Collective returns to Hereford after six years

As if a day of revelry and community vibes at Hereford River Carnival was not excitement enough, this May London/Bristol D&B collective talent GUT (Grand Unified Themes) return to Hereford for the first time in six years.

The D&B/electronica hotshots are set to host an after-party to end all after-parties at The Speakeasy – at Hereford’s premier venue, Left Bank Village – as part of Hereford’s biggest community event.

The collective, born out of London under the motto “if it can be mixed, we’ll mix it”, come from a variety of musical backgrounds including disco, hip-hop, D&B and garage and have hosted a multitude of events from intimate basement venues to the prestigious Lightbox Club.

Spokesperson for GUT, Sam Herrera can’t wait to return to the city, “I am feeling particularly honoured to be hosting another event in Hereford since the first ever event that I hosted at the former Jailhouse 6 years ago.

Hereford, in my eyes, is a promising ground for music and nightlife, especially since the new development in the Old Market has encouraged more restaurants and bars to open later into the night. The Hereford River Carnival is one more sign that the city is taking pride in its history and culture. I am delighted to see it growing each year and also looking to expand on its nightlight after-parties that I think will attract a younger crowd and create a festival-like atmosphere.”

He’ll be bringing with him Bristol based D&B producers Dialekt and Imba, CL:19 and Praxis and Medic MC.

Advance tickets are available from the Left Bank website priced at just £6.50 or on the door at £9.50.



Pillars of Hercules selected as name for 2018 Carnival Ale from a strong field of 250

Hereford River Carnival and Wye Valley Brewery have selected a mighty name for this year’s limited-edition Carnival ale. The brew will go by the name of ‘Pillars of Hercules’ one of the many myths featured in Hereford’s world famous Mappa Mundi which is once again a focus for the Friday night street theatre performance at this year’s Carnival on 4th and 5th May.

Two Hereford Times readers suggested the name as part of the competition run in collaboration with the Carnival’s media partner, the Hereford Times.  Over 250 ideas were suggested but it was Ian Nichol of Belmont and Owain Connors of Luston who came up with the winning name Pillars of Hercules, featuring the legendary strongman of Greek mythology.  The lucky pair spent the day at the Wye Valley Brewery in Stoke Lacy creating the ale with Wye Valley Brewery’s master brewers on Thursday 5th April 2018.

The Pillars of Hercules are depicted on the Mappa Mundi and can be found – as they can in reality – on either side of the Strait of Gibraltar at the mouth of the Mediterranean Sea.  In Greek legend, Hercules created them during the tenth of his twelve labours when, with a single blow of his sword, he split the mountains that joined Africa to Europe.

According to Abbie Gadd, Marketing Manager at Wye Valley Brewery, “We are really pleased with the name Pillars of Hercules.  It sits well with the Wye Valley Brewery family of beers and is an excellent successor to last year’s Thirsty Mermaid. We look forward to welcoming the competition winners to Wye Valley Brewery to work with our head brewer to create a truly special ale for the River Carnival.

“Wye Valley Brewery has been pleased to support the River Carnival since its return in 2014 and we hope that the proceeds from Pillars of Hercules help to make this year’s carnival just as successful as last year’s.”

The Hereford River Carnival will take place on Friday 4th and Saturday 5th May 2018 and promises to be bigger than ever, with even more music, great food and drink for all the family, and all the usual Carnival favourites.

#NameTheAle Carnival Ale Competition by Wye Valley Brewery

Can You #NameTheAle?

Name the Carnival Ale & Win the Chance to Brew It

The Wye Valley Brewery is running a fantastic competition to celebrate the 4/5 May 2018 Hereford River Carnival.

The Hereford River Carnival is a day of fun for everyone, celebrating the beauty & vitality of the River Wye, and the like that it brings to the city of Hereford.

Since it was reintroduced in 2014, the Carnival has grown to become Herefordshire’s biggest feelgood family event. 15,000 people turned up in 2017 to sing, dance, make masks and carnival costumes, eat great local food and generally have fun messing about on the beautiful River Wye.

Organizers of the event have teamed up with Wye Valley Brewery to offer the chance to not only name the Carnival beer, but to also brew it alongside Wye Valley Brewery’s head brewer. The winner (and a friend) will also receive a complimentary lunch, beer goodies, and a tutored tasting of Wye Valley Brewery’s cask and keg beers.


This year’s beer name should be based on the River Carnival’s ‘World on the Wye’ theme. Similarly to last year’s triumphant ‘Thirsty Mermaid’, we are looking for a name inspired by the creatures that decorate the Mappa Mundi as they go out to explore the world.

The Hereford River Carnival will take place on Friday 4th and Saturday 5th May 2018 and promises to be bigger than ever, with even more music, great food and drink for all the family, and all the usual Carnival favourites.

The closing date for beer name ideas is Tuesday 6th March 2018.

The winner will then be invited to enjoy their brewery day experience with a friend on
Tuesday 20th March.

Winners will be notified by Saturday 10th March 2018.



Enter by emailing with your suggestion and contact details to with BEER in the subject, or TWEET US #NameTheAle to @WyeCarnival, or COMMENT ON FACEBOOK  PAGE – RIVER CARNIVAL

The deadline is TUESDAY 6th MARCH for all entries.

We can’t wait to hear your suggestions.

Carnival Reggae Fundraiser

With an eye on next year’s Hereford River Carnival, we have organised a fundraising event that’s sure to get Hereford folk jumping by the Wye.

On Saturday 30th September, the Carnival comes early to the Left Bank, Hereford with a fantastic evening of reggae courtesy of some UK reggae legends and some rising local stars.  Doors open at 8.30 with the Gabbidon Band, playing from 10pm.

