Carnival began in January 1959 in St Pancras Town Hall as a response
to the depressing state of
relations at the time; the UK's first widespread racial attacks
Notting Hill race riots) had occurred the previous year. It was
a huge success, despite being held indoors.
It first moved outside
and shifted into August in 1965. The prime movers were
who was not aware of the indoor events when she first raised the
Claudia Jones, who is widely recognised as 'the Mother of
Carnival'. At this point, it was more a Notting Hill event than an
African-Caribbean event, and only around a thousand people turned
By 1976 the event had become definitely Caribbean in flavour,
with around 150,000 people attending. However, in that year and
several subsequent years Carnival was marred by riots, in which
predominantly Caribbean youths fought with police — a target due to
the continuous harassment the population felt they were under.
Concerns about the size of the event resulted in London's Mayor,
Ken Livingstone, setting up a Carnival Review Group to look into
"formulating guidelines to safeguard the future of the Carnival".
An interim report by the review resulted in a change to the route in
2002. When the full report was published in 2004, it was recommended
Hyde Park be used as a "savannah"; though this move has
attracted some concern that the Hyde Park event may overshadow the
original street carnival.
In 2003 Carnival was run by a
limited company, the Notting Hill Carnival Trust Ltd. A report
by the London Development Agency on the 2002 Carnival estimated that
the event contributes around £93 million to the
London and UK economy.
Calpyso Tent moves to The Tabernacle,
The pre carnival live Calypso Tent takes place for six weeks
during July and August. It occurs only at Notting Hill Carnival
time and is spread over 6 Friday nights at
Dont miss the stars of Calypso music, including Cloak, Wen D,
Helena B, Mighty Tiger, Alexander D Great, Clivus, Cleopatra, G
String, Admiral Jack, Brown Sugar [2006 Monarch], Peace and
Love, & Explorer.
Calypso Tent - Friday, July 27th
Calypso Tent - Friday, August 3rd
Calypso Tent - Friday, August 10th
Calypso Tent - Friday, August 17th - Groovy Soca Monarch
Calypso Tent - Friday, August 23rd - Calypso Monarch
Calypso Tent - Friday, August 24 - Final night of the tent
keeps gettomg better although they dropped the special focus on Notting
Hill Carnival in 2008
after providing 3 years of outstandingcoverage of the
Carnival for out-of-town Carnival enthusiasts. Hometown Carnaval was
Basel Switzerland, one of Europe's most important but held many for the
benefit of the locals with hotel rooms booked up far in advance.
"Carnival arts are a
fantastically vibrant artform which bring our streets alive. "
said Sarah Weir, Executive Director of Arts Council England,
The Arts Council continues to support Notting Hill Carnival
in 2007 with over £500,000 invested in activities for the
£406,457 has been through our Grants for the arts funding
programme, to projects such as The Notting Hill Mas Bands
Association, which received £56,513 to support the Grand
Carnival Splash at Alexandra Palace on 19 and 20
August, a spectacular event showcasing the best adults' and
children's costumes created for Notting Hill.
This major Grants for the arts program also investsrevenue
funding of £577,824 to 13 carnival organisations in London, with
most performing at Notting Hill Carnival. This funding is
critical to maintaining the high standards in costume making and
designing, choreography and composition. Also supported
organisations such as Association of British Calypsonians
will be hosting a World Music Stage in Powis Square
on both days of the Notting Hill Carnival.
The 2008 carnival is collaborating with carnivals in Rotterdam,
Brazil and Nigeria, is expected to add more then £100m to the
In its 44th year, the 2008 version of the world renowned Carnival in
west London is expected to attract 1.5 million people over the 4-day
August Bank Holiday weekend. Sample exotic foods and dance to the beat
in Notting Hill on Sunday 24 and Bank Holiday Monday 25 August. The
weekend begins mid-day in Hyde Park at the Panorama stage and
then moves to the historic Notting Hill neighborhood for a
parade surrounded by a street party or vice versa. It's crazy
fun. Next year the 4 day holiday weekend will end on last Monday
in August bank holiday or August 31st, 2009.
Notting Hill Carnival
2008 has a new Mayor
The youngish Mayor of London,
Boris Johnson grew up in a Ladbroke Grove where he
remembers "dancing and ululating" to the music from the
44 year old event. (He was born 19 June 1964, just in
time for the first Carnival in 1965!)
2012 Olympic Games
The official start of the
London 2012 Olympic party will see the
handover of the
Olympic flag from the Mayor of Beijing to the Mayor of
London as China relinquishes its title of official
Olympic Games country, and gives Britain the glory for
the next four years. Screened live from Beijing on
many big screens including those at the Notting Hill
Mayor of London, Boris Johnson, said: “Notting Hill Carnival is
an inimitable event, bringing people of all communities together
from across the capital and beyond.
“It illustrates the energy and colour
of our great city and this year's event, coinciding with the
official handover ceremony at the Olympic Games in Beijing, will
be even more special." the Mayor told reporters.
Mr Johnson told the BBC that his association with the event
dates back to his childhood when he and his family stood outside
their Ladbroke Grove home "dancing and ululating" to the music.
"It illustrates the energy and colour of our great city and
this year's event, coinciding with the official handover
ceremony at the Olympic games in Beijing, will even more
"This year it's going to be even bigger, better and generally
Interim chair of organisers London Notting Hill Carnival Ltd,
Allyson Williams, said the party and the flag handover
ceremony will show the city's "ability to host world class
Sunday July 20th Sunday Park Lime London Calypso Tent 2008Hosted by the Caribbean
Music Association, this family day in the park includes activities,
games and performances from some of the UK’s top Soca DJs.
