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Afro-Caribbean Carnival

Free
Music
This is a past event
Free
Music

Dates

Saturday 17 February 2024
5pm - 11pm

Venues

Main Square
The Atrium

Access

Lift access
Wheelchair accessible

Getting There

Epic bass is coming to the heart of Melbourne, in a celebration of sound system and carnival culture.

For the first time at Fed Square, local and international acts will converge with the vibrant party that is Afro-Caribbean Carnival.

Originating in Jamaica before spreading globally, sound system culture is known for its custom-built speaker stacks and amplifiers, generating epic street parties and carnivals from Kingston to London and New York. The subculture has become a thriving movement in Melbourne, with each custom-built sound system bringing its own unique sounds and communities.At the heart of the party, four legendary Melbourne sound systems (D.I.Y.HiFi, Housewife’s Choice, Heartical Hi Powa and El Gran Mono) and international heavyweights Saxon Sound System (UK) and Spikey Tee (Jamaica) will battle across three stages throughout the town square.

D.I.Y.HiFi, Housewife’s Choice and Heartical Hi Powa will be pumping reggae, dub, hip hop, drum n’ bass, tekno and Afrobeat, while El Gran Mono, a picó sound system with its roots in the Caribbean Coast of Colombia, will play mostly African and Afro-Colombian vinyl records. Expect styles such as champeta, cumbia, zouk, soukous, rhumba, benga and Afrobeat – the music of Capo Verde and West Africa, the Congo, Trinidad, Haiti, and of course the Caribbean coast of Colombia.Wear your best carnival costume for a chance to be crowned the first Afro-Caribbean King or Queen of Carnival. If you don’t have a costume but want to join in the carnival spirit, head to our free drop-in workshop in the Atrium, where you can decorate your own headpiece.

It wouldn’t be carnival without the food – head to Swanston Street for Afro-Caribbean and African favourites The Real Jerk, Angie’s Kitchen and Oz Brazilian BBQ.

The Afro-Caribbean Carnival entwines the rhythm of music, the richness of culture, and the warmth of community in a sublime summer celebration.

Program:

5pm–5.30pm – El Gran Mono
5.30pm–6pm – D.I.Y HiFi
6pm–6.30pm – Heartical Hi Powa
6.30pm–7pm – Housewife’s Choice
7pm–7.30pm – El Gran Mono
7.30pm–8pm – D.I.Y.HiFi
8pm–8.30pm – Heartical Hi Powa
8.30pm–9pm – Housewife’s Choice
9pm–9.30pm – Afro-Caribbean dancers and the crowning of the Afro-Caribbean King and Queen of the Carnival
9.30pm–11pm – Saxon Sound System (UK) Spikey Tee (JA)

Create your own Afro-Caribbean Carnival Costume - Free

4pm–7pm | The Atrium

Free, drop-in workshop where you can make your own Afro-Caribbean Carnival headpiece or shoulder-piece. Workshops take 15–20 mins and all materials will be provided.

Keen to buy your own unique costume? Head to MCC Costumes where Robyn and Roger have been creating costumes for the Caribbean diaspora and anyone else wanting to join the carnival spirit since 1989.

The Afro-Caribbean Carnival is presented by Fed Square and Stick Mareebo productions.