For a lot of Londoners, Notting Hill Carnival flashes by in a blaze of feathers, Red Stripe and tinnitus. To those who make it happen, it is a year-round operation, and its cancellation has been devastating for many involved.
It did not come as a surprise; the organisers had held off on the announcement in the hope that the situation might improve, leaving many to speculate on when, not whether, the event would be called off for the first time in its 54-plus-year history. But it looks like ‘cancelled’ isn’t the right word after all. Behind the scenes, the Carnival community has rallied together to take it from the streets and into cyberspace with a streamed version of the event on the August Bank Holiday weekend.
Using different streaming channels, they’ll celebrate as much of the ‘real’ Carnival as possible. Time will be dedicated to a ‘Carnival Culture’ segment, where the street party’s pioneers will share personal memories of Notting Hill Carnival. There’ll also be live-streamed DJ sets from King Tubby’s and Rampage soundsystems as well pre-recorded performances from steelpan bands Ebony and Mangrove. Spotify has dedicated a whole microsite to the weekend, so you’ll never be stuck for a Carnival playlist.
Find out how you can register to take part in Notting Hill Carnival Access All Areas 2020 here.
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Celebrate Notting Hill Carnival online
A look at Notting Hill Carnival history
Explore Notting Hill
Portobello Road Market
Best known for antiques and collectibles, this is actually several markets rolled into one: antiques start at the Notting Hill end; further up are food stalls; under the Westway and along the walkway to Ladbroke Grove are emerging designer and vintage clothes on Fridays (usually marginally less busy) and Saturdays (invariably manic). Browse more of London's best markets