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Notting Hill Carnival 2016

Europe’s biggest annual street festival is back this August over the bank holiday weekend of the 28th & 29th.  Around one million people flock to London to take apart and enjoy the two day event.

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 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 who 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.

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

Every year the Notting Hill Carnival throws 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 and 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 don’t forget 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, these 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.

 

Notting Hill Carnival Costume
ChrisO at the English language Wikipedia [GFDL (http://www.gnu.org/copyleft/fdl.html) or CC-BY-SA-3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0/)], via Wikimedia Commons
Sunday and Monday
10am -20:30pm
60 bands in magnificent costumes dance to the tantalising rhythms of the mobile sound systems or steel bands.
38 static sound systems.
Food from the Caribbean around every corner

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 festival website here