It may still only be June – and not even properly summery out – but we’re already getting firmly into the Carnival headspace.
London’s most enduring public event is a celebration of Caribbean communities, cultures and traditions. It’s the kind of thing that would never ever be started today, for about a zillion reasons, but thankfully has managed to survive for over 50 years on mighty streets such as Ladbroke Grove and Westbourne Grove.
It’s free, it’s open to all, and if you’re the kind of person who majorly loses track of time easily, it’s almost upon us! (It’s actually the last weekend of August, of course.)
And soon you’ll be able to get into the spirit at a new installation called ‘System’, put together by British artist and musician Gaika, Boiler Room and Somerset House Studios. It’s aim is to 'showcase a fair representation of the stories, characters, statistics and under-celebrated sound system culture at Carnival', and will use materials from institutions such as the Black Cultural Archives to create an audio-visual representation of the event. The scaffold and timber structure, known as The Black Body, will be based at Somerset House from August 1-26. There’ll also be weekly parties every Thursday, streamed worldwide by Boiler Room.
There are interesting developments happening in the world of actual Carnival too.
Council funding has been given to a new central body for the first time – Carnival Village Trust – which is affiliated with local mixed arts venue The Tabernacle. Time Out learned recently that one of their primary aims this year is to reclaim the ‘kids’ day’ (aka Sunday) for families who want to have a chilled one, while another initiative involves keeping mas bands moving along the parade route to avoid congestion down the line.
Whatever happens, we’re just hoping for the best street party in the whole damn world to bless us with some VIBES as soon as possible!