Carnival, more fondly known by Londoners as Carni, is one of the biggest and oldest street parties in the world. Started by London’s West Indian communities in 1966, Carnival is a celebration of freedom and Caribbean culture, with an iconic parade showcasing the best of mas, soca, calypso, steel bands and soundsystems.
This Carnival weekend, it’s expected that more than two million people will flock to west London for the city’s biggest street party yet. Read on to know more about the historical Caribbean celebration going down this year.
Notting Hill Carnival Schedule
Notting Hill Carnival 2022 officially starts at 10am on Sunday August 28 and at 10.30am on Bank Holiday Monday, August 29.
Saturday the UK National Panorama Steelband kicks off at 6pm to 11pm. The Competition Steelpan extravaganza will take place the night before at Emslie Horniman’s Pleasance Park, Kensal Road, W10 3DH.
Sunday is family day— J’Ouvert, which is a traditional celebration before the formal start of Carnival, will begin at 6am to 9am. If you’re up early enough to catch the iconic celebration, it starts at Sainsbury’s, Canal Way, Ladbroke Grove, W10 5AA.
If you unable to make J’Ouvert, the official opening ceremony will take place from 10am to 10.30am on Great Western road, before the children’s day parade and Carnival Parade kicks off and runs until 5pm.
On Carnival Sunday and Monday, the 36 static soundsystems will run from midday to 7pm at various locations across the parade .
Monday the adult’s day parade will run from 10.30am to 8.30pm across the parade route.
Notting Hill Carnival 2022 line-up
The carnival has surprise guests appearing across the parade route and soundsystems —Sneakbo, Alicai Harley and Leigh-Anne Pinnock all appeared at the last IRL NHC in 2019. Even Beyoncé rocked up in 1999. But Carnival’s organisers are notorious for leaving announcements until the very last moment; they love to surprise the revellers throughout the weekend.
Here’s what we know about the line-up so far:
Panorama. The UK’s biggest steel pan competition at Emslie Horniman Pleasance Park. August 27.
J’Ouvert. A traditional Caribbean event which marks the beginning of Carnival and kicks off before sunrise. Aug 28.
Children’s Parade. Little un’s can wear costumes and join in the parade too. Aug 28.
Traditional Parade. Features mas, soca, calypso and much more. Aug 28.
Live stages. Expect to see traditional Calypsonians, local artists and some surprise celeb stars. Aug 28.
Meanwhile Gardens. A stage for children’s entertainers and interactive performances, perfect for families with young children. Aug 28.
Soundsystems. Pitch up at a soundsystem location and dance the day away. Find each of the 30-something soundsystems dotted across the parade. Aug 28 and 29 from midday until 7pm.
Piano People takeover. Embrace Carnival’s first-ever amapiano stage, with sounds of the popular South African house genre at the Rough But Sweet Soundsystem stage. Aug 28.
Food stalls. There are 300 of them, including Jamaican Jerk chicken, Trinidadian roti and Guyanese pepper pot. Aug 28.