Photos and images from Notting Hill Carnival, 26.08.2013, London, United Kingdom
Info about the event:
The Notting Hill Carnival is an annual event that since 1966 has taken place on the streets of Notting Hill, Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea, London, UK each August, over three days (the August bank holiday Monday and the two days beforehand). It is led by members of the West Indian community. The carnival has attracted around one million people in the past years, making it one of the largest street festivals in the world.
The roots of the Notting Hill Carnival come from two separate but connected strands. A “Caribbean Carnival” was held on 30 January 1959 in St Pancras Town Hall as a response to the depressing state of race relations at the time; the UK’s first widespread racial attacks (the Notting Hill race riots) had occurred the previous year. This carnival organised by Claudia Jones from Trinidad and Tobago, who is widely recognised as “the Mother of the Notting Hill Carnival”, was a huge success, despite being held indoors. The other important strand was the “hippie” London Free School-inspired festival in Notting Hill that became the first organised outside event in August 1966. The prime mover was Rhaune Laslett, who was not aware of the indoor events when she first raised the idea. This was a more diverse Notting Hill event to promote cultural unity. A street party for neighborhood children turned into a carnival procession when Russell Henderson’s steel band (who had played at the earlier Claudia Jones events) went on a walkabout.
Among the early bands to participate were Ebony Steelband and Metronomes Steelband. “Notting Hill Carnival became a major festival in 1975 when it was organised by a young teacher called Leslie Palmer.” The carnival was also popularised by live radio broadcasts by Alex Pascall on his daily Black Londoners programme for BBC Radio London.
The carnival’s traditional starting point has been Emslie Horniman’s Pleasance in nearby Ladbroke Grove.
As the carnival had no permanent staff and head office, the Mangrove restaurant in Notting Hill, run by another Trinidadian, Frank Crichlow, came to function as an informal communication hub and office address for the carnival’s organisers. By 1976, the event had become definitely Caribbean in flavour, with around 150,000 people attending. However, in that year and several subsequent years, the carnival was marred by riots, in which predominantly Caribbean youths fought with police — a target due to the continuous harassment the population felt they were under.
During this period, there was considerable coverage of the disorder in the press, which some felt took an unfairly negative and one-sided view of the carnival. For a while it looked as if the event would be banned. Prince Charles was one of the few establishment figures who supported the event.
In recent years, the event has been much freer from serious trouble and is generally viewed very positively by the authorities as a dynamic celebration of London’s multi-cultural diversity, though dominated by the Caribbean culture in the best traditions of Rio. However, there has been controversy over the public safety aspects of holding such a well-attended event in narrow streets in a small area of London.
Concerns about the size of the event resulted in London’s former Mayor, Ken Livingstone, setting up a Carnival Review Group to look into “formulating guidelines to safeguard the future of the Carnival”. An interim report by the review resulted in a change to the route in 2002. When the full report was published in 2004, it recommended that Hyde Park be used as a “savannah”; though this move has attracted some concern that the Hyde Park event may overshadow the original street carnival.
In 2003, the Notting Hill Carnival was run by a limited company, the Notting Hill Carnival Trust Ltd. A report by the London Development Agency on the 2002 Carnival estimated that the event contributes around £93 million to the London and UK economy.
In 2005, entrants from the Notting Hill Carnival participated in the Bridgwater, Somerset, carnival – Europe’s largest lighted carnival and part of the West Country Carnival circuit.
For the 2011 Notting Hill Carnival an iPhone app was released, and in 2012 both iPhone (in App Store) and Android (in Google Play) apps. They show the carnival route, sound systems, toilets, food, and transport links on interactive maps.
The info above is from: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Notting_Hill_Carnival
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