This year’s St Pauls Carnival in Bristol has been cancelled, organisers have confirmed.
The previously annual event, which was due to take place on July 7 and made it into our list of top 10 music festivals in Bristol, will not be going ahead this year amidst funding concerns and fears over crowd safety.
Bristol’s version of the Notting Hill Carnival, St Pauls Carnival is a colourful celebration with a Caribbean street-party vibe. It comprises vibrant processions, world music and food and live entertainment. There has been some trouble in previous years, including public order offences and some incidents of violence, but organisers have been working hard to shake off this reputation and promote the carnival as a family-friendly event. There were concerns over a funding shortfall earlier in the year, with Bristol legend Roni Size coming out in support of the carnival and fronting a fundraiser night – but sadly, it could not salvage the 2012 event.
A statement on the St Pauls Carnival website reads: “The board of St Pauls Carnival have reluctantly made the difficult decision to cancel the planned procession based Carnival this year. The decision has been made following recent meetings and consultations with the community and key delivery partners (Police, Bristol City Council and Arts Council England). The board will continue to work towards ensuring there is sufficient funding to bring back the full scale St Pauls Carnival in 2013 and look towards continued consultation with, and support from, the local community, fundraisers, promoters and businesses to involve them in the preparation and planning of the 2013 event and future St Pauls Carnivals.”
Following the announcement this afternoon by the board of St Pauls Carnival, Cllr Simon Cook, Cabinet Member for Culture, Sport and Capital Projects and ward councillors for Ashley Dr Jon Rogers and Gus Hoyt released a statement saying: “Bristol City Council is of course sad to hear the Carnival Committee’s decision that the 2012 St Pauls Carnival will be cancelled. We remain though fully committed to supporting Carnival, and look forward to it bouncing back bigger and better in 2013 – as it did after earlier cancellations in 2002 and 2006.
They added: “As a concrete sign of our commitment, the City Council will continue to invest our £55,000 grant this year, so that the Carnival Committee can carry on work over the coming months to build a bigger, better and financially-sustainable Carnival for 2013 onwards. We understand that the Arts Council will be prepared to leave its funding in place on the same basis. Now is a time for everyone who loves Carnival to unite, and work together for a brilliant event in 2013.”