For two whole days in August, the manicured streets of west London are transformed into an explosion of music, masquerade, colour and play. For each new generation Notting Hill Carnival means something slightly different, but its spirit of rowdy fun continues an age-old tradition for our city. The Carnival has a rich history and in 2016 it'll be half a century since the first multicultural street festival in Notting Hill, organised by local activist Rhaune Laslett.
RECOMMENDED: Read the full Notting Hill Carnival guide
To celebrate that big anniversary we’ve spoken to a whole range of Carnival regulars and party people, who’ve shared with us their favourite stories from over the years. It all adds up to a vivid portrait of Carnival: how much work goes into it, why it matters, and why (in the words of DJ Benji B) it’s ‘a celebration of what it is to be a Londoner’.