Notting Hill Carnival

Notting Hill CarnivalEurope’s biggest annual street festival is back this August bank holiday. So, set aside your Sunday and Monday to attend this magnificent street party. Around one million people flock to London to take apart and enjoy the two day event. We think that you should be the plus 1 to that number because you will have an amazing time!

We love the Notting Hill Carnival here at Mystical Mayhem Hippy Clothing! When you go, you will find that it is a mix of all colours and cultures that attend. It is an amazing smorgasbord of wonderful people. You will meet all kinds of weird and wonderful and strike up some long lasting friendships.

Where & When

The 28th and the 29th of August which is the Sunday and the Monday of the last summer bank holiday weekend.
The location – Notting Hill baby! This is a street carnival and so it takes over the whole of the Notting Hill area which is in Kensington.

Some History

The original event was started in 1964 as a way for Afro-Caribbean communities to celebrate their own cultures and traditions. The Notting Hill Carnival has its roots tied strongly to the Caribbean carnivals of the early 19th century which is a particularly strong tradition in Trinidad. It wasn’t until 1975 that the carnival become known as a proper festival and was organised by a young teacher called Leslie Palmer. Leslie was the director between 1973 -1975 during which time he completely revolutionised the event and transformed its structure and content almost beyond recognition. He was detrimental in getting sponsorship, extending the route the carnival takes, hiring more steel bands and reggae groups as well as getting more sound systems and generators. Leslie was himself from Trindad which has a strong tradition of carnivals which were all about celebrating the abolition of slavery and the slave trade.

Originally there was only one band that played then by 1970 there were 2, one static and one wandering. This number of course has expanded exponentially as has the amount of spectators which started off at around 500.

Notting Hill Carnival NowNotting Hill Carnival

Every year the Notting Hill Carnival hosts a great collection of music with both traditional and contemporary sounds that fill the streets of London.
It’s well known that steel bands, Soca and Calypso music has always been at the heart of the Carnival. Although you can still find this great sounding music you will also note that in recent years things have moved on a little. With the advent of static sound systems a lot more Reggae, R&B, Funk, House, Dub and much more is more commonly found. Of course there are also the live stages which feature local bands, top international artists and sounds from around the world.

Don’t forget the elaborate costumes that can be found on the carnival route. This is another thing that people associate with the carnival. These are folk people spend hours sewing and putting together these wonderful brightly made garments in all shapes and sizes. This really brings the feel of the Caribbean to the streets of London.

It is not just the dancers that wear costumes however. Thousands upon thousands of the spectators do too. Not to worry though, you don’t  have to. You can still wear your hippie clothing and no one will bat an eye lid. Wear what you like and you will still be celebrated.

Us hippies love a good festival. Especially one that has its roots so deeply ingrained in freedom and expression is always going to win us over.

If you’ve never been before then seeing London in bright colours with bold music flowing through the streets will sure to open your eyes. If you are making your way to this years event have a great time. Stay safe and dance like no one is watching.

For more information pop on over to the carnival website here