Arts & Culture

Carnival launches as Colossus Awakes

By Sarah Edwards

An evening of awesome fireworks will create an amazing live outdoor spectacle to launch Cowley Road Carnival 2017 under cover of total darkness.
Colossus Awakes part one takes place on the evening of Saturday July 1 at South Park from 9pm.

The Big News reports live from the Biomime Corporation HQ in OX4 where a major breakthrough in bioengineering is set to be announced…
A mysterious, pulsating laboratory is engineered in South Park. Eminent scientists feed the experiment within. The state looks on with satisfaction. The media are expectant. And then something more powerful than all that has gone before begins to live and breathe. Colossus awakes and darker forces gather…. A new Giant of Science begins to emerge, can they tame him? Will he escape?
As Colossus Awakes the audience will see an outdoor laboratory created – pulsating with light and revealing eminent scientists as they feed their secret experiment with the power of knowledge mined from the generations before them.
Part two takes place within the Cowley Road Carnival procession on July 2: Return of Colossus
The streets become a living laboratory as young “Guardians of Science” engage audiences in the experiment. Reincarnations of the “Giants of Science” – Newton, Galileo, Einstein, Curie, Faraday, Turing and Franklin, move through the streets discovering a spectacle of light and sound.
Colossus now strides out across the town, collecting new insight from the giants of science and the people of the town as they move through the streets.
Cowley Road Works, the charity that produces Cowley Road Carnival, has been successful in attracting major Arts Council England and Lottery funding into East Oxford and this is the first part of its mission to bring world class arts to communities for free.
Arts Council England has invested up to £90,000 into an annual programme of arts activity which sees many local arts and community groups benefitting as well as making sure that excellent art is accessible to everyone regardless of their background or personal situation.
Johannah Aynsley, Executive Director of Cowley Road Works said : “When I pulled the Arts Council application together I knew it was special and I am thrilled to bits that ACE have supported it –we are very lucky to now be able to bring a series of projects ranging from awe inspiring outdoor spectacles, musical and theatrical performance, arts training, street arts –world class artists exhibitions and more to the people of Oxford – all of the work will underpin broader social impact projects and all will be FREE to access – you can look at our website to see just how diverse and exciting the projects and project partners are,
“Unfortunately, the funds do not cover the costs of producing and facilitating the Carnival and this is an amount of close to £150,000 that we still have to work all year to fundraise to make this brilliant event happen!
“I am delighted and excited to be bringing this show to Oxford and although it is a late start of 9pm – I would urge all families to get themselves and their relatives and friends down to South Park and enjoy this tremendous theatrical stage and light show”
This year’s Cowley Road Carnival starts an hour earlier, from 11 am to 5pm when the Cowley Road will pulsate to the sights and sounds of hundreds of performers dancing, singing, playing music and performing street theatre at stages and venues from the Plain to Magdalen Road. With areas dedicated to science and discovery, a global dance stage and Dingley Dell for families, the day is packed full of things to see and do, with something for everyone.

Cowley Road Carnival is organised by Cowley Road Works and is supported by sponsorship, donations and grants including from Oxford City Council and Arts Council England.

For more information about Cowley Road Carnival please see