Roll up! Roll up! CARNIVALE comes to Kaleidoscope

12th February 2020
Our sister festival has just unveiled a brand-new vintage fairground-themed area!

Ireland’s leading family-focused music and arts festival Kaleidoscope is thrilled to announce a brand-new creative entertainment area Carnivale which will bring adventure, wonder and awe to the whole family as the festival returns for a second consecutive summer to Russborough House, in Blessington, Co. Wicklow from 26th – 28th June. 

While The Divine Comedy and Basement Jaxx (DJ set) will provide the entertainment on the main stage over the weekend, Carnivale’s incredible vintage fairground, complete with hobby horses and carousels, will allow the whole family to sink sweetly into another time. Carnivale promises other-worldly fun and adventure at the festival, inspired by the spectacle, grit and glamour of the 19th century travelling fairground and the surrounding artforms of circus and magic. Carnivale will be a treasure trove of these extraordinary traditions.

In an exciting new partnership with Kaleidoscope, Trevor Cullen - a family man from a long line of carnival royalty, owner of the Vintage Carousel Company and chairperson of the Irish Showmen’s Guild - is delighted to bring some fantastical funfair magic to this brand-new area as the creative partner of Carnivale.

He said: “As chairperson of the Irish Showman’s Guild, it’s important to me to continue on the long tradition of fairgrounds in Ireland as the creative partner to Kaleidoscope at their thrilling new area, Carnivale. Growing up, I worked with my siblings and parents at carnivals all over Ireland and understand the family fun that can be had at the funfair.”

“We have created an area that allows you to take a trip down memory lane as you roll up, roll up to this vintage landscape full of wonder and excitement. While the children explore a whole new world, the adults can reminisce of summers gone by spent enjoying the sweetness of candy floss and the exhilarating fun of the fairground,” he added.

“There’s something for all ages – ignite the curiosity of the little ones with the Magnificent Insect Circus Museum while the whole family will be in awe of the acrobats, dancers and strongmen in the La-La Land circus tent.”

At the La-La Land circus tent step back in time to the 19th century’s circus world with a programme of mesmerizing magic, confounding contortion, astonishing aerial acts, death defying knife throwing, sad clowns, happy hoola-hoopers, prancers and great announcers. This will be an entertainment extravaganza like no other.

Meanwhile, wasp taming and worm charming are on the bill at the Magnificent Insect Circus Museum. Housed in a vintage, mahogany lined, Bedford TK beetlebox lorry, this unique museum displays a stunning array of costumes, props, puppets, toys and ephemera from the extraordinary collection of the cult-favourite Insect Circus Society. Spanning more than three centuries, this is undeniably the finest museum of its kind in the world.

In true Kaleidoscope-style, families can get hands-on at the Little Vaudevillians’ Workshop Tent where they will learn stupendous circus skills, mystifying magic tricks, and the arts of commedia dell’arte and theatrical mask making. Through these workshops you will gain insight into the artforms that eventually paved the way for television and film.

Strike a pose as you become part of a Victorian selfie at Tableau Vivant. Get the family together for a photoshoot with a difference making use of the wonderful props and the costumes from the Victorian-era provided inside.

Follow the beat at the Carnival Of The Puppet Animals and partake in the animal parade on Sunday 28th June, come dressed in your own outfit disguised as your favourite furry friend or scaly companion – if your animal-tastic  getup is homemade, all the better, as there will be an amazing prize for the best costume; a family pass to Kaleidoscope 2021. And for the best mam, dad or gran costume at Kaleidoscope 2020, VIP upgrades for all the family! There’s plenty of entertainment in store too as a larger-than-life puffin, zebra, insects, wolves and more will come alive to captivate the audience.