London Carnival News 2005

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New for 2005, expanded coverage of Notting Hill Carnival including the best list of parading bands
May 26, 2005 
 BRITAIN'S TOP police officer is considering whether to impose a route change for the Notting Hill Carnival to prevent crowd congestion.  [more]
London as a festival City
RECAPTURING THE GLORY of the Carnival as a star attraction in London's Festival Calendar

NEW CHAMPIONS of the Summer Season

Rotterdam, held at the end of July, now claims the crown for Europe's largest Carnival and street festival.
 Zurich's Street techno music Love Parade likely wins for largest number of revelers at an annual event.  Beginning in 2005 Zurich will also offer fans from around the world a gigantic laser light show in front of the Opera House for the Saturday (13AUG050 before the Sunday
Check out their 40 sec 2005 trailer
Quick Time (7mb)
Media Player (4mb)
Notting Hill Carnival
2005: 700,000
2004: 750,000
2003: 600,000
2002: 1.4m
2001: 1.25m
2000: 1.5m
1999: 1.4m
1998: 1.15m
1997: 1.3m
1996: 1m

X-clusive: Hard-Fi “We Should Win The Mercury!”
Xfm Online, UK - Sep 6, 2005  “Just recently we played the Notting Hill Carnival and the whole plaza was rammed. We couldn’t believe it, the stage was tiny, the PA was about to blow up, but it was a great atmosphere. We just love playing live, you can’t beat it, it’s one of those drugs you just can’t get enough of.

 Growing the London Carnival in August

 The increasingly upscale community of Notting Hill continues to be less hospitable to the Carnival

"so for at least one weekend of the year the front of house becomes a public urinal. A well frequented public urinal. By drunk people. Some with whistles. "
[23 JUN 2005 more]


Da People's
Princess Carnival

With the expansion ofvisit Carnaval to the north end of Hyde park into Princess Di Land we thought we might try a major update on the Queen of Hearts [more]
London Drummers Attempt to Smash world percussion record
5SEP04 The LSS was joined by drummers from across London in an attempt to break the world percussion record. The event attracted some great publicity, being filmed by Globo TV, attended by Simon Hughes MP and captured in the local press.


Great weather, peaceful people and a TnT vibe made a successful 2005 Carnival according to the TnT Mirror. Note fotos of soca star Machel Montano and Maximus Dan and TnT’s sprint champs Darrel Brown and Marc Burns  having a good time

700,000 attend 2005 Carnival

"The Caribbean Showcase, a free family event organised by the mayor of London, took place in Hyde Park and attracted 15,000 people. London Mayor Ken Livingstone had wanted to extend the main carnival procession to Hyde Park, but organisers said they would not change the route without consulting the many community-based groups that take part."

Carry On Carnival
"Carnival in Notting Hill thrives on change. It has been altered so many times that the original pan-playing parade might not even recognise today's event. But the people who keep fire in the belly of the beast remain the same. Thousands don costumes, sew sequins and play in bands for nothing. The mayor cannot buy that, the police clearly can't stop it."
more by tp:// 


  1.   Ebony Steelband – 251 points
  2.   Stardust Steel Orchestra – 242 points
  3.   Southside Harmonics – 234 points
  4.   Glissando Steel Orchestra – 233 points
  5.   Metronomes Steel Orchestra – 232 points
  6.   Real Steel – 225 points
  7.   Mangrove Steel Band – 223 points
  8.   Croydon Steel Orchestra – 204 points

     [F] 2005 Adult Bands Awards

DownloadExpect lots of controversy and misinformation in the coming 2006 London Carnival season.
For the 2005 Notting Hill Carnival some 10,000 police officers and 500 transport police were deployed over the two days with 80 CCTV cameras in operation over the carnival area making the police  by far the largest budgetary stakeholder in the event as well as a likely candidate via Sir Ian Blair for bringing resolution to the much studied issues.
After five years of studies, maneuvers and general decline of London's greatest annual event, it may be time to consider the return, or at least a place at the table, for  the talented and spectacularly successful prior Notting Hill Carnival event producer, Claire Holder. Since her replacement various boards of squabbling politicos have continued to make a mess of things.
The Mayor of London has stepped forward with a very simple proposal of how to ease congestion and allow the parade to blossom from its cramped often stalled and uncompleted mess while addressing the long acknowledged safety issues which result from too many people in too small a space. Contrary to some reports, it does not call for the Carnival leaving Notting Hill or the needed replacement of certain responsible parties.
Maybe next year?
Sir Ian Blair 

Sir Ian Blair:
called to answer the question of doing something about crowd congestion at Notting Hill Carnival, passes, despite having agreed to the change in November of 2004. 
The Home Office said Sir Ian already had powers to widen the route under section 12 of the 1986 Public Order Act however it is believed Sir Ian is concerned about legal challenges from the conservative-controlled Kensington and Chelsea council  if he imposes the long stridently opposed route change which would include Hyde Park in some manner.

