With less than one week to go, the countdown has begun to Bridgwater Carnival’s ‘best of the best’ live stream.
On Saturday 7 November 2020 at 6pm, the exact date and time of when Bridgwater Carnival as we know it would have started, this unique carnival celebration of yesteryear will take place.
Instead of spectators watching from the streets, carnival lovers from all around the world will be able to watch the special two hour virtual carnival on their televisions, laptops, computers and devices from the comfort of their own homes.
The live stream will celebrate the best ever entries to have taken part in Bridgwater Carnival between 1982 and 2019 – the years the carnival has officially been filmed – and those featured have been specially selected by the entries and carnivalites themselves.
Dave Stokes, publicity director for Bridgwater Guy Fawkes Carnival, said: “Safety is always our number one priority, and due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic and associated restrictions, an illuminated carnival in the style we have been accustomed to in Bridgwater was not possible this year.
“So as a committee we looked at things we could safely do in order to continue the long-standing carnival tradition in Bridgwater in a very low key and symbolic way. And that’s when we came up with the idea of a ‘best of the best’ virtual carnival.”
The virtual carnival project has been kindly sponsored by EDF’s Hinkley Point B power station, and is being made technically possible through the expertise of Maniac Films and Somerset Web Services. As with previous live streamings of the event, carnival organisers are hoping to raise money for the Bridgwater Carnival charity by asking viewers to make a donation when the ‘best of the best’ virtual carnival is broadcast on carnival night. Making a donation is very simple and can be done in two ways – by clicking on the ‘donate’ button which is shown as viewers login to watch the live stream, or by texting the word BGFC to 70085 followed by one of the specified amounts £1, £2, £3, £4, £5, £10 or £20.
Immediately after the virtual carnival has finished, carnival lovers will be able to vote for their favourite entry from the 88 featured in the two hour extravaganza. Voting is extremely easy and votes can be placed through a special free app produced by SGS United Kingdom – Customs Services (Shepton Mallet) called ‘CarniApp’, which can be downloaded from the App Store or Google Play. Each person will just have one vote to cast, and will only be able to vote once from their mobile device. The voting window closes at 22:00 hours on 30 November 2020, and soon after the best ever entry into Bridgwater Carnival will be revealed.
After the broadcast, the ‘best of the best’ virtual carnival can be rented for £4 or purchased for £8 from Bridgwater Carnival’s official Vimeo Channel. Official souvenir DVDs costing £10 plus postage and packing (P&P) are also available, along with 2021 calendars priced at £5 (+P&P), and these can be ordered from Bridgwater Carnival’s online shop.
To watch the virtual carnival on the night, visit LIVE on the home page.