A young man between the ages of 18 and 25 has been shot dead in the early hours of Monday 15th August in the midst of street parties which concluded the Manchester Caribbean Carnival celebrations.

This weekend saw Manchester mark the 50th anniversary of its famous Caribbean Carnival. The event celebrates Caribbean culture, food and music, as well as the long Caribbean history in the Moss Side area. This year the theme of the Carnival was ‘Unity.’ Coinciding with the 60th anniversary of Jamaican Independence, the event was even more pertinent this year. The specific ‘Jamaican Corner’ stage in the arena was introduced this year to mark the occasion.

Photo credit: Manchester Evening News

An explosion of colour filled the streets during Manchester’s Caribbean Carnival parade.

Thousands of people gathered in the streets of Moss Side and in Alexandra Park stadium to partake in the festivities. The traditional early morning j’ouvert initiated the weekend of celebrations. This was followed by the main parade which processed through the streets of Moss Side. Floats of community groups and dance troupes followed a steel band, including Claremont Dance Troupe and The African Corner. Each float with pulled along by local businesses. Culminating in the home of the Carnival since it started in 1972, Alexandra Park, the festivities of the parade continued inside the stadium. Here, eight stages hosted a wide variety of acts and performers. Food stalls selling Caribbean delicacies lined the entrance of the stadium.

Headlining this year’s event was Jamaican artist Serani, who has previously worked with Sean Paul. From the stadium’s ‘TAC’ stage, the sounds of Afrobeat, Amapiano and Hip Hop could be heard. The ‘Youth Corner’ stage was presented by Manchester’s KYSO initiative. KYSO provides opportunities for young people in the city to build their confidence and recognise their potential through Drama, Music and Confidence-building workshops. Through bringing together performers of different ages, talents and cultural backgrounds under one roof, the wide variety of stages and performers encapsulated this year’s theme of ‘Unity.’ The event plays a huge role in bringing together the community, both celebrating and highlighting the benefits of the city’s multiculturalism.

However, the joy of the festivities have been tarnished by a tragedy in the concluding stages of the celebrations. A far cry from the jubilant sound of steel drums that resounded through Manchester’s cityscape, shots were fired at approximately 12:15 AM on Monday 15th August on Claremont Road, just outside Alexandra Park. A young man tragically died in hospital as a result of the injuries he obtained from the shooting.

Photo credit: Manchester Evening News

Streets are cordoned off as Greater Manchester Police begin their investigation. 

Police and forensic officers have replaced the crowds which littered the streets just 12 hours earlier. Police have cordoned off Claremont Road and the surrounding area to begin a full investigation into the incident. In a statement Detective Superintendent Jude Holmes said: ‘Firstly, my thoughts are with the victim’s family and friends at this extremely difficult time in what is a devastating incident. […] Our response has included increased patrols in the immediate area to keep the community safe.’

Greater Manchester Police have asked anyone with any details to get in touch.