Huddersfield Carnival continues to develop and grow in stature and this presents new problems for the organisation. Increased publicity and marketing in 2003 alongside a higher profile entertainment programme (including an additional stage involving young people) resulted in an increase in stall applications,more floats on the road and more people attending all events. The success of the 2003 event generated a great deal of interest this year as we celebrate 20 years of Huddersfield Carnival.

In order to ensure that we are ready to accommodate this major celebration, Huddersfield Carnival organised an open conference to discuss the event. Held at the University of Huddersfield on Saturday 27 March 2004, some of the major issues discussed included: Why do we celebrate Carnival?; funding and support for Huddersfield Carnival; the impact of other initiatives on Huddersfield Carnival; links to other strategies, events and organisations; Health & Safety; arnival costume design ; stall holders (facilities and site layout); the Carnival Procession; edutainment; event management and infrastructure; stewards and security; sponsorship.

A range of organisations and individuals attended and invited speakers included Alison Andrews (Arts Council England, Yorkshire); Paul Anderson (Luton Carnival Arts Development Trust); Pax Nindi (Arts Council England); Richard Bealing (Kikrlees Cultural Services);Professor Glen Hardaker (University of Huddersfield).

In addition, a number of other Carnivals were represented; Leeds, Leicester, Preston,Sheffield and Bradford attended and one of the unexpected outcomes from the conference was a request from the other Carnivals that a Northern Carnival Conference is organised in Huddersfield this year to involve them inthe process. This effectively puts Huddersfield in a strong position to lead the debate on behalf of Carnival events in the North as the proposed Regional Conference is part of Arts Council England’s National Carnival Strategy which was launched with the On-Route National Carnival Conference in London last year,which Huddersfield Carnival representatives attended.

Lunchtime entertainment was provided by the one and only North Stars steel Orchestra, fresh from their appearance in Trinidad & Tobago Carnival and Brian Cross (Artimedia) showed slides of carnival costumes taken over the last 15 years.

The main points taken from the discussion at the conference will be summarised in a report format which will be sent to all conference participants and will form the basis for Carnival’s forthcoming Five Year Plan for development.


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