Photo Credit: Niall Green (Second Screen Pictures)

Photo Cred­it: Niall Green (Second Screen Pic­tures)

Not­ting Hill Car­ni­val 2019

 August Bank Hol­i­day — Sunday 25 & Monday 26 August

Pan­or­ama — The Even­ing of Sat­urday 24 August  

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The world’s second biggest car­ni­val and Europe’s largest street event, Not­ting Hill Car­ni­val will — for an incred­ible 53rd time — be tak­ing place in Not­ting Hill on the August Bank Hol­i­day week­end (25 and 26 August). UK’s biggest cel­eb­ra­tion of cul­ture, diversity and inclus­iv­ity, it will once again be full of vibrant col­ours, incred­ible music, dan­cing and deli­cious food. As is tra­di­tion, Pan­or­ama, the UK’s biggest and most import­ant Steel Pan Com­pet­i­tion takes place on the even­ing that pre­cedes Car­ni­val (Sat­urday 24 August) at Emslie Horn­i­man Pleas­ance Park.

Dates for the diary

Sat­urday 24 August, 6pm        UK Nation­al Pan­or­ama Steel­band Com­pet­i­tion

Emslie Horn­i­man Pleas­ance Park, Bos­worth Road, Lon­don, W10 5EG

Buy tick­ets in advance at via Event­brite  £10 for adults and £3 chil­dren. Under 5’s free

Sunday 25 August, 10am         Not­ting Hill Car­ni­val Chil­dren’s Day

Monday 26 August, 12pm        Not­ting Hill Car­ni­val

Why does Not­ting Hill Car­ni­val exist?

Not­ting Hill Car­ni­val is an event foun­ded on inclus­iv­ity, accept­ance and cul­tur­al diversity. The first out­door event took place in 1966 and was led by loc­al res­id­ent and social work­er Rhaune Las­lett – a Lon­don­er of Nat­ive Amer­ic­an and Rus­si­an des­cent and an estab­lished com­munity act­iv­ist with a his­tory of address­ing and eas­ing inter-cul­tur­al ten­sion in the area since the race riots of the 1950s.

It is still proudly a com­munity-led event, and whilst Not­ting Hill Car­ni­val is rooted in Carib­bean cul­ture, with its Windrush-gen­er­a­tion influ­ence remain­ing strongly evid­ent, it is at the same time char­ac­ter­ist­ic­ally ‘Lon­don’ – today’s mod­ern Lon­don.

Read the full story of Not­ting Hill Car­ni­val at


Not­ting Hill Carnival’s com­munity is its heart­beat

The Not­ting Hill Car­ni­val is a 12 month a year event. Plan­ning, design­ing and mak­ing cos­tumes, cho­reo­graph­ing dances, writ­ing music and rehears­ing per­form­ances all take metic­u­lous plan­ning and painstak­ing hours to pre­pare, and in the main, this is all done through pure love and volun­teers both young and old.

As a res­ult, the Not­ting Hill Car­ni­val has gen­er­ated a whole host of cre­at­ive oppor­tun­it­ies that would not oth­er­wise exist. Through­out Lon­don and bey­ond, people come togeth­er to pass on skills and know­ledge from gen­er­a­tion to gen­er­a­tion which teaches respect, cul­ture and new skills.

Whilst it’s estim­ated that Not­ting Hill Car­ni­val gen­er­ates over *100 mil­lion for London’s eco­nomy, it is organ­ised by a not-for-profit organ­isa­tion. *based on an estim­ate of 93 mil­lion in 2002 fea­tured in the May­or of London’s NHC Stra­tegic Review

Enjoy Children’s Day

The first day of Not­ting Hill Car­ni­val (Sunday 25 August) is tra­di­tion­al ‘Children’s Day’ or ‘Fam­ily Day’. All are of course wel­come, but the bands on the road as part of the car­ni­val parade are dom­in­ated by chil­dren.

Did you know - Any­one can join a mas band for Car­ni­val, just go to, select a band and apply. Be aware you will have to apply ahead of the car­ni­val week­end and dead­lines dates will vary between bands.

What is a Mas Band?

Mas Bands are at the heart of the Not­ting Hill Car­ni­val parade and are most com­monly asso­ci­ated with what visu­ally rep­res­ents a car­ni­val. It is where themed cos­tumes meet with music, dance, spec­tat­ors and judges. The ori­gins of mas, from the word ‘mas­quer­ade’, go back to the 1800s with the eman­cip­a­tion of slavery in the Carib­bean. Pri­or to their free­dom, the slaves would mim­ic and ridicule the mas­ters, copy­ing the elab­or­ate gowns worn at their cel­eb­ra­tion balls and com­bin­ing them with many Afric­an tra­di­tions of their former cul­tures – which included cos­tumes made with bones and nat­ur­al products, and blue dev­ils play­ing music with tins and bam­boo. Read more here —

What is Steel­band?

