Sunday 1 September saw Carnival, organised by Mark ‘Chinny’ Davis, at Blackpool Cricket Club.  Something was a little different the Alfresco festival in May.  It wasn’t a hot sunny day but there was a lovely aroma of fresh food infiltrating our noses and the highlight for me was the the beer festival.

Carnival’s ‘Perfume Tent’ contained a selection of stalls selling handmade items and featuring artists’ wares and I took part in this, selling my range of handmade jewellery.  The DJ booth was artistically dressed with a wooden shed that was adorned with an old, rustic metal board and magnetic alphabet lettering displaying the time slots of the DJs.  There was also colourful, woollen mini lantern style bunting hanging from the ceiling of the tent, dressing the DJ area to give the event an even warmer festival feeling.

Tunes in the Perfume Tent and on the main stages outside ranged from reggae, hip hop, funk, soul to samba, house vibes and break-beats. The samba band at 1.30pm set me off giddy for the day with their banging electric vibes. Before I knew it, the folks at other stalls and members of the audience were smiling and dancing.

Stalls on the day included:

Rakin from HM Avenue  – drawing on the day and selling his printed designs as well as an Indian home-ware collection
Yappers Chappers Designs (me) – selling and making handmade nickel-free jewellery
Twisted Elegance and Vintage Quirk
Diane (artist)  – selling a variety of her artwork on cards alongside pictures and sculptures
Sam from My Pink Angel  – selling funky and pretty scarfs and costume jewellery
Janey from Owl and Heartflower –  selling handmade bags and bunting creations
The lovely duo from Dead Pigeon  – selling their unique handmade vibrant t-shirt designs

The Perfume Tent ‘in the shed’ DJ line up:

12:30 Danielle Rewind Selector
1:30 Poco Loco -Samba
2pm John Tree
4pm Earth Doctor
5:30pm Ennio Maccaroni
7pm Jerry Dammers (headliner)

Main Stage:
There was so much going on out on the main stage that I missed while working on my stall, but I saw small snippets of the amazing Speak to the Streets crew from Leeds,  DJ Tbreaks (Tony Green) and Mc 10tonn (Shane Fenton). I saw some of the breakdance battles which were dope and the 4x decks show with DJ Format and Jukebox Champions, DJ Woody, Peter Parker and Andy Smith, were unreal!

Once I had packed my stall away I was advised to try the Wainwright guest ale and got chatting to some breakdancers form New York and London who I watched later, spinning their tricks on the dance floor. Evileyz, Spider Jaroo and DJ Pnuts from Northern Structure Records were on stage and Evileyz gave me a surprise shout out in his set.  It was great to watch them live for the first time.

My highlight of the day was letting my hair down and doing roly-polies, trying to breakdance, and also calling out the raffle prizes and introducing Jerry Dammers to the Perfume Tent Stage. I was giddier throughout the day, there was such a great crowd of people and friendly faces.

I caught up with Mark ‘Chinny’ Davis who said:

It was incredible to see talent from all over the UK come together. Indeed we even had acts and dancers from the US and France. Blackpool was vibrant even if the weather wasn’t.

DJ Tbreaks (Speak to the Streets’ Tony Green) added:

Great vibe, crazy DJs, lovely crowd and dope battles, roll on 25th May.

I met the inspirational Speak to the Streets Leeds’ crew last month at an organised event for under 18’s dance battles in Leeds. Shane Fenton the founder of Speak to the Streets and Tony Green, co-founder, work together inspiring respect and peace from kids and young offenders.  They give them hope, a chance, a dream and direction in life, getting them back on the straight and narrow and teaching kids how to express themselves creatively by music and dance.

I absolutely loved the day and night and cannot wait for next event in May 2014. It was great to see the Alfresco events evolving and continuing to please crowds.


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