33rd Annual Carnaval Brasileiro!
Run! Don’t walk to your nearest arts and crafts and/or costume shop and purchase massive amounts of glitter, feathers, sequins and more…galore! You can’t over-prepare for the party of the year that is rearing its beautiful and extravagant head once again. That’s right, CARNAVAL BRASILEIRO is right around the corner and you’re already behind on getting your costume ready.
On February 20th Austin’s annual CARNAVAL BRASILEIRO, which is one of the city’s longest lived traditions and legitimately wildest events, is now dancing into its 33rd year. As the première party in the heart of Texas, Carnaval has grown into one of the largest Brazilian Mardi Gras celebrations outside Brazil, showcasing the Brazilian culture and tradition. The party will begin with a bang at 9:00 p.m. at Austin’s Palmer Events Center, 900 Barton Springs Road .
Now a local ritual attracting party-goers from all over the United States, Carnaval Brasileiro began in the early 1970s. After exploding the seams of one downtown club, the party eventually grew into the sensational exotic experience it is today. The overpowering thump of the heavy samba drums, and endless parade of flamboyant, sometimes risqué, costumes will not only exceed your senses for loud parties and dance clubs, but will also rejuvenate your youthful spirit.
The uninhibited euphoria of over 6,000 attendees has established this Brazilian-style festival as one of the most eagerly anticipated blowouts on the area’s social calendar and has earned Carnaval its reputation as the best and biggest cultural festivity in the USA!!
TICKETS are $35 in advance, $37 at the door. Cash-only tickets will be available at several Austin outlets (you can find a list of outlets HERE). Tickets are also available online HERE. A portion of the proceeds from Carnaval will benefit the Austin Sunshine Camps, a non-profit organization which provides not only free summer camps for Austin at-risk kids, but year-round mentoring and leadership programs.
So, throw that conventional cardigan aside and get a little crazy!! Standing out is the last of your worries, so get creative. Where fully painted bodies, over-indulgent body gemstones, feathers and shiny glitter galore is the norm you will be part of the party when you take the time to create your own exciting costume to express yourself. This event supplies full bars and also independently contracted body painters to add to your plethora of body adornments (not clothes). Dancing, sweating, and dancing some more will be unavoidable.
The music of Carnaval — SAMBA, MARCH, FREVO, TRIO ELETRICO, and lots of BATUCADA, or drumming – will be pounding your ear drums and pulsating your body during driving, ninety-minute sets by two high energy, nationally and locally renown authentic Brazilian carnaval bands.
According to Samba Party’s website, New York’s Grupo Saveiro will provide the infectious soundtrack for this year’s party. Saveiro has performed countless carnavals up and down the East coast, even traveling to Russia this year for a carnaval, and is regularly voted the Best Brazilian Band in the USA by the Brazilian Press Association, while individual members have played in the studio and on the road with everyone from Baden Powell and Marvin Gaye to Sun Ra and David Byrne. Veterans of Rio’s famous carnaval parades, the group’s ten Brazilian-born musicians present a mix of traditional carnaval rhythms: samba, frevo, marchinha, batucada, bloco-afro and much more through a battery of pounding, sensual drums.
Next we have Austin’s own traditional Rio-style Samba School, the Academicos da Opera, a locally based group of 35 drummers and 15 dancers, all in elaborate costumes, returning for their third Carnaval presentation. Their up-close and personal performances in the middle of the dance floor electrify enthusiastic Carnaval throngs with an authentic taste of the real deal from Rio.
Here’s a little history!
According to Samba Party’s website: “this annual all-consuming medieval festival of flesh began as a nationwide festival in Brazil, inspired by African rhythms, especially the samba to celebrate indulgence before the forty days of Lent. It was celebrated by all social classes over a period of several days, or sometimes weeks . It is a social cathartic for Brazilian society, particularly for the urban masses of poor dancing in the summer streets.
Carnaval has emerged and thrived in Austin, because of the city’s open attitudes and spontaneity, and a few brazilian students who missed this embedded tradition. Now that bohemian attitude has mixed with just enough business sense and hard work to make music happen in a way that is attracting attention from around the world, the city supports this annual festival. But Austin’s Carnaval Brasileiro, our peculiar winterfest of flesh and fantasy, was nurtured in that unique semi-cohesive, culture-conscious environment, and still flowers every February.”
Hope to see you there in your finest! 🙂