The Gabbidon Band is the latest creation of Basil Gabbidon, founder of Steel Pulse and lead guitar/ singer on their first four albums including the massively popular Handsworth Revolution, which helped to define the British Reggae music scene at the time and exported it to an international audience.


He is joined by Colin Gabbidon, who also appeared with Steel Pulse & Bass Dance, on the drums, Paul Beckford on Bass, who played with Burning Spear amongst others; Candice Gabbidon (Jah Wobble & Black Symbols) on Vocals & Errol Smith whose career has included playing the horns with Horace Andy, Freddy McGregor, Gil Scott Heron, Macka B & Black Symbols..

Their music is eclectic, a mixture of Roots and Reggae with bass lead melodies a hint of rock and a twist of modern dance. Their aim is to keep Reggae music alive, international and accessible to all with finely crafted reggae beats and chilled grooves.

Cut La Vis

On the decks will be Hereford’s very own DJ Dave Lavis, now Brighton-based Cut La Vis.  He has made a name for himself with his brand of skanking, bass-heavy productions, remixes, mash ups and DJ sets. Combining influences from his Hip Hop background with soundsystem culture, dub, reggae, dancehall, ska and afrobeat, his music has moved crowds at festivals and venues in the UK and abroad, Including Boomtown, Shambala, Nozstock, Secret Garden Party & Bestival

His debut album One Step Forward,released through NICE UP! Records in 2015, saw some of the most respected artists in the UK reggae/hip hop scenes riding his productions. Featuring Tippa Irie, Eva Lazarus, MysDiggi, Peppery, Lotek and more it led to two tours of Greece in 2015 and 2016, including a headline slot at Secret Sound Festival.

He is joined on the decks and on the mic by local musician and M.C B.D.S who was a founder member and bass player with ‘Dub Merge’ and now fronts the up and coming ‘Last Tree Squad’.

According to event organiser and  River Carnival co-ordinator Leo Caithness, “This will be a real treat for Hereford with some of the best reggae sounds around from some great artists and DJs.  Plus everyone coming along will be helping to support next years’ Hereford River Carnival as all the proceeds will go towards the event.”

Hereford River Carnival has also been shortlisted for two local awards.  The Hereford Times announced last week that it was a finalist in the first Hereford BID Awards in the ‘Outstanding contribution to the city category’.  And for the second year running the hugely popular event which attracted 15,000 visitors at the end of April this year is shortlisted for the Best Community Festival award in the Visit Herefordshire Awards (a category it won in 2016).

Tickets cost £8 in advance and £10 on the door and can be bought from Rocket Cafe or Left Bank of online at the Left Bank website


Don’t forget to duck…

If you haven’t bought one already there’s still time to buy a ticket for the City of Rotary Club Duck Race and the chance to win £1,000 cash as well as some other fabulous prizes.  Watch out for the Rotary Duck sellers on Bishops Meadow, Castle Green and dotted around the site.  All the proceeds go to some fantastic local, national and international charities including SHYPP, St. Michael’s Hospice, Hope Support Services, REMAP HFD, the Tear Fund and Polio Eradication.

Gastronomic Saturday

After all that activity if you’ve built up an appetite, the Satirday of the River Carnival this year will also feature an indie food village featuring the very best of the Herefordshire indie food scene including Beefy Boys, Rule of Tum, Rocket Kitchen, Peter Cooks Bread, Method Roastery, Trumpers’ Teas, Seb’s Cider, Absolute Cakery and the Old Granary Pierogi.

Carnival of sport

New for 2017 is the Carnival of Sport which promotes fitness, health and wellbeing by encouraging everyone to come along a try something new.  The Carnival team has been working with the team at Halo Leisure and invited a selection of Hereford’s finest sports clubs to come along to the Carnival of offer tasters to Carnival goers.

With sessions for men, women, girls and boys, there will be football, courtesy of Hereford FC’s United in the Community; volleyball from the Hereford Volleyball Club; judo from the Hereford Judo Club as well as cricket, yoga, putting, roller derby, tennis, drift trikes and walking football – the slower version of the beautiful game – for the over 50s.

Organisers say that no experience or kit are necessary, simply come along and have ago.

The Awakening approaches – where to get your grub

Where to get some grub if you’re coming to tonight’s Mappa Mundi event

The Mappa Mundi performance starts at the Cathedral at 8pm this evening and finishes at 9pm on Bishop’s Meadow where there will be a Fire Garden, bars, music and dancing.
If you are looking to eat before or after the event, why not try these fantastic nearby eateries before or after you meet the magical mythical beasts
De Koffie Pot at the Left Bank, Gwynne Street, 
Burger Shop, Aubrey Street
The Bookshop, Aubrey Street
Pizza Express, Broad Street,
Thai Gallery, Broad Street
The Little Bridge Kitchen & Bar, Bridge Street
and a little further afield
Beefy Boys, Old Market,
Sensory & Rye, Bastion Mews , Union Street,
Shack Revolution, Bastion Mews, Union Street,

Shirley’s Wheels Bike Rides

Bicycle Ambassadors UK is a Hereford scheme with a UK wide impact. Our vision is a bicycle friendly Britain, where more people who want to can easily their bicycles in safety. You can join us and help make Hereford a better place to ride on Carnival Day by joining the Street Carnival on your bicycle or join one of our Shirley’s Wheels led rides. On Carnival Day, look out for our float on the river and big hearts on the day, and check out our Bicycle Ambassadors Facebook page.’

10:30am-11:30am As well as crewing a float on the river, the wonderful Shirleys are leading 3 special Shirley’s Wheels Bicycle Rides to the River Carnival starting from Tupsley, Belmont/Redhill, and Whitecross, with pick-up points along all routes – give them a cheer as they pass!

Find the routes and maps here on Facebook:

South side:
West side: