Notting Hill Carnival

The Notting Hill Carnival, held in West London on August 28 this year, has become one of the biggest street festivals in Europe. It celebrates the British West Indian community and encourages cultural unity. In the ’60s, the festival sprang up as one way to address community unrest and improve racial relations.

Our History: Notting Hill Carnival

Kelso Cochrane was a 32 year old, Antiguan born carpenter, and aspiring lawyer, living in Notting Hill at a time when racial tensions were high. He died after a racially motivated attack on Southam Street (off Golborne Road) Notting Hill on May 17th 1959 (today a blue plaque marks the spot). His murder had a huge impact on race relations. Reportedly, there were over 1,200 attendees at his funeral. Many of whom came to demonstrate solidarity and a show of defiance against racism locally.

The street party that revolutionised Britain

The Notting Hill Carnival is one of the world’s biggest, and most electrifying, outdoor events. As it goes digital for 2020, Lou Mensah reflects on its historical and political impact. After a series of racially motivated attacks on the West Indian residents of West London’s Notting Hill area in August 1958, Trinidadian human rights activist Claudia Jones decided to create a special gathering in an attempt to unify the community.

Notting Hill Carnival Guide

For a lot of Londoners, Notting Hill Carnival flashes by in a blaze of feathers, Red Stripe and tinnitus. To those who make it happen, it is a year-round operation, which is why its IRL return in 2022 after two years of being a solely virtual event is very welcome news indeed ​​– especially for the communities who make it happen. After a long wait, west London will be taken over again with dazzling floats, kaleidoscopically-dressed performers, ear-splitting sound systems, the sweet, smoky smell of jerk chicken and steel bands over the August Bank Holiday weekend from Sunday August 28 to Monday August 29.