Cosmopolitan Festival, 18th August 2018

Reviewed by Trevor Locke

Not so much a carnival, more a festival. Now in its fifth year, this event has become established on Leicester’s annual cycle of public events. Cosmo celebrates Leicester as one of the most culturally diverse cities in the country. It covers all forms of art but our interest was the music. Three stages were on offer – the main stage at Jubilee Square, The acoustic stage at the Clock Tower and the youth stage at Humberstone Gate.

This is an event we have covered before, here at MIL magazine

Archive copies of previously published reports on the event are also available from the Arts in Leicester archive website.

At the acoustic stage Andrea Kenny put on a rousing set. Andrea is best known for being the lead singer in Leicester band The Brandy Thieves. Her powerful voice easily filled the whole of the area round the clock tower.

Andrea Kenny Photo: Kevin Gaughan

Up at Jubilee Square, Jafro brought the sounds of Grime, Hip Hop, Rap, Reggae, Bashment, House, and Indie to the main stage. James Summers is from Leicester and has become an established artist. Today’s set was full of vibrant sounds supported by his affable stage presence.

Back at the acoustic stage it was time for Jonezy. He has performed at Cosmo before. It was a good opportunity for local artists to get their music heard by people who would not have seen them before. People of all ages stopped to listen to the artists on the stages.

Watch this video, by Kevin Gaughan, of Jonezy performing at this event.

Jonezy Photo: Kevin Gaughan

Another singer we know well was Calvin Jeffrey. A singer who has been playing at shows and festivals for many years. Always good to see him again.

Calvin Jeffrey Photo: Kevin Gaughan

More well-known names appeared today – Jesse Wright, Harri Georgio and someone we had not seen for a long time, Matthew R.

Jesse Wright Photo: Kevin Gaughan

The Youth Stage saw performances from the Kainé choir, Leicester Vocal Tech, Opal Arts, artists from HQ and 2Funky Arts.

Tayo B on the Youth Stage Photo: Kevin Gaughan

The Tony Webster band was back again on the stage at Jubilee Square.

The Tony Webster band on The Jubilee Stage Photo: Trevor Sewell

Putting on an event of this scale is a daunting task. Festivals are good for bringing visitors into the city, which boosts the local economy.

Chaines Dance Company (Belly Dancing) Photo: Kevin Gaughan

Cosmopolitan Carnival forms part of the larger City Festival. This runs from 17th August to 27th August with most events and exhibitions happening in the city centre. This covers entertainment, music, heritage, culture, art and sport. Information is available from the website.

Of particular interest to music fans will be The City Stage on Saturday 25th August in Humberstone Gate West. Local venues Firebug, The Shed and the Soundhouse have selected the acts that will be appearing. As the brochure says ‘Hosted by Firebug (Saturday), The Shed (Sunday) and The Soundhouse (Monday) a live acoustic music marquee will feature some of the best local talents and musicians.