Creating Carnival Kendal Calling 2023


Here you can find the information you need in the lead up to the Kendal Calling Parade 2023.

This content will be updated as more information is announced.

About the project


Creating Carnival – Kendal Calling 2023 is an exciting professional development opportunity for freelance artists local to Cumbria and the surrounding areas to take the reins of the Kendal Calling procession 2023*.

Working with Global Grooves and From The Fields (via mentoring, new partnerships, access to creative resources, masterclasses, expert tuition and as a critical friend), A brand new, local creative team will develop the skills, confidence, and tools to deliver a large-scale, high profile and collaborative piece of processional work.

How will the programme be delivered?

We will recruit a new cohort of artists who have an interest in developing collaborative, co-produced work in percussion, dance, visual arts and melody (brass). These artists are likely to be already be working with communities in their locality and will have an ambition to take their understanding of creating larger scale, site specific processional work to the next level. We would like to draw upon new and established partnerships / networks as well as open call outs to recruit new artists, groups and members of the community cast.

All artists

Working with internationally acclaimed Carnival artists, we will develop a tailored training / masterclass programme where artists will have the opportunity to dive deeper into the development of co-created Carnival arts, and lead on the design and creative outputs of a new high profile piece of processional work. Artists will be given a brief from Kendal Calling to help shape the work reflecting the theme of  the festival and inclusion for all communities, joy, openness, collaboration etc.

Music and Dance

Through mentoring, training and peer learning, artists will refine their work and deliver open workshops and training for the wider community to shape the final presentation and build the community cast. The team will have the opportunity hand pick costumes, props, and puppets from the Global Grooves back catalogue of processional works that parade participants will animate through new choreographies and musical arrangements.

Visual Arts

Working alongside the music and dance activity will be the development of a new lead Carnival puppet. Artists and members of the local community will have the opportunity to learn from and shadow a leading master puppet maker to create a new large scale piece to lead in the procession.

The wider community

Members of the wider community will also be invited to learn about large scale puppetry, event crew opportunities, costume and flags, and perform as lead puppeteers, performers and contribute as crew members at Kendal Calling.


All elements will then come together for a final combined rehearsal. The new team will work closely alongside the local community, Kendal Calling and Global Grooves producers, artistic director, production team and events crew to deliver a full blown, fully costumed, and brand-new performance to massive audiences at the Festival.

Shared learning

Lead artists and key partners working on the project will come back together after the final presentation to celebrate evaluate their achievements and discuss possible next steps. This will include shared learning, exploring ongoing partnerships, mentoring and future progression opportunities to continue to develop their work and journey both as individuals and together.

Who are we looking to connect with?

We are calling out for up to two artists to join the team from each of the following lead role disciplines;

Lead Roles

  • Percussion – percussion ensemble director
  • Dance – processional dance director 
  • Music –  melody band director 

Lead roles (percussion, music & dance) will suit artists of varying backgrounds and levels of experience including but not limited to; 

  • Artists must be based in Cumbria or surrounding areas
  • Leaders and directors of community music / dance groups.
  • Emerging artists of any age who want to take their collaborative practice to the next level. 
  • Experienced artists who would like to explore and learn more about the creation of processional / multi-disciplinary outdoor production working alongside others. 
  • Experienced processional / Carnival artists who would like the opportunity to lead on a high-profile event at Kendal Calling and explore cross-artform working. 
  • Performing artists who would like to increase their knowledge and skills of working with members of the community to create new work.

The programme will be carefully tailored to the needs and experience levels of the artists engaged once the lead team has been identified.

Further opportunities;


  • Visual Arts – Training and development opportunities will be available for a wider team of visual artists in the lead up to the event to create a new large scale puppet. 

Visual arts roles will be suitable for individuals that have previous experience in visual arts of any discipline who would like to;

  • Work alongside and shadow a leading internationally acclaimed large scale puppet maker. 
  • Follow the process from design (remotely) – to build – to performance of  a professional quality giant parading puppet. 
  • Get hands on and contribute to the creation of the piece over intensive development / training days.

Carnival Crew roles for the wider creative community 

  • Puppeteers – Training will be provided with Global Grooves’ lead puppet team to skill up interested community performers in the use and performance of giant puppets. 
  • Event / Production / Costume Crew / Backstage for those with less interest in the creative elements of the event but excited to be able to contribute to the parade – our Carnival crew opportunities are the place to be.  

Groups, bands and other collectives

We’d love to hear from bands and other groups who are keen for a big Cumbrian collaboration, but perhaps not wanting to explore a lead artist role. Dancers, musicians, cultural associations, performing arts clubs and others, we want to hear from you. The more the merrier!

Roles and sections will be discussed individually with groups who express interest.

Key Dates and locations

Lead artist team and community cast recruitment – Feb – May 2023

Full Team Development weekend – 19th (pm), 20th & 21st May  (Kendal TBC)

Community music and dance sessions – June/July 2023 (Tbc)

Co-design, development of Puppet – June 2023 (remotely)

Weeklong intensive puppet making – 14th – 21st July (Location TBC)

Full cast rehearsal – 27th July (evening, Kendal TBC)


Final processional performance – Saturday 29th July (Kendal Calling 2023) 

Training and Remuneration

Music and Dance 

Each lead artists will receive a full weekend intensive masterclass, mentoring from internationally recognised artists, access to Global Grooves and partner resources in the creation of their work (materials, costumes, puppets, instruments etc), access to Global Grooves producers and artistic director time.

