Your Go-To Guide To An Absolutely Crazy Carnival Weekend
So what’s all this Carnival malarkey?
Unless you’ve been living north of the wall for the past few weeks, I’m pretty sure you’ve heard of Notting Hill Carnival! But what you may not know, is that the event has taken place regularly since 1966 and is officially Europe’s biggest street festival! Oh, and most importantly it’s totally FREE – pretty impressive, right?!
Fast forward to 2017 and under its current incarnation, the Carnival welcomes up to 2 million attendees – to give that some perspective, it’s like 11 Glastonbury festivals happening simultaneously on the streets of West London!
Spreading across the W10 postcode, the parade itself starts near Westbourne Park tube station, down to Westbourne Grove and across to Ladbroke Grove… This Timeout map might come in handy!
It starts on Sunday, right?
Officially yes, it is always during the August Bank Holiday weekend and takes over the Sunday and Monday. The Carnival kicks off at 9 am on both days and runs right until the 8:30 pm curfew.
But, if you’re really in the mood for honouring the long weekend, there is a Carnival special at Shaka Zulu, Camden’s African-themed paradise, on Friday night. West End favourite, DJ Reiss MxLovin, will be in the building, playing a combination of Reggae, Soca, Calypso, Reggaeton, Bashment, Afro & Soul! Perfect for kicking off the celebrations!
Ohhhh, but how about Saturday?
Unfortunately, you’re going to have to try and find something else to fill your Saturday with… How about a Carnival-themed Reggae Brunch?!
This Caribbean-themed brunch party is complete with an unlimited Rum Punch hour and a 3-course meal via Cottons. If you like your day parties tropical, check it out but proceed carefully, it can get a little crazy inside. Don’t be shocked if you’re wandering around Camden at 5 pm with a horn, whistle and far too much Wray and Nephew in your system.
So the actual Carnival… is it the same on Sunday and Monday?
Essentially, yeah. However, the Monday is known for having a bigger party vibe so if you’re planning on taking the kids with you, our best advice is to head down nice and early on Sunday to get a sweet view of the parade.
If you’re feeling more adventurous though, cut the parade and head down the side streets to find the real sound systems – there are 37 official ones.
From ‘Channel One’ who’ve been playing pure reggae since 1979, to ‘Triple S Audio’ smashing everything from soca to dubstep… There’s something for everyone!
Any Sunday After-Parties?
Of course! Swap the West for the West End and check out a Bank Holiday Twisted Circus Special at 100 Wardour Street in Soho. With live acts throughout the night, it’s sure to help you carry on the party in style.
And where’s the spot to hit on Monday?
Need somewhere to relax and hang out after all that partying? See you at the London Bridge City Summer Festival… There’s cocktails, street food, deck chairs and hopefully some lovely British sunshine!
Wherever you end up, have a good ‘un!
Posted by Lauren @ Xclusivetouch on Tuesday 22nd August 2017, 11:23am