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The Notting Hill Carnival is ‘off the streets’ for 2021

Organisers did not feel it could go ahead in traditional form with continued Covid uncertainty

Andrzej Lukowski
Written by
Andrzej Lukowski

‘Notting Hill Carnival’ and ‘social distancing’ are not exactly what you’d call mutually compatible concepts, and with the further delay to the dropping of distancing in England, the organisers of Carnival have caved to the inevitable and declared today ‘that this year's Carnival will not be on the streets due to the ongoing uncertainty and risk Covid-19 poses.’

It’s probably for the best: even if the July 19 date holds, we won’t know until July 12, and that’s precious little time to organise Europe’s biggest street festival.

What is going to happen, then? The short answer is, we don’t know. The Notting Hill Carnival will still be going ahead on August 29 and 30, and as a minimum we can presumably expect something along the lines of the 2020 edition, which featured live performances etcetera that you could tune into online and recreate some of those Carnival vibes at home.

Still, taking Carnival off the streets isn’t the same thing as entirely shutting it down to the public as a live, in-person event, especially as most of the UK adult population should have been vaccinated by the end of August. 

We should find out more in the next few weeks – the organisers have confirmed as much, saying that, ‘as in 2020, we are working towards alternate events that will allow everyone to safely celebrate everything Notting Hill Carnival stands for. More details on all of this, as well as special events leading into the August bank holiday weekend will be announced in due course.’

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