Notting Hill Carnival, London 2019
August 24 - August 26
The iconic Notting Hill Carnival returns bigger and better this year over the August bank holiday weekend as usual. Starting with the Panorama event on the Friday, Saturday is family day, and the main parade brings the carnival to a grand climax on Bank Holiday Monday.
The Carnival is Europe’s largest free street festival and a culinary spectacular. It is a vital date in the diary for any Londoner and visitor to London, featuring a spectacular parade that showcases London’s rich and varied multicultural heritage with masquerade bands, steel bands and samba bands as well as live music stages, sound systems, children’s activities, and an array of great Caribbean food stalls to choose from.
The London carnival is an inclusive, community-lead celebration of Caribbean culture and the effect the Windrush generation and larger local community has had on Britain.
One of the largest steel pan competitions outside of the Caribbean, the Panorama National Steelband Competition sees eight bands play a ten-minute composition from memory – no sheet music is allowed. Children’s Day traditionally takes place on the Sunday with special participation for children and more. This year, organisers say there will be an increase in children’s bands and more family friendly options.
An estimated two million people descended upon Notting Hill last year – only Rio’s carnival is bigger. Around 38 sound systems will play all genre of music from reggae to house, from blues to afrobeats and almost everything in between. There are live stage performances on the Horniman’s Stage and Powis Square Stagetoo. Details of who is playing at this year’s carnival are yet to be released, but will appear here.
Notting Hill Carnival Dates
This year’s London Carnival will be from August 24 to August 26, 2019.
London Carnival Map
For a map of the Carnival area and the parade rout, click here. Please note this is the 2017 route.
Where is the Notting Hill Carnival?
The London Carnival spreads across the streets of west London around the W10 post code, with celebrations spreading over Notting Hill, Ladbroke Grove and Wesbourne Park. The main parade (on the Monday) begins on Great Western Road, then chugs its way along Chepstow Road, before spreading out on to Westbourne Grove and finally heading off to Ladbroke Grove. Westbourne Park and Ladbroke Grove stations are the nearest stops on the London Underground, but check out on logistics before you set out as stations might close or become overcrowded.
London Carnival History
The first carnival was held in 1966, when social worker Rhaune Laslett, who lived in Notting Hill, organised an event for kids. However, the origins of the carnival stretch back to 1959 when the BBC broadcasted a Caribbean Carnival from the town hall at St Pancras, which was organised by Trinidadian human rights activist, Claudia Jones. Similar indoor events took place in halls around London in the 1960s. In 1966, Laslett invited well-known musician Russell Henderson and his band to play at the carnival. Already popular among the Caribbean community, the band wove its way through Portobello Road, and as a trail of locals followed them dancing in the streets, the Notting Hill Carnival was born.
Images from last year’s London Carnival
Further information on the Notting Hill Carnival
For more information and regular updates on the Carnival, click here. All photos from Notting Hill Carnival Trust.