Brazil-iant Carnival Atmosphere Took Over Liverpool As Brazilica 2018 Hailed A Success
The whole of Liverpool was alive with the sound of Samba at the weekend as Liverpool Carnival Company’s annual Brazilica Festival returned to the city with an epic Carnival extravaganza!
Visitors turned up in their thousands to witness the visually stunning Brazilica Carnival Parade on Saturday evening which made its way from Abercromby Square, along Hope Street, Hardman Street, Bold Street, and Church Street, before it’s spectacular finale in Williamson Square.
The samba drums were heard before they were seen as an impressive 16 samba bands all kept the beats going as they made their way along the route. This year’s parade bands included: Baque De Axe; Brighton School of Samba; Juba Do Leão; Katumba; Ola Samba; Acros Iris; Paraiso; Grupo Sambafriq; Oya Batucada; ABC Dance; Wirral School of Dance; Worldwide Samba Drummers and Preston Samba Dancers; Batala; Manchester School of Samba; Samba Livre; and of course, Liverpool Samba School who all joined forces to deliver the impressive precession.
The colourful samba dancers got the crowds moving and shaking as they dazzled with their vibrant and energetic performances which was heightened by their glamorous carnival outfits – with more feathers and sequins than you can shake a drumstick at! The impressive carnival floats also offered the wow factor to the precession.
The build up to the main Carnival Day began on Thursday evening when Brasilia fusion band Muntchakoentertained crowds at Constellations as they performed in the city for the first time as part of their European tour.
CIRCO bar was awash with colour on Friday night as it hosted the glamourous Carnival Queen Competition. 10 girls battled it out for Samba supremacy to be crowned this year’s queen. Hosted by Radio City 2’s Claire Simmo, the impressive turnout all saw 2017 victor Wendy Okoli hand over her crown to this year’s winner Katucha Bento.
Saturday afternoon saw the Brazilica Main Stage present a fabulous selection of exciting and talented musicians from across the globe – providing the soundtrack to the day located at The Pier Head Village. Crowds were entertained with Brazilian/Afro Latin sounds from French/Brazilian artist Agathe Iracema, percussion-driven electronic quartet Penya, the “seriously funky” The Fontanas, vocalist Sueli G, and singer-songwriter Aleh Ferreira.
And after the parade, the party continued until the early hours of Sunday morning at Camp and Furnace in Liverpool’s Baltic Triangle hosted by carnival DJs with live performances from visiting samba bands.
Speaking about her delight of 2018’s festival, Brazilica Director Maeve Morris said: “Wow, what an incredible weekend! Thank you to everyone who came out to show their support we hope you had as much fun as we did.
“As ever it was amazing to welcome so many bands and samba schools to Brazilica 2018 who came from across the UK and beyond and helped make this year’s festival the wonderful celebration of colour, music and dance!”
“And of course, a huge thank you to our sponsors, supporters, and all of our volunteers – without whom we couldn’t put on such an extraordinary event for the people and city of Liverpool.”
But the fun isn’t over just yet, there is still time to soak up the Brazilian culture as the Brazilica Film Festival runs until Monday 30 July at various venues across the city including FACT, the Bombed-Out Church and Camp and Furnace. The film festival covers a wide variety of genres including comedy, drama, biography and documentaries – with something on offer for all to enjoy.
The UK’s largest Samba Carnival event, Brazilica has become one of the flagship events of the year in Liverpool’s festival calendar attracting over 60,000 visitors to the city centre.
Liverpool Carnival Company are now looking ahead to next year and have already started to plan Brazilica 2019. Every year, the company set the bar higher in their efforts to improve the festival and always succeed in finding ways to bring it back bigger and better, so get set for another Brazil-iant event in 2019!
To get involved in Brazilica Festival 2019 as a media partner, sponsor or volunteer or for more information please visit the website at brazilicafestival.co.uk.
Image: David Munn Photography