The Notting Hill carnival has launched a fund to ensure that it can go ahead next year, after the Covid-19 pandemic forced organisers to cancel the live event in west London for the second year in a row.
Organisers said the Carnival Trust Fund would be used to “help support the carnival community”, including some bands and artists that might, without assistance, have had to stop performing.
Matthew Phillip, CEO of Notting Hill Carnival Ltd, said the money raised would help to support participants and bands that have faced financial hardship after the cancellation of an in-person carnival.
“Notting Hill carnival belongs on the streets, but the Covid pandemic presented too much uncertainty to plan for a safe event over the August bank holiday weekend,” he said. “It also put bands in a difficult financial situation that had the potential to close them down, despite decades of history.”
Last year, carnival organisers pre-recorded live sets from musicians, conducted interviews with mas groups and sound system operators, and created guides for people to re-create Caribbean food in their own homes, as the street festival went digital for the first time in its 54-year history.
West London’s three-day festival of Caribbean culture is second only to Brazil’s Rio carnival in size and sees 2 million people attend, with established sound systems and live performers drawing huge crowds.