Enjoying the Carnival

Enjoying the Carnival

Gear up for Carnival this summer at the Senedd

Published 08/08/2023   |   Last Updated 23/08/2023   |   Reading Time minutes


Warm up for the Butetown Carnival with a series of free events at the Senedd and the Pierhead this August.  

Together with organisers of the historic Carnival, the free family-friendly activities celebrate what makes the event so special. 

They include an exhibition of archive photographs and fabulous costumes which gives a look back the Carnival’s history, as well as its importance in the life of the Butetown Community.

Workshops and activities offers everyone a chance to be part of the spectacle by helping to create a fantastic Phoenix art installation which will provide a backdrop for the Carnival Main Stage in front of the Senedd on 27 and 28 August.

See up to date information on the Visit section of the Senedd website.

Butetown Carnival Exhibition 2023 (1)


Exhibition: Butetown Carnival Archive  

  • Senedd and Pierhead   
  • 2 August- 4 September 2023  

This summer the Senedd is hosting an exhibition celebrating Butetown Carnival. Keith Murrell, Creative Director of Butetown Arts and Culture Association (BACA), has curated a selection of images, videos and costumes from the Butetown Carnival Archive.

These images give a snapshot of the joy of carnival over the years. It pays homage to the heritage and legacy of the event through photographs, costumes, memorabilia and personal stories.

You’ll find the exhibition at the Futures Gallery, Pierhead and the Senedd until Monday 4th September.  No pre-booking required. 


Butetown Carnival Exhibition 2023 (3)


The Phoenix: art workshop 

  • Senedd  
  • 29 July- 7 September 2023  

Creative fun for all the family throughout August.  

Small World Theatre is creating a giant art sculpture of a phoenix in the Senedd, in preparation for the Carnival, and you're invited to take part.

Made of sustainable, reclaimed and repurposed materials, the striking phoenix sculpture will stand proudly in the Senedd’s windows and form the backdrop for live music on the Senedd steps at this year’s Butetown Carnival.

Join us throughout the summer holidays to make your very own phoenix feather that will become a part of the sculpture.

No pre-booking required, just drop in on the day. Children must be accompanied by an adult throughout.  


MicrosoftTeams-image (5)


Activities during Butetown Carnival – 27 and 28 August 


Phoenix Making Workshop  

  • Senedd 
  • Sunday 27 August 14:00-16:00  

Small World Theatre will also be running a very special Phoenix making workshop, immediately following the Parade, on the first day of the Butetown Carnival. Join the artists to create fabulous feature feathers for the phoenix, and complete the sculpture.

This is a drop-in workshop, so there's no pre-booking required.

Suitable for children aged 6+ who must be accompanied by an adult throughout. This activity is great for families and small groups who like to work together. 


Butetown Carnival Exhibition 2023 (2)


Main Stage  
  • On the steps in front of the Senedd  
  • Sunday and Monday, 27 and 28 August 14:00 to 20:30

The Senedd will once again host the Carnival’s Main Stage in front of the building during the weekend. 

Watch performances by musicians and artists here from 14:00 to 20:30* on Sunday, 27 August and again between 1400 and 2030* on Monday, 28 August 28. (*times TBC)


At the Pierhead  

The Pierhead building will be open on the days of the Carnival. There’s a chance for people to see inside this historic building and take in the exhibitions. There will also be a series of events celebrating the Carnival.  
14:00 – 14:50 National Library Wales' Butetown Carnival Community Footage Workshop  

Drop-in workshop with National Library Wales for Carnival goers to choose their favourite footage from the Carnival over the years. Footage to be compiled into a montage video.


15:00 'In Conversation with Keith Murrell'  

Screening of an ‘in conversation’ session with Creative Director of BACA, Keith Murrell as he shared his memories and highlights of Carnivals over the years.


Year-round at the Senedd and Pierhead 

The Senedd and Pierhead is open to everyone all year round, with free guided tours, exhibitions and activities to enjoy - including the new Tiger Bay and the Docks: 1880s – 1950s exhibition at the Pierhead building.

In partnership with The Heritage and Cultural Exchange (HCE), the exhibition gives visitors a glimpse into life in Tiger Bay and the docks from the 1880s – 1950s. There are examples of the types of jobs people did in the docks and the wide variety of leisure activities enjoyed by the community. There are also images of Tiger Bay’s thriving commercial district.

Throughout August, both the Senedd and Pierhead building will be open 7 days a week.


See more on the Visit section of the Senedd website