What's On / Bristol Gigs

St Pauls Carnival Map and Set Times.

— Things get pretty disorientating at Carnival, don't get lost.

When is St Pauls Carnival?

This years carnival occurs on Saturday 1st July 2024.

Once the carnival has started it becomes a lot harder to work out which sound systems are where! Stages and sound systems are scattered throughout the streets of St Pauls. Closer to the time this page will include a Google map with each scheduled stage. These include the infamous PA systems and speaker stacks which the evening part of St Pauls Carnival is known for.

Our editor's top live music recommendation

Everyone’s favourite soon-to-be-community-owned outsider farm opens its doors once again for jam-packed pagan celebrations. Expect alternative family-friendly fun; storytelling, workshops, food, drumming, fire ceremony, folk + DJs all raising funds to help secure Bridge Farm’s future. Beltane at Bridge Farm Community.

Free entry! Ya Freshness lets rip on the original rudeboy boss sound with a proper authentic, highly danceable take on classic Jamaican ska and UK two-tone culture. Expect ecstatic live energy, skanking feet, skronking brass and lyrical calls for unity. Essential FFO: the Skatalites, Prince Buster, the Specials, Madness etc. Ya Freshness & Big Boss Band + DJ Beau Selecta at The Canteen.

Crucial carnival culture direct from Brazil with Mestre Hugo representing the colourful Maracatu tradition spirited en masse by the Afon Sistema drumming troupe. Expect infectious Latinx rhythms and rituals + baile, bossa and samba slammers from your DJs Tainá and Pontes de Ritmo. A celebration of Afro-Brazilian culture

Real roots and culture and righteous steppas at Kuumba Centre. Head down for a proper soundsystem session featuring Swindon’s mighty vanguard Messenjah Youth with Princess Black touching the mic. Ital food, community vibes and sub-shaking stacks all under one roof. Two Step Forward presents 2 sound systems, 1 arena, in the heart of St. Paul’s.

Cult ‘all tribes / all genres’ soundsystem night promising no two songs of the same genre b2b for a slice of pure ADHD genre escapism. Expect everything from congotronics to gospel, jungle to lovers rock, bhangra to dancehall. All night curveballs for oddballs

Sell out warning! The cult of Kesh keeps swelling with an army of followers behind the ‘all tribes / all genres’ soundsystem experience. With a dedicated festival now in bloom, expect everything from samba to jungle to gospel to acid, all run at utopia-inducing volume. Bonkers live bands, a bone rattling soundsystem & lots of sweaty cuddles x

Stage organisers can use this page to announce set times for the djs and mcs for the music stages and sound systems at Bristol’s 2024 carnival. While the main stages focus on Caribbean music, it’s foolish to consider St Pauls carnival as predominantly dub and reggae event. Programmed by sound system owners and local promoters, the lineups for the stages each bring different musical styles and artists to the 2024 event. From established drum & bass and dubstep djs to the cutting edge electronica and house producers that Bristol is becoming known for, St Pauls carnival by night is a celebration of Bristol’s diverse music scene.

When the sound systems switch off around midnight, the party moves indoors with almost every venue in Bristol boasting some form of St Pauls carnival after party. After parties range from big club events in venues like Lakota, Basement 45, The Black Swan and Blue Mountain, to free-entry all-nighters in the pubs and bars around St Pauls and Stokes Croft. The event listings below outline all of the free and paid after parties for this years carnival.

This year's carnival after parties

“Prepare for the ultimate celebration of carnival and feteing culture all in our very own unique Rum 'N' Bass way, we don't split genres and push different sounds to different rooms or stages, we believe in celebrating our difference with intentional togetherness. We work with the best dj's and hosts from all over the the world to create this seamless experience.”
From: Rum 'N' Bass

“Its glorious uptempo sound is a bustling carnival of stabbing horns, rollercoaster keys, relentless guitar hooks, killer choruses, unbeatable beats and a sense of boisterous bonhomie. A blur of legs, arms, pork pie hats and tonic suits, the band is a frantic mass of kinetic energy, its members suddenly springing into life, leaping up and down, rushing backwards and forwards across the stage.”
From: Ya Freshness & Big Boss Band + DJ Beau Selecta

“Backing Hugo on percussion will be various members of one of Bristol's best Carnival groups, Afon Sistema. Now in their 10th year, this award-winning group have long been performing at events such as St Paul's Carnival & Shambala Festival. Dedicated to truly representing the carnival culture of Brazil, these musicians travel to Recife each year to immerse themselves in the roots of this culture.”
From: Mestre Hugo + Afon Sistema, Tainá, Pontes de Ritmo

“Emerging from the sacred oak with a mission to spread love and joy, Cousin Carving, an ancient being, seeks to reunite his carnival troupe to protest against oppressive forces and create community in the face of adversity. Will you join him on this extraordinary journey?”
From: Carnifolk Presents: Carving's Carnival

“A don of London’s reggae scene, Gladwin Wright boasts one of the world’s best reggae collections. His soundsystem has been hosted at carnival for nearly 40 years and was spun off from Wax Unlimited Record Store, the shop that Gladdy ran for 14 years in Stoke Newington.”
From: Gladdy Wax meets Downbeat Melody