Notting Hill Carnival 2021

Written by on June 18, 2021

The organisers of the historic event have released a statement about the festival this year. Find out if it is cancelled and how you can celebrate.

Notting Hill Carnival is a huge London event that celebrates Afro-Caribbean culture and is part of London’s DNA.

The annual event, which usually sees two million-strong revellers take to the streets of Notting Hill and Kensington over the August Bank Holiday weekend, was sadly forced to cancel in 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Now the government has announced its plans to delay a total easing of restrictions in England by four weeks, has the carnival been forced to cancel once again?

When is Notting Hill Carnival?

Notting Hill Carnival traditionally takes place annually on August Bank Holiday weekend. This year’s instalment would fall from 29-30 August 2021.

Some believe it is a three day festival, but the parades themselves are technically only two days. There is a UK National Panorama Steelband Competition on Saturday evening but the Caribbean carnival officially starts on Sunday, which is known as Children’s Day or Family Day.

Is this year’s Notting Hill Carnival cancelled?

Yes, unfortunately Notting Hill Carnival’s parade has been cancelled in 2021, which makes it the second year running. The board of The Notting Hill Carnival said it would “not be on the streets due to the ongoing uncertainty and risk COVID-19 poses.”

They wrote in an official statement: “After lengthy consultations with our strategic partners, our Advisory Council and individual participating bands and sound systems, the board of Notting Hill Carnival Ltd, the organising body of Notting Hill Carnival, has decided that this year’s Carnival will not be on the streets due to the ongoing uncertainty and risk COVID-19 poses.

“This has been an incredibly difficult decision to make. Everyone involved in the event desperately wants a return to the road where Carnival belongs but safety has to come first and with the latest cautious announcement on the government’s ‘roadmap’, this is the only way to ensure that.

“In making this decision, we have considered our responsibilities to deliver a safe, spectacular, successful and sustainable Carnival. The conclusion is that with so much uncertainty, with time short for Carnivalists to prepare and the risk of eventual cancellation a real possibility, we must refocus our efforts for 2021.”

They concluded: “Going forward, we will be working with Carnivalists toward the greatest ever Notting Hill Carnival for 2022.”


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