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2008 Notting Hill Carnival
2008 Notting Hill Carnival

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Notting_Hil _Carnival
Carnival began in January 1959 in St Pancras Town Hall as a response to the depressing state of race relations at the time; the UK's first widespread racial attacks (the 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 Rhaune Laslett,[5] who was not aware of the indoor events when she first raised the idea, and Claudia Jones, who is widely recognised as 'the Mother of Notting Hill Carnival'. At this point, it was more a Notting Hill event than an African-Caribbean event, and only around a thousand people turned out.

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"[7]. 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 that 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.[8]

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.

In 2005, entrants from Notting Hill Carnival participated in the Bridgwater, Somerset carnival - Europe's largest lighted carnival and part of the West Country Carnival circuit.

Since 2007 Notting Hill Carnival and the Summer Carnaval in Rotterdam work together in a coalition in which they exchange brass bands and steel bands.[9]

Westbourne Grove
film Notting Hill
Kensington Gardens
Hyde Park
London Underground
Circle line
District line
Carnival Links



LIVE NEWS on Notting Hill Carnival via a Google News rss


Live Music in London
NHMBA Grand Carnival Costume Splash 2007
Calpyso Tent moves to The Tabernacle, Powis Square
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

 August, doors open 7pm.


Done gone keeps gettomg better although they dropped the special focus on Notting Hill Carnival in 2008 Home Pan Jumbie 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, London,

The Arts Council continues to support Notting Hill Carnival in 2007 with over 500,000 invested in activities for the 2006/07 cycle.

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.

Carnaval Collaboration [more]

The 2008 carnival is collaborating with carnivals in Rotterdam, Brazil and Nigeria, is expected to add more then 100m to the city's economy.


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
Boris Johnson
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!)
London 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 Carnival
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 special."

"This year it's going to be even bigger, better and generally more funkapolitan."

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 events".


Check out our 2008 events page for the hottest fetes, & weeklies.

Carnival route remains unchanged

Carnival 2008:  July  top button

Carnival season begins in London with the launch of the London Calypso tent. More at

Notting Hill Mas Bands top button
Every year, over one million hours go into labour among the 70 plus bands that compete for Best Mas on the Road.

 2008 Mas Band List

Carnival Countdown 2008
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.
Time: 1pm-8pm
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 -11pm 

Weekend Before NHMBA Grand Carnival Costume Splash 2007
Grand Carnival Costume Splash
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 events.

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 


Alexander Palace Map & GETTING THERE

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 

Carnival Thursday
August 21 Calypso Monarch
Carnival Friday
August 22 Calypso Tent - Final night of the tent

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 - 11pm 

Carnival Saturday
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:

Caribbean Steel 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
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
more @
Carnival Sunday
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 demons.
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
Carnival Monday
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 stalls.
Notting Hill Carnival Monday
August Mon 25th 2008
Time: 10am – 7pm
Venue: Notting Hill - main Carnival route parade. 10am-9pm.
Emslie Horniman Pleasance W10
More UK Carnival Events  top button


The Edinburgh Festival

A collection of various festivals in August and early September of each year in Edinburgh Scotland.

5th August: Carnaval del Pueblo

The largest Latin American out-door event in the Europe. Takes place this Sunday in Burgess Park, south London.
Camberwell, London
Bank Holiday Weekend
August Leeds West Indian Carnival Leeds holds the title of Europe’s first Caribbean-style party and as such, likes to celebrate with their own bank holiday carnival.
  • Mathew Street Music FestivalLiverpool's Mathew Street Music Festival

    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 andCarnivalLearningCentre.jpg 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 [1967], as of 2008, there is over 120 years of Carnival tradition on this island capital of Carnival in the UK with  24 annual 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 Portobello Neighborhood
DownloadAug 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 movies.
Visit our London Film Festival Guide:
Summer ||Autumn||
Spring || Winter
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.



Return to London Carnaval top button

Carnaval del Pueblo 2008 Highlights

 August 3rd at Burgess Park, London