The London Notting Hill Carnival is held annually during the bank holiday at the end of August and it starts on Sunday at 12pm or so and ends around 7pm, with the same happening on Monday.
The Carnival has been held on the streets of Notting Hill since it’s orgins in 1965. The Caribbean community lead the event, many of whom have lived in the area themselves since the 1950s. The carnival currently attracts around two million over both days, making it the largest in Europe and 2nd largest in the World (Rio De Janeiro is the largest).
The Carnival oranisers runs a steel band competition, judging on the best floats, soca and calypso dancing, sound systems playing lots of different music styles including dub, reggae, house, hip hop, jungle, soul and funk, complete with Live PA performances. You will also find food stalls on every corner, with a wide choice food types.
Carnival News: The Notting Hill Carnival 2009 is threatened by council officials
The Notting Hill Carnival, traditionally held every August Bank Holiday weekend since 1964, is in jeporady again as Kensington and Chelsea Council threaten to withdraw their support over concerns for safety. The council has asked the organisers, London Notting Hill Carnival Ltd (LNHC) to reduce noise levels and make improvements to crowd control. RBKC claimed last year’s event was let down by “profound organisational failure” and it is their duty to avoid the 2009 carnival event being marred by similar chaos.
Different carnival groups have also voiced their opions saying that improvements are needed after Carnival 2008 when a rioting mob close to Ladbroke Grove Underground started throwing missiles at Police, on Monday evening, however the groups are still pledging their support for the event to continue.
An Ebony Steelband member, Pepe Francis, from Whitchurch Road, Notting Hill was recently quoted as saying “Carnival needs more stewards and the noise levels need to drop. There can always be improvements made. But this year will be our 40th anniversary, so we have to be on the road whether or not we have the support.”
Chris Boothman, LNHC’s company secretary, confirmed an earlier start to the event was favoured. He said that floats would need to start moving by 9am compared to last year’s start time of 10am – and promised there would be more stewards available to help control the crowds.
The Kensington & Chelsea council safety proposal included the reduction of noise to help minimise any possible hearing damage and to improve Police radio communiation and better crowd control procedures.
Peter Ramage, the head of Kensingoton & Chelsea’s street enforcement was documented as writing that if London Notting Hill Carnival Ltd (the organisers) do not adhere to the Councils requirements that the council will make a “widely-publicised declaration that it does not support carnival taking place in 2009′ and will ‘withdraw its funding”
The Carnival debate continues.