parade will stretch from Princes Street between South Charlotte Street and The Mound to West Princes Street Gardens, with a family area in the gardens providing 
storytelling workshops and face-painting.

Carnival producer Roger Spence said: “Edinburgh Festival has always been the place for street theatre, music and entertainment. Now, with the Carnival, we’ve got an event that highlights this exciting genre and brings groups from all over the world to entertain us and launch the summer Festival season in style.”

All parade performers will circulate along the route, making sure spectators don’t miss a moment.

Festivals champion Councillor Steve Cardownie said: “The first Festival Carnival promised to evoke all the fun and family-friendliness of its forerunner, the Festivals Cavalcade, and it certainly didn’t disappoint.

“It was fantastic to see Princes Street and the Gardens come alive with all the vibrant costumes and different musical styles of the various bands 

“Judging by the cast of performers, we’re in for another fine spectacle this year and I am delighted that the council is able to facilitate this 
unmissable free event once again.”

The Grassmarket will also be playing host to Jazz Alfresco the same afternoon. The free event, presented in association with Greater Grassmarket Business Improvement District, will feature live jazz and blues from Al’s Dixie Palz and The Foo Birds, plus a market.

The Edinburgh Festival Carnival and Jazz Alfresco both take place on Sunday, July 21. For more information visit www.edinburghfestival

Glittering line-up

Amongst the acts participating at the Edinburgh Festival Carnival are the Paris Opera Children’s Choir, the Beijing Golden Sail Dance Troupe; Always Drinking Marching Band from Barcelona; Gwanaval from Martinique; The Country Boys from Trinidad; Funky Style Brass from the south of France; The Airborne Academy from England; the drummers and dancers of Kalentura and the spectacular break dancers of Got Skills from Holland; the rappers and urban dancers of JFC from Germany; the drums and pipes of Bombarda from Portugal; and many more.