The Notting Hill Carnival was created as a response to the Notting Hill riots in 1958, A Caribbean Carnival was held in 1959 at St Pancras Town Hall , for many years it was a jointly organised with a London Free school festival in Notting Hill which promoted cultural unity.
However by the 1970s, the festival had become distinctly Caribbean in flavour and attracted crowds of 150,000. It also attracted an element of trouble , when riots threatened the future of the Carnival.
Gradually over the last 20 years it has grown into one of the biggest carnivals in the world and an important date in the London Events calendar.
Emslie Horniman’s Pleasance has been the carnival’s traditional starting point. The main parade starts on Great Western Road, winding its way along Chepstow Road, then on to Westbourne Grove, and then down Ladbroke Grove.
London Calypso Tent
The Association of The British Calypsonians welcome all to the London Calypso Tent to engage and be entertained by the performances of UK Calypsonians and visiting international artists. An showcase of storytelling, poetry, political commentary, humour and much more creatively presented by the sweet Calypso or Soca rhythms of the Caribbean.
- Time: 8pm to 11pm
- Venue: Carnival Village, Tabernacle, Powis Square, off Portobello Rd, W11 2AY.
27th August 2016
A fabulous, free open air evening for the entire family, steel band lovers, general music lovers or anyone looking to enjoy a great evening in a Caribbean style atmosphere.
The evening consists of a competitive performance by national steel bands and other entertainment.
- Venue: Emslie Horniman Pleasance Park, Bosworth Road, W10
- Fee: Free
- Time: 6pm to 10pm
28th August 2016
Sunday Parade / A Family Day
A jubilant Children Parade as they showcase their flamboyant costumes dancing along the carnival route to the hypnotic rhythms provided by the mobile sound systems or steel bands.
A fabulous display of vocals, on the “World Music Stage” at Powis Square. Features calypso and soca performances by the Association of British Calypsonians, visiting international calypsonians, emerging artists of other genre and various other performances.
A haven for a range of music styles and astounding stage performances exhibited by the static sound systems. 38 systems are strategically located around the footprint of the carnival. Family workshops at Emslie Horniman’s Pleasance, a variety of tasty Caribbean foods, drinks and lots more. •Time: 10am to 8:30pm
A fun, fun time to mark the opening of the carnival be adventurous. Get dirty or even come along with a carnivalesque or comical presentation. Dance along the streets to the pulsating rhythms of steel bands, riddim bands and African drummers.
Procession begins and ends at Canal way, Ladbroke Grove W14 next to Sainsbury’s car park. •Time: 6am to 9am
29th August 2016
Monday Parade / The Grand Finale
The Grand finale showcasing a sea of vibrant colours as 60 bands in magnificent costumes dance to the tantalizing rhythms of the mobile sound systems or steel bands.
Enjoy the magnificent continuation of vocals on the “World Music Stage” at Powis Square. Come and be entertained by UK Calypsonians, soca artist, visiting international artists and other emerging acts.
See how many of the 38 static sound systems you can visit as they entertain you with diverse genres of music and stage performances which contribute to the Carnival’s vibrant atmosphere.
Sample the diverse attractions of food, music, and additional activities.
- Time: 10am to 8:30pm
Top Carnival Tips
In many ways the Carnival is the victim of its own success attracting huge crowds into the often small backstreets of Notting Hill. Following some of the following tips will greatly enhance your enjoyment
The area is heavily congested so don’t even try to drive to the event . Use public transport but be aware of what stations are closed.
Try to arrive early, it will be a lot less crowded.
Wear comfortable shoes, you will be doing a lot of walking or standing around.
Avoid carrying expensive items, pickpockets like big crowds and will on the look out for easy pickings. (Don’t put valuables in your back pocket ).
Do tell police if you see an incident. Officers will be stationed throughout the Carnival area.
Don’t try to walk against the flow of the crowd.
Arrange meeting points in case you become separated. Remember mobile phones will often not work in the large crowds so don’t rely on them.
There is always large queues for toilets and they will run out of paper, bring your own toilet paper and hand sanitiser.
Children’s Day on Sunday is recommended for families because of the smaller crowds and kid-friendly floats.
Pushing a buggy will be virtually impossible, carrying children is often the best option.
The Music will be very loud, Ear defenders may be necessary for very young children.
For further information visit the official Carnival website here
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