Thanks to everyone who came along to the Bermondsey Carnival 2023 and made it such a great day. Fingers crossed we will be back next year to write another chapter in the long history of the event.
We were delighted to welcome the original 2tone legend, Neville Staple from the Specials, and his band, who squeezed in this ‘special’ visit to Bermondsey during their current UK tour to perform all his hits and memorable Ska classics from a career spanning over 40 years in music.
Following a difficult few years of restrictions and insufficient funding, and thanks to a lot of organisation, time and support from our local sponsors and partners The Bermondsey Carnival was back in Southwark park on Sunday 6th August 2023.
In agreement with Southwark Council, Blue Bermondsey has taken over the organisation of this treasured community and working with new partners and sponsors in new ways we put together a fab, FREE community event featuring a range of family activities, community groups, food and drink stalls plus a full programme of live performances on the Carnival music stage.
The support bands consisting of many local performers got the vibe going on the Carnival music stage, ably assisted by the mysterious DJ 586. Neville Staple from the Specials, provided a memorable finale with a rousing performance with everyone singing along passionately.
6.30 NEVILLE STAPLE – FROM THE SPECIALS
|5.00||THE BOOTLEG JAM – Top Tribute Band|
|3.45||PARADISE ON PURPLE – Original Pop/Rock Band|
|2.45||BASTRU – Original Indie Band|
|1.45||ARDAVAN RAMIN – Persian Desert Sounds|
|1.00||ALICE AND THE SMILES – Swing, Folk, Jazz and Blues|
|12.15||MALICK KOUYATE – Enchanting West African Kora Music|
|Filling the Gaps||DJ 586 – Spinning Classic Grooves|
We are very grateful to the wide range of local stakeholders who have given their wholehearted support and contributed sponsorship and funding to reinstate the Bermondsey Carnival and bring all people together in a shared community experience in the gloriously green and pleasant setting of historic Southwark Park.
“It is an honour for us to be a part of and support the Bermondsey Carnival, not just this year but for many years to come. Making a positive impact through events is a priority for our business, and we take great pride in bringing back a free community event for the Bermondsey area”
Laura Hemmings – Head of Production, Assembled Rally Live
“Rotherhithe Consolidated Charities supports people living in its area of benefit, The Ancient Parish of Rotherhithe, that are in need. We are delighted to support this year’s Carnival in Southwark Park, which will bring together residents from diverse communities in our area of benefit to enjoy free community activities, entertainment, music and more in the beautiful and historic Southwark Park”
Matthew Allgood – Rotherhithe Consolidated Charities
“The Bermondsey Carnival is an institution locally, providing a way for the community to come together both in spirit – working together to put on the event – and in person by enjoying the day. We’re thrilled that our sponsorship has helped to facilitate its return after a short pause, and to be a part of the future of this incredible event”
Philip Tait, Director of Development – Canada Water, British Land
“Greystar is hugely excited to be supporting Bermondsey Carnival, an event that holds a significant place in the area’s history. The event is back in full force for the first time since 2019 and Greystar is honoured to help The Blue Bermondsey BID in ensuring it is a success. As Greystar begins delivering its long-awaited Bermondsey Project on the site of the former Peek Freans Biscuit Factory, we are looking forward to getting to know more of the local community and investing in Southwark for the long-term”
Daniel Thompson – Managing Director of Development, Greystar
“Art-Invest is pleased to contribute to the revival of the Bermondsey Carnival this year – a fantastic opportunity to support local residents, community groups and businesses. Through our development at Canada Water Dockside, Art-Invest is committed to the long-term vibrancy of the area. We look forward to celebrating the activities, performances and people that represent the incredible culture of Southwark”
Luka Vukotic – Partner and Head of Development, Art-Invest Real Estate
The Bermondsey Carnival has always been a place where local community groups and stakeholders get involved and take the opportunity to reach out and tell visitors more about the good work they are doing to make the area a better place, this year you will discover the following….
|Nanny Bill’s||Premium British Burgers|
|Chick N Sours||Fried Chicken|
|Smashing Plates||Greek Gyros|
|Lil Watan||Authentic Lebanese wraps & salad boxes|
|En Root||Indian Inspired Vegan Cuisine|
|450 degrees||Sourdough Pizzas|
|Mr Whippy Ice Cream Truck||Mr Whippy Truck|
|The bars listed below will be present to provide a wide selection of tipples to choose from|
|Two Tribes Beer – These Days Spirits – Black Lines Cocktails – Hawkes Cider – Served Hard Seltzer – Vinca Wine – Canvino Sparkling Wine|
The Bermondsey Carnival has a history that can be traced to the year 1900 when it was first held as a fund-raising event for the victims of the Boer war. Over the decades the ‘Carnival’ became the highlight of the annual local events calendar, that featured a huge parade which would tour the local streets with floats and displays from local schools, community groups and businesses. The parade would finish in Southwark Park with the best judged float presented with a prize by the Mayor, who would then officially open proceedings which would feature bands, stalls and a range of community activities.
In 2010 due budgetary constraints the main activities were moved to the northern end of the park with the music programme staged on the bandstand and this format has continued to date. In 2020 following increased cuts to the Council events budget, it was agree for Blue Bermondsey BID to take over the running of the event, as the BID would be better placed to attract more funding/sponsorship but the with onset of the pandemic the carnival was cancelled.
In 2021 we were able to stage a ‘Bitesize’ version of the ‘Carnival’ and 2022 proved difficult to get sufficient funding but now after these difficulties the Bermondsey Carnival is back and taking its first tentative steps along the path to a sustainable future led by Blue Bermondsey BID and supported by the tremendous collective efforts of truly passionate local collaboration of sponsors and stakeholders.