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Notting Hill Carnival 2024: Everything You Need to Know

Notting Hill Festival London

Notting Hill Carnival 2024 is the largest street festival in Europe, with 50,000 performers, 30 sound systems and more than 1 million people in attendance over the course of the weekend. The festival celebrates Caribbean heritage in London and aims to promote cultural inclusion and community.

Attendees at Notting Hill Carnival

When is Notting Hill Carnival 2024?

Nottinghill Carnival 2024 is scheduled for 25-26 August. The carnival features two days of celebrations, including a family-friendly day (Sunday) and an adult-centric day (Monday). Expect to see beautiful performers dressed in vibrant costumes, tons of reggae and Caribbean music, delicious street food and a high-energy party atmosphere.

A performer at Notting Hill Carnival.

If you’re planning to attend Notting Hill Carnival 2024 dates, reserve your accommodations as far in advance as possible, as hotels are likely to book up. Also ensure you pack your camera and a refillable water bottle to use throughout the day.  

Notting Hill Carnival 2023 in London is all about vibrant colors and celebrating Caribbean culture.

Notting Hill Carnival 2024 Tickets

You may wonder, “Is Notting Hill Carnival free to attend?” Good news! This massive street party is free and open to all. Since the very nature of the festival is to promote inclusivity and community, it makes sense that Notting Hill Carnival tickets are not required.

No reservations are necessary. Just show up on the Notting Hill Carnival Dates 2024 and be prepared to have fun!

A performer at a parade.

Carnival in Notting Hill 2024 Schedule

This Caribbean cultural festival spans from Sunday, 25 August to Monday, 26 August. Sunday focuses on families and children’s activities, while Monday is the main event for adults.

The full Notting Hill Carnival schedule from 2023 is included below. The exact times for 2024 will be announced soon:

The official schedule of events for Notting Hill Carnival 2023.

Sunday, 25 August – Notting Hill Carnival Schedule

From 6 to 9 a.m., join a special J’Ouvert or “opening of the day” celebration with colourful paints and powders and tons of party energy starting at Sainsburys Ladbroke Grove (W10 6HJ).

Then from 10 to 10:30 a.m., watch the magic of the official 2023 Notting Hill Carnival opening ceremony at the MAS Judging Point on Great Western Road. The children’s parade and carnival will go along the main Notting Hill Carnival route from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.

Immediately following the children’s parade, the “Dutty Mas” mayhem will begin around 12 p.m. As a bystander, expect to be splashed with colorful paints and be swept up in the Caribbean spirit with bass-heavy music and dancing aplenty.

Monday, 26 August – Notting Hill Carnival Schedule

The central attraction and main event of Notting Hill Carnival London is the parade on Monday, 26 August. The show starts at 10 a.m. and is expected to last until 8:30 p.m. Throw on your brightest, most vibrant Notting Hill Carnival outfit and head down to the parade route early for the best view.

A Notting Hill Carnival 2023 outfit.

How to Get There

It’s best to take public transportation to Notting Hill for the festival. The Tube stations closest to Notting Hill Carnival are High Street Kensington, Bayswater, Paddington, Queen’s Park and Shepherd’s Bush. Some stations, like Westbourne Park, will be exit-only during the busy weekend.

How to get to Notting Hill Festival in London

Station alerts from the official Notting Hill Carnival 2024 residents’ guide are included below. However, be sure to check the official Transport for London website before you start your journey.

Travel information and Tube closures for the Caribbean festival in London
More travel information and Tube closures for the Nottinghill Carnival 2023.

Notting Hill Carnival 2024 Map and Parade Route

This year, as always, London Carnival 2024 will be very crowded and busy. I would recommend arriving several hours ahead of the parade to secure a good location and viewing spot.

A Notting Hill Carnival map is shown below. The map indicates the main parade route, as well as locations of medical tents, the judging zone and various sound systems and stages throughout the area. It would be a good idea to indicate a meeting point with friends and family in case anyone becomes separated from your group. Cell service may be limited or non-operational if the networks are overburdened from crowds.

A Carnival UK route map

When is Carnival UK?

The Notting Hill Carnival in London is Sunday, 25 August through Monday, 26 August. The first day is primarily for families and young children, whilst the second day (26 August) is for adults. Additionally, the main parades begin at 10 a.m. both days.

A performer smiles during a parade.

What happens at Notting Hill Carnival?

Notting Hill Carnival is a two-day celebration the last bank holiday weekend in August that features food vendors, Caribbean music and a central parade with vibrantly-costumed performers. The event is a celebration of Caribbean cultural heritage and ethnic diversity in London.

Crowds at Notting Hill Carnival 2023.

What is the best day to go to Notting Hill Carnival?

The best day to attend Carnival London 2024 is Monday, 26 August. The parade is at 10 a.m. on this day and represents the climax of cultural celebrations.

Event attendees celebrate and have fun.

What time does the Notting Hill parade start?

The 2024 Notting Hill parade starts at 10:00 a.m. on both Sunday, 25 August and Monday, 26 August.

Notting Hill Carnival history

The Notting Hill Carnival emerged as a response to the racial tensions and discrimination experienced by London’s Caribbean community, particularly following the “Windrush” generation’s arrival in the UK from the Caribbean.

In 1948, the Empire Windrush ship arrived in London carrying hundreds of Caribbean migrants seeking opportunities and a better life. These newcomers faced prejudice and challenges integrating into British society. In the late 1950s, racial tensions escalated, leading to the Notting Hill race riots in 1958, which saw violent clashes between white and black communities.

Festival attendees enjoy the lively atmosphere.

In the midst of this conflict, the first seeds of what would become the Notting Hill Carnival were sown. Claudia Jones, a Trinidadian activist and journalist, organized an indoor event known as the “Caribbean Carnival” in January 1959. It aimed to foster a sense of community pride, celebrate Caribbean culture and provide an opportunity for people to come together amid the social tensions.

The event’s success and the positive response it received laid the foundation for the larger outdoor Nottinghill carnival 2023 we know today. In 1966, Rhaune Laslett, a local social worker, organized the first outdoor carnival procession as part of her efforts to bridge divides and promote harmony among the diverse communities of Notting Hill.

In conclusion, the London carnival has grown in size and significance, evolving into an annual festival of music, dance, vibrant Notting Hill Carnival outfits and delicious cuisine. It has become a platform for celebrating Caribbean traditions, showcasing artistic expression and asserting cultural identity.

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