The world’s premier Brazilian Mardi Gras outside of Brazil, Austin’s Carnaval Brasileiro, returns for its 41st year on Saturday, Feb. 10, 2018. Derived from the decades-old tradition of Brazilian Carnival, Austin’s own Carnaval Brasileiro is one of the most wildly authentic indoor Brazilian Carnival parties in the world, with more than 6,000 attendees each year.
“The event is a cross between Carnaval in Brazil, Burning Man and an EDM/world music dance party,” said Carnaval Brasileiro organizer, Mike Quinn. “It’s been a part of Austin’s creative soul for the past 40 years and welcomes the young and old. It’s for people who love culture, dance and self-expression. Think Eeyore’s birthday in feathery costumes and on steroids.”
The event will be held at the Palmer Events Center, 900 Barton Springs Rd., Austin, Texas 78704. Doors open at 8 p.m., with music starting at 9 p.m. Tickets are $35 in advance and $45 at the door and will go on sale Dec. 15. Tickets will also be available for the VIP Samba Circle Lounge where guests will have a private space with windows facing the downtown skyline, no-line restrooms, no-line bars and other surprises. For tickets and general information, see www.sambaparty.com. The nonprofit partner for the event will be announced soon.
Founded in the early 1970’s, this vibrant, wild party has attracted people from all around the country and it keeps getting bigger and better with each passing year. Attendees are encouraged to dress in costumes spawned from their wildest imagination, whether they choose to wear a costume of their own conception, or by assembling a group of friends and neighbors to dress in themed costumes, which Brazilians call a bloco.
“A Carnaval event of this magnitude and eccentricity could only flourish outside of Brazil in a city like Austin where its eclectic party goers are ready to dance all night long to the sounds of authentic samba drums, all the while dressed in the most exotic, bizarre costumes you’ve ever seen,” said Quinn.
Carnaval Brasileiro 2018 will feature exhilarating performances from world-renowned Carnaval performer Dandara Odara and her seven-piece band flown in all the way from Salvador, Bahia in northeastern Brazil, a city whose Carnaval celebration is even more raucous and wild than that of Rio. Dandara and her band will perform everything from traditional Brazilian carnaval rhythms such as Rio-style sambas and marches to her native Bahian samba-reggae grooves. The evening will also feature Austin’s own Recife-style maracatú ensemble, Grupo Massa, a local group of seven drummers, accompanying bass, guitar and accordion.
“To me, it’s still all about the music,” said Quinn. “Yeah, everyone goes to have a good time at the hottest party in town. But what they may not know is that they are also getting an amazing concert of authentic Brazilian carnaval music thrown in for free!”