BACHANAL MAS – The art of Mas Making in the UK

BACHANAL MAS - The art of Mas Making in the UK

The Notting Hill Carnival, one of the biggest multi-cultural events of its kind, has been taking place in London since the 1960’s and have seen its audiences grow from around 500,000 to over 1 million – an audience that should be growing on a much larger scale for an event of this type. It is the largest, most complex and spectacularly extravagant celebration of Caribbean culture in Europe – a real showpiece of the vitality and diversity of London’s many communities.

Bachanal Mas is a Carnival Arts group that produces costumes to be worn and portrayed at the various carnivals in the UK. We create 100% UK produced and designed costumes that are worn by masqueraders at these annual events. Our aim is to provide a platform that brings people from diverse backgrounds together and build and develop our art to excellent standards that we can then deliver to the widest range of people. We are here to promote carnival arts in all shapes and forms and with an excellent team in place, we believe we have the knowledge and experience to do this.

It is very important to keep Carnival and the Art of Mas making alive and a prominent and important fixture in the UK. Many bands import costumes and designs; however, we feel we have a wealth of talent right here in the UK. Bachanal Mas is proudly a 100% UK designed and produced band. We encourage students, the public and all interested parties to join us and work together towards creating “The Ultimate Carnival Experience.” Carnival is an opportunity to capture and share with people of all cultures and backgrounds. The West Indians, European, Asian, African and Indian influences greatly assist in the evolution of carnival. The Bachanal Mas team, whilst still incorporating the traditional skills of Mas-making for example, continue to travel to various Carnivals all over the world, collecting new skills and ideas, thus creating a knock on effect and filtering it down to the band and all students interested in carnival arts. Our band has strong links in the Caribbean, USA, Canada and Europe and we intend to further develop the band both locally and internationally by expanding these links and networking.

We will be hosting workshops to promote the activity of UK Mas-making and all that this involves. This is very important to us – as year after year, we see the quality and standards of costume making in the UK deteriorating. The production of costumes is often outsourced and produced in countries all over the world or produced at low standards, which we believe takes away from the whole idea of educating and passing on skills to people who want to get involved.

Carnival bands are a feat of great organisation and requires people with varying skillsets- from the designing and making of costumes, organisation of the masqueraders, organisation of yearly events and activities to motivate members and maintain their interest, operational and financial management of the band, health and safety, hiring and working with sound systems and the music floats etc. All of these activities serve in engaging and strengthening local communities – we encourage band members, friends, family and anyone interested to come join us in keeping UK mas alive.

If you are interested in learning about Carnival and mas-making, further information on how to contact us is available on our website:
This is our story, our experience and we want to share it with you.

Come Join us!

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Phone: 07909 616 251