It’s that time of year again, and the streets of the West End are to be crowded with fun, festivities, and parades of feathers, sequins, and glitter. Since 1964, the Caribbean communities within the Capital have played host to this two-day festival in order to celebrate their heritage and culture. With a mass of live reggae, dancehall, and salsa music, walking into Notting Hill feels like you’re on the beaches of Jamaica.
29th August: Panorama
The first day consists of the London Calypso Tent, consisting of storytelling, humour, and poetry presented to the sounds and rhythms of the Caribbean. This will be in Emslie Horniman Pleasance Park, Bosworth Road. It’s free, so come down and enjoy the sound of steel drums!
30th August: Sunday Parade / Family Day
A little more relaxed, the Sunday Parade has the Children Parade with its flamboyant costumes and hypnotic rhythms. At Powis Square, there will be a fabulous display of vocals, calypso and soca performances and various emerging artists from the Caribbean scene. 38 sound systems are dotted all around the Notting Hill area, so you will submersed in the Caribbean. Grab some street food, and feel the vibes.
31st August: The Grand Finale
Similar to Sunday, the Monday Parade will be the farewell with over 60 bands dancing and playing to the sounds of the Caribbean. Taste the food, sample some of the various activities, and dance your soul away to Soca.
We also warn those who are not attending the festival that there are always severe delays on transport around the Notting Hill area at this time, and often several stations are closed or either exit only, and so keep an eye on Transport for London for updates regarding travel over the weekend.