1) 2019 celebrates the 125th anniversary of the carnival concerts (this is the amount of years the concerts have actually been staged, as none were performed during the war years).
2) The first ever carnival concert took place in 1883, and admission prices ranged from 1 shilling to 6d.
3) In the early years the town hall would accommodate up to 1,500 people in the audience, seated and standing at the back of the hall and balconies. Due to health and safety restrictions,
the capacity of the town hall has been reduced to 390 people (all seated).
4) Over 600 performers will take part in the 4 hour show which is held for 12 nights.
5) During the 12 nights, the stage will be in use for performances for a total of 48 hours.
Throughout the period, each club and dance troupe will perform on stage for 102 minutes (1 hours and 42 minutes).
6) 133 different song titles will be sung every night at the carnival concert.
7) The youngest person in the show is Zaida Drew from the Julia McDonald Dance Company, who is just 2½ years old.
8) During last year’s carnival concerts, our catering team of 16 people who are based in the charter hall, sold:- 6,000 penny children sweets, 1,000 hot drinks, 1,200 cold drinks (bottles and cans), 600 filled rolls, 200 bags of sweets, 200 ice creams, 200 pasties and 200 bags of crisps and 100 chocolate bars.
9) For their 2019 stage show Spirit of Togetherness, Renegades CC have had beaded necklaces specially sourced in Africa, and these have travelled over 7,000 miles to be worn at this year’s concerts. The club have also used over 30,000 beads and 50 metres of feathers to decorate costumes and headdresses. Renegades CC have accumulated over 60 hours of rehearsal time in preparation for this year’s concerts, and have a cast of 56 people on the stage.
10) The stage set, costumes and make up for Lime Kiln CCs 2019 show Steampunk Revolution contains a total of 600 cogs. The club have a cast of over 50 on the stage, and some of the hats being worn took over 5 hours to complete.
11) This year Gremlins CC have a cast of 61 people on stage for their song scena 1638, The Lost Treasure of Tortuga Island. Every night 10 members help with the scenery, and 100 stage props are used in their 8 minute show. The club will have spent over 100 hours rehearsing by the time the curtains open on the first night of the concerts.
12) Centurion CC’s Pete Watts will this year be celebrating his 45th consecutive year on stage for the tableaux club.
13) In total there are 6,580 individual scales on the 14 warriors (470 on each warrior) featuring in Vagabonds 2019 song scena Awaken the Dragon. Each scale is made of foam, cut by hand and sprayed, and they collectively took 22 x 12 hour days to make.
14) First given out in 1979, the famous Marketeers CC ‘rat jacket’ is this year celebrating the 40th year of its inception. From tiny acorns mighty oak trees grow, and ever since 1979 each new member of the club is presented with their own rat jacket, meaning that from a handful of ‘ratties’ in 1979 there are now a vast number ready to break out of hibernation for the carnival Season.
15) 2019 sees a number of acts celebrating special anniversaries for the number of years they have taken part in the Bridgwater Carnival Concerts. Our congratulations go to:
- 1. Gremlins CC – 70 years
- 2. Julia McDonald Dance Company – 50 years
16) In the past 15 years, the following carnival clubs have won the top prize at the Bridgwater Carnival Concerts:
- Gremlins CC – 6
- Ramblers CC – 3
- British Flag CC – 3
- Vagabonds CC – 2
- Renegades CC – 1