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Notting Hill Carnival
Photograph: David Tett

50 things you didn't know about Notting Hill Carnival

Here are 50 facts you might not know about Europe's biggest street party

Written by
Time Out editors
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Ever wondered how many people attend Notting Hill Carnival annually? Want to know which member of the royal family is a fan of Carnival? Well, prepare to be amazed with our top 50 of things you didn’t know about Notting Hill Carnival. 

RECOMMENDED: Read the full Notting Hill Carnival guide

50 facts about Notting Hill Carnival

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There are up to 2 million attendees at Carnival every year, plus 40,000 volunteers and 9,000 police.

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That means that Carnival is as big as 11 Glastonbury festivals.

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It’s the second largest carnival in the world, just behind Carnaval in Rio de Janeiro…

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…and the largest street festival in Europe.

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Notting Hill Carnival troupe © David Tett

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Carnival contributes around £93 million to London’s economy. Policing costs just £6 million.

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Tourists only make up about 20 percent of the Carnival crowd.

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The carnival tradition has its distant roots in the eighteenth-century Trinidadian Canboulay processions, back in the dark days before Red Stripe.

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There are five different aspects of carnival: masquerade, soundsystems, steel pan bands, calypso and and soca.

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There are around 40 static soundsystems, ten steel pan bands and 70 performing stages.

© David Tett

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The costume troupes are known as ‘Mas bands’ – ‘Mas’ meaning masquerade.

All your Carnival details in one place

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