Involved with its con­cep­tion and present through­out Not­ting Hill Carnival’s his­tory, Steel bands are an integ­ral part of Not­ting Hill Car­ni­vals tra­di­tion. Bring­ing the unique sound and energy of the Carib­bean to the streets of Lon­don. It takes year-round, and even lifelong ded­ic­a­tion to mas­ter the Steel Pan.

A mod­ern steel pan is a chro­mat­ic­ally pitched per­cus­sion instru­ment made from a 55-gal­lon indus­tri­al drum.

What is Pan­or­ama?

UK Nation­al Pan­or­ama Steel­band Com­pet­i­tion is the annu­al Steel Pan event and is the most respec­ted and anti­cip­ated out­side of the Carib­bean. The best of the best pan play­ers and steel pan bands from all over the world show­case their skills. This incred­ible spec­tacle of sight and sound takes place at the Emslie Horn­i­man Pleas­ance Park (Bos­worth Road, W10 3DH) on the Sat­urday that pre­cedes Not­ting Hill Car­ni­val (24th August) from 6 — 11pm. Read more on its ori­gins here —


What is a Sound­sys­tem?

Rooted in Jamaic­an cul­ture and ‘Reg­gae’ music, Sound­sys­tems were offi­cially intro­duced to Not­ting Hill Car­ni­val in 1973. Today there are over 30 stat­ic sound­sys­tems cater­ing for numer­ous music­al tastes. Everything from ‘Dub’, ‘Rare Groove’ and ‘House’ to ‘Jungle’, ‘Samba’ ‘Blues’ and ‘Hip Hop’. Sound­sys­tems have been a found­a­tion for many DJ’s careers, and there have also been many guest per­form­ances through the years that have included the likes of Idris Elba, Soul II Soul, Tim West­wood and Ms. Dynam­ite.


As described by Ricky Bel­grave, Chair­man of BASS (Brit­ish Asso­ci­ation of Sound Sys­tems), “a ‘Sound’ is a super-amp­li­fied mobile sys­tem, invari­ably called by a name, manned by a team of indi­vidu­als, each hav­ing real skills, who togeth­er cre­ate a unique party vibe wherever they set up and play recor­ded music of their choice.”

What is J’ouvert?

The J’ouvert cel­eb­ra­tion (from the French, Jour ouvert, “open­ing of the day”) is an import­ant and integ­ral part of Carib­bean car­ni­vals. This ances­tral tra­di­tion is a pro­ces­sion that tra­di­tion­ally takes place before sun­rise of the open­ing day (Sunday). The par­ti­cipants throw paints and col­our­ful powders to the sound of steel pans and cel­eb­rate the start of the car­ni­val.

Live Stages

There are tra­di­tion­ally three at Not­ting Hill Car­ni­val. The Horniman’s Stage, which on the first day of Car­ni­val (Sunday) is taken over by Red Bull, the Pow­is Square Stage, based oppos­ite the Tab­er­nacle and the Mean­while Garden Stage which con­cen­trates on chil­dren’s enter­tain­ment. Read more here —

Gen­er­ally, line-ups for the stages are not announced in advance of Car­ni­val week­end but in 2018 there were per­form­ances from Major Lazer and Giggs.


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Rishma Dhaliwal

Rishma Dhaliwal

Edit­or / PR Con­sult­ant at No Bounds
Rishma Dhali­w­al has extens­ive exper­i­ence study­ing and work­ing in the music and media industry. Hav­ing writ­ten a thes­is on how Hip Hop acts as a social move­ment, she has spent years research­ing and con­nect­ing with artists who use the art form as a tool for bring­ing a voice to the voice­less. Cur­rently work­ing in TV, Rishma brings her PR and media know­ledge to I am Hip Hop and oth­er pro­jects by No Bounds.

About Rishma Dhaliwal

Rishma Dhaliwal
Rishma Dhaliwal has extensive experience studying and working in the music and media industry. Having written a thesis on how Hip Hop acts as a social movement, she has spent years researching and connecting with artists who use the art form as a tool for bringing a voice to the voiceless. Currently working in TV, Rishma brings her PR and media knowledge to I am Hip Hop and other projects by No Bounds.