Background & Event Information

Eastbourne Carnival began life in 1895 as part of the Battle of the Flowers Celebration.

In more recent times, it was brought back by the then MP for Eastbourne, Stephen Lloyd in 2011 after an absence of 15+ years. In 2021, Stephen Lloyd handed the position of Committee Chair to Mina O’Brien, who, with the Committee has now delivered successful Carnivals in 2022, and 2023.

The Carnival is now an annual event taking place on the Saturday of the late May Bank Holiday weekend.  There are three main components of the event held on the day: 

We are hoping to attract a good mix of entrants, including community groups, businesses, charities and schools. Additionally, we enable individuals and families to get involved in our ‘Everyone’s Carnival’ group. We work with local artists and performers who deliver Carnival workshops to help create costumes and deliver dance workshops. 

At 11:30am, Carnival is officially launched by the Mayor of Eastbourne in Eastbourne Town Centre (outside the Enterprise Shopping Centre) with a small procession of costumes and drummers through town centre, ending at the top of Victoria Place (Terminus Road). 

The Main Parade starts at 2pm from Fisherman’s Green, and ends approximately 4:30pm at the Wish Tower Slopes 

A Street Party is held after the main procession at Victoria Place until 8pm. 

The theme for Eastbourne Carnival 2024 is ‘Into The Wild.’

In 2022 and 2023, we worked with Sunshine International Arts, who are a longstanding Notting Hill Carnival band – to create our big ‘King and Queen’ Costumes, and supply smaller costumes featured at the front of the Parade.

In 2023, we engaged the Metronomes Steel Orchestra, and they came down from Notting Hill to perform at the beginning of the Parade.

We could not achieve this without the support and sponsorship from the local business community.

We anticipate that 2024 will be even bigger – and we are expecting more entrants, and a bigger crowd. 

Group of 2023 carnival goes standing in front of a but with a banner for 'You Raise Me Up Charity'

Marketing the Carnival

Working with Bourne Free and Custard Print for regular features from February – May

Working with Seahaven FM to run Ads in the build up to the event 

Working with Media Attention who place Digital Billboards and Posters around Eastbourne with Adverts for Carnival, and who also put a window display together a month before the event

Social Media, provided by Ditzy Media, with organic and paid ads to reach the community throughout the period February – May, but with increased posting March - May to advertise sponsors.

In 2023, Eastbourne Carnival was picked up internationally by the wider Carnival community and was featured in ‘Soca News’ – See Here

We also get a lot of post event coverage and in 2022 were featured on both BBC South East Today and Meridian News

Our social media reach in 2023 was over 150,000

Our YouTube Channel has videos of the 2022 and 2023 Carnivals:

Our social media reach in 2023 was over 150,000

Our YouTube Channel has videos of the 2022 and 2023 Carnivals:



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Photo credit: Media Attention, Modify Media and Graham Huntley

Video credit: Modify Media, The Beacon