Generous expenses of £250 per day for hands on workshop delivery / rehearsals. Likely a minimum commitment of 3 days development with communities/participants and 1 day performance (this may be split into shorter ‘sessions’).

Community Visual Artists / Puppet Makers 

Each community artist will have the opportunity to work alongside and shadow an internationally acclaimed puppet maker and contribute to the build of a new puppet. Travel expenses and refreshments during the training days will be provided. Artists will also be welcomed to elements of the masterclass weekend.

Application process

We would like to invite interested artists and groups to fill in an expression of interest form at the link below.

Please note the expression of interest is currently only open for lead music (percussion and melody), dance, and puppet making (visual arts) opportunities, and group interest in flag bearing, costumes and other performance roles.

DEADLINE: Midnight, Sunday 26th March 2023

Wider community performers / crew / puppeteer opportunities for individuals will be announced soon.

A note on project funding:

* To realise the full ambition and scale of the project, Arts Council England (ACE) project funding will be required and an application is currently under assessment. Should the funding not be successful this time we will endeavour to deliver a smaller pilot project with a view to delivering the full project leading to Kendal Calling 2024. This pilot would not include the puppet make due to budget restrictions. We are however confident that the bid will be funded.


We create the environment for Carnival arts, people and communities to thrive.

We believe in the overwhelmingly positive impact of Carnival celebration! By injecting a town, a city, organisation, an event or community with the joy and colour and possibilities of Carnival, we can become a catalyst to benefit our societies. We believe that healthy and happy communities need diverse, quality art experiences in which they can get actively involved.

We embrace the fact that everyone can be uplifted in a multitude of ways through Carnival, so we make it our mission to create the environment for Carnival: to bring people together to enjoy, share, collaborate and develop in whatever way appeals to them most.

‘What’s interesting about Global Grooves is it looks across all the art forms on an equal level. The maturity of the company is around working with those different art forms and getting experts in each of those. That’s the richness that you get with Global Grooves.’ – Angela Chappell, Relationship Manager Arts Council England.

Creating Carnival is Global Grooves’ award-winning Carnival development programme; a unique artist and community development process that has been refined over 15 years of delivery.

The key aims for Kendal Calling procession 2023 are to;


Key Activities:

  1. Run a series of Masterclasses/training opportunities, delivered by leading internationally renowned Carnavalescos, for local to Cumbria carnival artists and/or those wanting to expand their knowledge of large-scale outdoor arts production.
  2. Provide our new team of local Carnival artists with opportunities to put their new skills into practice, by collaborating and leading workshops within their local communities/established groups.
  3. Share best practice and push artists to develop higher quality collaborative, combined artform performances for large scale, high profile event.
  4. Focus on music / dance, performance skills and cultural contexts to give practitioners a deeper understanding of the rigour and richness of Carnival arts disciplines and traditions.
  5. Focus on the creation of larger scale puppets and props by linking artists and communities with expert internationally renowned makers.
  6. Focus on the development of percussion arrangements and melody ensemble development and how these link with dance choreographies.


Key Activities:

  1. Recruit a cohort of a minimum of  3 emerging carnival artists (or those artists wanting to expand into large scale processional outdoor presentation) from across Cumbria including ‘next steps’ opportunities for Global Grooves Future Leaders Alumni based locally.
  2. Deliver a modular artists development programme through intensive training and mentoring giving artists the skills, confidence and knowledge to take the lead on the Kendal Calling processional content.
  3. Support new-to-carnival artists to lead their own workshops and performance activities within and their own communities/groups. .


Key Activities:

  1. Reach out to diverse participants new to the event through exciting new networks and partnerships.
  2. Run a series of short courses and workshops to give new participants an experience of Carnival arts.
  3. Opportunity for community participants to be involved with a high profile performance at Kendal Calling, an artistically ambitious mid-scale Carnival performance that will include new work from a fresh local creative team.


Key Activities:

  1. With sector colleagues, identify priority areas which are under-served but have potential for growth. Deliver targeted recruitment to groups in those areas, for our programme of training and participation opportunities, so that they become connected into wider networks.
  2. Deliver on-the-ground training programmes in dance, visual arts, music and cross-art form collaboration. Delivered by internationally recognised leading artists and the new local creative leads.
  3. Advise and mentor local groups in relevant artistic and organisational development challenges.

Examples of previous Creating Carnival programmes


            Creating Carnival Illuminated 2017  


            The Tempest – Creating Carnival 2016 


            A sharing of gifts 2022


            Mossley Light Festival – 2016

We’d love to hear from you!

If you have a general enquiry about Creating Carnival then please use the form below to contact us. We are interested in touring this work across the UK and internationally.

All press enquires please also use this form.

Creating Carnival News

Here you can find the latest news from us and our partners about this year’s Carnival presentation.

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Pop your email address in the box here and we’ll send you updates about our work, including how to get involved. We promise we won’t inundate your inbox, but you will be able to unsubscribe at any time.

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