In a year that’s forced us to retreat inside, while festivals, cultural events and mass gatherings have all been cancelled, Notting Hill Carnival has become another casualty. But while the celebrations can’t take place in the streets of west London, plans are in full swing to make it the virtual event of the year.
Notting Hill Carnival began in 1966 as an event to unite Londoners of colour and those from immigrant backgrounds against a rising tide of bigotry. It quickly became London’s biggest and best street party – today, it’s the largest street festival in Europe – and remains a space for London’s African-Caribbean communities to celebrate their traditions and heritage. In light of the recent murder of George Floyd and subsequent Black Lives Matter protests, the festival has sadly never been more important.
Spanning four different channels on the Notting Hill Carnival website, revellers can tune into a series of free, live-streamed events. A total of 14 sound systems will be offering up sets over the course of the carnival, which encompasses a warm-up from 9am–12pm and 6pm-12am on Saturday 29 August, followed by the main event taking place from 12pm-11pm on both Sunday 30 and Monday 31 August.
Look forward to highlight sets from big-name acts including Rampage and Volcano, along with performances from carnival bands and soca artists. Missed a set? No bother: playlists for the 2020 festival can be found on Spotify, the official partner of Notting Hill Carnival.
Families and those after a visual spectacle can get a taste of that too: street theatre performers clad in costumes of feathers and glitter will also be putting on a show online.
Yes, this year you’ll have to make your own rum punch and order in your jerk chicken (unless you’re a dab hand at making your own). But on the bright side, you can forget the stress of trying to spot your friends at a designated meeting point that's far more overcrowded than you anticipated, or worry about your phone not working. Better still, you can bring the loud, proud joys of Notting Hill Carnival into your home in all its colourful splendour. (But best to save your paint bombs for next year…)
|What||Notting Hill Carnival 2020|
29 Aug 20 – 31 Aug 20, 9:00 AM – 11:00 PM
|Website||Click here for more information|