Like Mas Bands, Steelbands are an integral part of Notting Hill Carnival. The steelpan came to England with the settlement of people from Trinidad and the Caribbean during the Windrush era.
A Caribbean tradition, along with steelbands, Mas Bands are the heartbeat of the NHC parade. Look out for the traditional handmade costumes which are the jewel in the crown of the art of Mas.
To build on Notting Hill Carnival’s continuing successes, and to produce a safe and spectacular event.
Claudia Jones, a Trinidadian human rights activist based in London, put on a BBC broadcasted indoor ‘Caribbean Carnival’ at St Pancras Town Hall back in 1959. She is widely credited with planting the seeds for Carnival in the UK by doing so.
An appetite for the indoor Caribbean carnival was fed by Trinidadian husband and wife booking agents Edric and Pearl Connor who along with many partners including the West Indian Gazette (which was founded by Claudia Jones) began promoting indoor events in halls dotted around 1960s London.
Rooted in Jamaican culture and ‘Reggae’ music, sound systems were officially introduced to NHC in 1973. Today there are over 30 static sound systems catering for numerous musical tastes. Everything from ‘Dub’, ‘Rare Groove’ and ‘House’ to ‘Jungle’, ‘Samba’ ‘Blues’ and ‘Hip Hop’. You’ll find all Sound system info for NHC 2019 right here very soon. So you’ll be able to plan your Carnival in advance. Stay tuned!
Ways to get involved with Carnival 2019, from Stewarding to Playing Mas.
We’re Really Proud To Have Alexandra Burke As Our First Ever NHCL Ambassador For Notting Hill Carnival 2018/19
Grenfell Tower can be seen from the NHC parade route. Our community was left devastated by the loss of life and trauma of witnessing the disaster. As organisers of NHC 2018 we felt it appropriate for the people enjoying Carnival on the streets of a community still reeling from the effects of the fire to remember those who lost their lives in this horrific tragedy. We took our lead from local organisation Grenfell United, who expressed that the local community and all those affected by the Grenfell Tower fire would appreciate help in creating “brief moments of reflection and respect in the midst of the two days of revelry”. On their request Notting Hill Carnival held a 72 second silence on both days at 3pm; one second for each life lost in the fire.
Full Press Pack coming soon
Brazilian Bands were first introduced to Notting Hill Carnival in 1984 by The London School of Samba. They have proved to be a very popular feature on the road. With their choreographed dance routines and energetic, synchronised live drumming, they delight spectators. 2018 saw the first Brazilian Mas Band category included in the Official NHC Mas Band Winners Awards.
Download the official Notting Hill Carnival 2019 App to get access to an interactive map, photo sharing and the Panorama People’s Vote.
Our live stages are free to all. They are focal points of Carnival, where you’ll enjoy a great line-up of artists. Some local, some traditional Calypsonians, and some surprise superstar show stoppers. Expect the unexpected!