 The NHC saga continues with no new dawn yet insight, but this long and winding parade continues to get more twisted.


Despite the Metropolitan Police agreeing in November [Carnival planners hail new route 29 Nov 04 London ]  to the route being changed to start in Hyde Park, a final decision on the path it would take was never made.

Sir Ian expressed his frustration at the failure of a new route being agreed but said also wanted to add that there was no single organization to blame.

In a statement Kensington and Chelsea Council told BBC News that with just 13 weeks to go, "the route will follow the pattern of recent years".

Met police call on Carnival route by 31 May 05 |  London
Mayor Livingstone Calls for Route Changes to Carnival in 2005

Carnival Event [but not Parade] to be held in Hyde Park
 The Mayor's office plans a "Caribbean Showcase Event" on the Bank Holiday in Hyde Park not far from where Notting Hill Carnival 2005 will be taking place.

Mayor Ken's 2005 Caribbean Showcase at Hyde Park on Carnival Monday 12 to 7


After five years of patience, studies, crisis and costly tolerance of a deleterious con job by the politicians running the host royal borough,  the Mayor has made a move to reinvigorate the Notting Hill Carnival. London Carnival, is still  a world class event, the pride of the London Caribbean community and supported by all who support London's place as a vibrant multicultural city.
A statement from the mayor's office said: "The Caribbean Showcase event in Hyde Park is a small scale event designed to celebrate the contribution of the Caribbean community to the life of the capital.

[more at bbc  22 June, 2005 ]

The Tabernacle in Ladbroke GroveDownload Closes unexpectedly

The Tabernacle in Ladbroke Grove, west London, owes the money for staff payments and running costs such as gas and electricity bills and has closed unexpectedly in late March of 2005

The centre is used by about 250,000 people each year and is the hub of the annual Notting Hill Carnival. Labroke Grove is the heart of the spectacular Notting Hill Carnival, held each August Bank Holiday since 1966

 The plans which I've had, I've not been able to carry out because we have been constrained by no cash in the till ...Because we have been operating on a knife edge you only need one little blip for disaster to happen.

"Unfortunately we have had two blips recently where we had reasonably expected to receive, and relied on, money that suddenly didn't materialise." Tabernacle director Anton Phillips told BBC News:

Carnival arts centre 'to close'
24 Mar 05 |  London

Meanwhile there's talk of an even grander Carnival center somewhere off in the future. At least one non-local news source has reported that four groups—the Ebony and Mangrove steelbands, the Yaa Asantewaa cultural centre in west London and the Association of British Calypsonians have announced jointly secured £13 million funding to construct the four storey Carnival Village on a site in Ladbroke Grove, at the very heart of the Notting Hill Carnival matrix.
The village will house a steelpan factory and several recording studios, mas construction workshops, a theatre and cinema, restaurant and function rooms. [more from the]

Former Director of Carnival Vindicated
The former Chief Executive of the Notting Hill Carnival, Claire Holder triumphed at the High Court of Justice of
ClaireHolder.jpg England and Wales against the trustees of the Notting Hill Carnival Trust who sought to allegedly sought to defame her good name by making false allegations against her. Mr. Justice Blackburn, praised Miss Holder's contribution towards the development and success of the Notting Hill Carnival, ordered the trustees to issue a public apology to Miss Holder, pay her all her outstanding wages, compensation and legal costs.
"Justice was being seen and done. The last three years have been hellish. My family and I have had to live with the stigma of false allegations born out of spite and malice. At last, we have been vindicated." said Miss Holder, a barrister who is still very active in the Carnival community and maintains a web site which has tracked the problems of the Carnival organizers who deposed her.
It is not clear how this effects the official makeup of the group that oversees the Carnival but they do not appear happy about the Mayor not including them in plans for his Carnival Hyde Park fete. When a BBC reporter asked a NHCT [Notting Hill Carnival Trust] spokesperson if he thought it was an attempt by the mayor to take control of the carnival, he said there was "no point speculating", but said there wereDownload "difficulties" with Lee Jasper's office. [Lee Jasper is the Mayor's liaison to Carnival and Caribbean community]
15th June 2005 [more at]
For one weekend Britain looks like a Rainbow Nation An unbiased introduction to the background of today's actions via an excellent examination of the Carnival entering the millennium as a symbol of the best that the United Kingdom can be.
DISCOVER GOZO The LAND of ENCHANTMENT where the sea goddess Calypso entertained Odysseus for  seven years.
Inspired by a recent trip to one of the founding nations 25 years ago of the world's most important International Carnival Organization, the FECC (Federation of European Carnival Cities or  ) is pleased to present our newest cultural/adventure travel guide to the crossroads of the millennia, the former British colony of Malta, where the first human structures are found, a full millennia older than the pyramids or Stonehenge. Visit


