Notting Hill Carnival’s swift switch to a digital celebration was a big success at the August Bank Holiday weekend. Now Hackney Carnival is taking virtual path, too. In a normal year, 1,000 performers parade through Mare Street to Graham Road in a blast of feathers, sequins and soundsystems for the free event. For 2020, the organisers have partnered with Reel Rebels Radio for a streamed Hackney Carnival weekender.
Saturday is all about soundsystem streams, with a special guest set from Hackney resident and dub legend Aba Shanti-I, who has played Notting Hill Carnival since 1993. On Sunday, you can watch archive footage of Hackney Carnivals gone by, with ska from the Stamford Hillbilly Street Band, jazz from Jamaican saxophonist Ray Carless, and a throwback to a performance from Ghanaian musician Ata Kak.
Carnival expert Pax Nindi will be encouraging the digital audience to get involved over the weekend, so you better start practising your split if you want a chance of winning the Hackney Carnival Dance Challenge. Find out more here.