The world’s second biggest carnival and Europe’s largest street event, Notting Hill Carnival, will be returning to the road for the first time since 2019. The UK’s largest and most important celebration of culture, diversity and inclusivity will once again be full with vibrant colours, incredible music, dancing and delicious food during the August Bank Holiday weekend.
As is tradition, Carnival will start before sunrise with J’Ouvert on Sunday 28 August, followed by the children’s parade which begins at 10:30am immediately after the opening ceremony. This year will see a group of participants from the Emancipated Run Crew wearing green lead the parade and will complete the route in their own time in honour of those who died in the Grenfell Tower tragedy five years ago and Monday 29 August will be the traditional parade starting from midday. Panorama, the UK’s biggest and most important Steel Pan Competition takes place on the evening that precedes Carnival (Saturday 27 August) at Emslie Horniman Pleasance Park (tickets for Panorama will be available from here).
Matthew Phillip, CEO of Notting Hill Carnival Ltd. “Along with all of the community, we couldn’t be more delighted to be announcing that Notting Hill Carnival is back on the streets where it belongs. The past two years have been incredibly challenging for everyone but through the work we have all been doing keeping the spirit of Carnival online and through workshops and more, we have seen our community thrive. I’ve seen these wonderful groups of people, brought together because of Notting Hill Carnival, help and support each other. That is an incredible thing.
“In returning to the streets we can once again celebrate the culture, diversity and inclusivity that makes this event so amazing – we can’t wait to hear and see everything that is unique about Notting Hill Carnival, back where it belongs.”
Despite a two-year absence from the road, the hunger to participate in Carnival has not diminished. Mas Bands and Static Sound System numbers are actually increasing for 2022 and carnivalists can enjoy 38 booming sound systems playing everything from house to calypso and 84 Mas Bands full of celebratory colour and vibrancy.
The Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, said: “I am thrilled to welcome back Notting Hill Carnival and am looking forward to the sights and sounds of this world-famous returning to our streets and bringing communities and visitors together in celebration.
“Over the August bank holiday weekend, there will be something for everyone with fantastic music, food and amazing, colourful parades lining the streets. Notting Hill Carnival showcases the spirit and soul of our city and the values we all hold so dear and reminds us that our city’s greatest strength is in our diversity, vibrancy and energy.”
In June, hundreds of performers from the Notting Hill Carnival community including masqueraders, steelpan players and cylipsonias performed at this year’s Jubilee celebrations outside of Buckingham Palace. An especially formed steel pan band of over 100 players going by the name of UK All Steel Percussion Orchestra came together from a number of UK bands and delivered two songs by Lord Kitchener: ‘Pan in ‘A’ Minor’ and ‘London is the Place for Me’.
On July 13, The Prince of Wales and The Duchess of Cornwall made a special visit to The Tabernacle in the heart of Notting Hill. Long time advocates of Carnival (His Royal Highness declared his support for Carnival and the importance of its existence in 1977), they participated in some steel pan playing as well as meeting with people from the community that make it such a special and unique event – pictures are available from The Press Association.
For the first time this year a fully electric truck will be taking a band on the parade. Developed by Carnival Village Trust, this new innovation was given its debut outing playing a vital part of Glastonbury Festival and Notting Hill Carnival’s first ever official collaboration that happened earlier this summer and saw members of the community run workshops and parade through the festival’s fields through the entire weekend. The eco truck is the first step in working with bands to look at electric options in the years to come.
Matthew Phillip – “Electric trucks are unquestionably the future for Carnival, we have been working on this truck for a number of years now and through its use this year we will show that the technology and power of the batteries are now able to cope with the huge power demands that the average Carnival truck requires.
“The environmental benefits are only the most obvious benefit. Our aim is to eventually fund electric trucks for all the bands, removing a significant cost for them, as well as significant time and energy spent organising vehicles and drivers each year – so they can concentrate on their art.”
In addition to the August bank holiday and following its huge success in 2021, Carnival Culture In The Park will be making a return to Opera Holland Park from 17 – 20 August. The four nights will see some of the world’s leading Calypso artists and steel pan players perform over four unique nights – Wednesday 17 August – Steelband Summer In Concert. Thursday 18 August – Calypso Masquerade. Friday 19 August – Pan Jazz and An Evening With King David Rudder Calypsonian Extraordinaire. Tickets are available from here.