International Carnival Conference
17 - 19 OCT 2005 LONDON

National Carnival Arts Strategy 2005-2007-pdf
Arts Council England : LogoArts Council England is delighted to support Notting Hill Carnival, one of Europe’s biggest street festivals. This also extends to £545,133 to 24 other carnival organisations in London, many of which will be performing at Notting Hill Carnival. a big believer in the value of developing creativity in children and youth through Carnival Festival Arts the council funds a diverse range of activities that use Carnival based festival arts   [more]

13 London Carnival groups funded by the Arts Council in line for big funding increases

Cross cultural initiative between Bridgwater Guy Fawkes Carnival in November and Masquearde 2000 and Manchester Samba



Caribbean News Feed at NY Carnival News

Got to know the past & present to plan for the future:
What About?
 [F] 2004-June Mayor's Strategic Review: Notting Hill Carnival (Lee Jasper Chair) No lack of collaboration with the community and consultants but the action parts will be long debated
What about moving the Carnival elsewhere? Queen's jubilee parade Route mentioned
2002: Discussions over rerouting the carnival parade from the crowded streets of Notting HillGuardian Unlimited itself have taken place for five years. But organisers have previously focused on more linear routes, close to the original location. The circular route around Notting Hill has repeatedly created public order problems for police, who spend £5 million a year supervising the event.
[ben.summerskill for Sunday August 25, 2002 ]
   Search their archives by google  (600+)||Row erupts over 2003 Carnival  by|| 2001 is their best home page  ||1999

2003: But with two weeks to go, and one year after a £250,000 review of the carnival was supposed to have brought new stability and professionalism, the event is facing more potentially disastrous turmoil.
ugh Muir Saturday August 9, 2003 The Guardian

2004:"young Caribbean artists would enrich the festival, but the black middle class who make up the organising committee have been taken in by all the publicity about gun-toting black men and are too terrified to embrace them"
Middle-aged spread
post NHC-03 carnivalist Darcus Howe calls for huge overhaul and calls current management the result of "coup d'etat from mayor Ken Livingstone's office


The earliest contact between West Indian Carnival and the British Isles came in 1948, with the televised performance of Lord Kitchener singing "London is the place for me", from the deck of troopship SS Empire Windrush as it docked with an early wave of Trinidadian  immigrants. A few years later, the steelpan was a big sensation when the Trinidad All Stars Percussion Orchestra (TASPO)  played  the Festival of Britain on the South Bank.
By Michael La Rose

Nov 6, 2004

"Caribbean carnival was introduced to Britain as a response to the 1958 Notting Hill Race Riots and the racial murder of an Antiguan carpenter, Kelso Cochrane, in North Kensington. The West Indian (Caribbean) community in the area was being attacked by racist Teddy Boy gangs, supporters of Oswald Moseley's White Defence League, from their Latimer Road base. The West Indian community rallied and fought back, eventually gaining the upper hand against the racists.

"The next response came from Trinidad-born Claudia Jones, a political and cultural activist who edited the West Indian Gazette. She proposed organising a carnival in London. She understood the unifying power of carnival and felt it could be used to show the British population the creativity of Caribbean people as well as to demonstrate they had no intention of being intimidated by racists.

"The first West Indian Gazette Caribbean Carnival was held in St Pancras Town Hall in 1958, along with a small outdoor procession in Powis Square, North Kensington

SLIDE014.jpg w/ Carib-Euro News Links
Current Global Caribbean Festival Art News compiled by the panjumbie



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