Hornimans Pleasance Park, Kensal Road, London W10
25 July | Launch of the 2008 London Calypso Tent A showcase of rich talent of British based Calypsonians. The
‘Tent’ is open every Friday until Friday 22 August. Hosted by the
Caribbean Music Association.
Location: Carnival Village, The Tabernacle, Powis Square Time: 7pm
Sample Caribbean cuisine, make your own headdress, get a sneak
preview of the Notting Hill Mas Bands Association's parade costumes
or get in the mood with some live calypso at a host of pre-Carnival
16 August | Grand Carnival Costume Splash Children's Day
Notting Hill Mas Bands Association presents a stage show,
competition and preview of costumes for Notting Hill Carnival 2008.
Location: Alexandra Palace, Wood Green. Time: 12pm - 6pm
17 August | Grand Carnival Costume Splash Adult's Day
Notting Hill Mas Bands Association presents a Stage show,
competition and preview of costumes for Notting Hill Carnival 2008.
Location: Alexandra Palace, Wood Green. Time: 12pm - 7pm
21 August | Calypso Monarch Finals
The culmination of a month of traditional Calypso music and dance
includes the crowning of the UK Calypso Monarch 2008
Location: Carnival Village, The Tabernacle, Powis Square Time: 7pm -
30th National Panorama Championship
August Sat 23rd
Ten of the UK’s top steelbands, each comprising of between 40 and 75
musicians, compete for the title ‘National Champions of Steel’.
There will also be a variety of stage and family activities. The
following steel drum bands will be taking part:
International Community Group (1st year), Croydon Steel Orchestra,
Ebony Steelband (defending champions), Glissando Steel Orchestra,
London All Stars Steel Orchestra, Mangrove Steel Band, Metronomes
Steel Orchestra, Pantasia Steel Band, Real Steel (based in
Plymouth), Southside Harmonics, Stardust Steel Orchestra.
Location: Hyde Park. Time: 12-4.30pm World Music Stage. 5pm
to 9.30pm (National Steel Pan competition in association with the
British Association of Steel Pan).
Following the Panorama:
The world music stage is on fire from 5 pm until 9:30 pm
Children’s Calypso Competition
August Sat 23rd
Location: Powis Square. Time: 12-6pm
CARNIVAL Night of the Zombies After Panorama
pre-Jouvert carnival party 23 August at 9pm
£10 (online), £12 (door),
£5 pan players
Come join Ebony and Carnival Village on the Road for
Jouvert. Prizes for the best dressed Zombie.
Featuring music by London's finest Soca DJs: Sugar
Finger Freddy, DJ Trend Setter and guests
August Sun 24th 2008
Party on the Streets beginning with early morn Jouvert. Followed by
the Children's parades. Static Sound
Systems: A list 40-odd of the Static Sound Systems can be found here. Some of the music you can hear includes reggae, dub, ska, techno, house, drum & bass, hip-hop, soca, salsa, dancehall and more.
Steelbands participate in a procession to mark the official
opening of the 2008 Notting Hill Carnival. Revellers will daub
paint and mud on themselves as a traditional way of driving away
Location: Processions start at the junction of Ladbroke Grove
and Kensal Road. Time: 6am – 10am
Parade of the Bands
On the Road Junior Costume Competition (several categories
including King, Queen and Best Band)
Time: 10am – 7pm
Full mas processions on the Streets of Notting
Hill On Bank Holiday Monday, the whole area will come alive with the
traditional and spectacular procession. Hundreds of brightly
decorated floats - pumping out music and packed with partygoers -
will parade around the streets in the Ladbroke Grove area.
Spectators can also dance along to steel drum players as well as
listen to soca, house music, reggae and drum and bass. There'll be plenty of Caribbean snacks such as
patties, plantain and jerk chicken to feast on at the hundreds of
Notting Hill Carnival Monday
August Mon 25th 2008
Time: 10am – 7pm
Venue: Notting Hill - main Carnival route parade. 10am-9pm.
Over 80 hours of live music has been
programmed for this August bank holiday
extravaganza. Mathew Street Music Festival,
Liverpool's legendary annual music festival. Liverpool is
the EU's City of Culture 2008 and has been making its events
extra special including a
Samba Carnaval earlier in August.
Sneaking in a little more summer fun!
Ryde Carnival Isle of Wight
Carnival at Ryde, featuring over 2,000 performers from carnival
clubs around the Isle of Wight and
admired by over 45,000 spectators. This is a sensory feast of sound,
with musical influences from Rio Samba, Trinidad Steel Pan and Local
bands. While Leed's Carnival lays claim to being the oldest UK
Caribbean Carnival , as of 2008, there is over 120 years of
Carnival tradition on this island capital of Carnival in the UK with
Carnival parades on the Isle of Wight with Ryde Carnival
being the biggest and greatest. The biggest is the illuminated
Saturday Parade on 28th of August 2008.
Visit our UK Carnival Guide
Free Film Festival Follows in Carnival's
28 - Sept 14th
The 2008 Portobello Film Festival celebrates its 13th
anniversary this year and that, of course, means that this
year's festival is definitely going to be an event you won't
want to miss. During its three week run the Festival
will screen hundreds of brand new, low and no budget short
films and international, rock and roll, and art house
Sunday 14 September 2008 6pm–9:30pm
Night Carnival at the Thames Festival
Key London roads are closed to traffic for the Festival’s
spectacular Night Carnival. Over 2,000 musicians, dancers,
performers and masqueraders come from across the country and
the world with their amazing lanterns, illuminated costumes
and fantastic structures – an incredible and un-missable
display of carnival creativity.
The Carnival starts at 6pm on Victoria Embankment, travels
east crossing the Thames at Blackfriars Bridge, and finishes
behind the Royal National Theatre.