What to expect at the Notting Hill Carnival

The carnival has been going in some form since 1964, and sees the biggest celebration of multiculturalism in the capital. Initially showcasing the Caribbean communities who came into the area in the fifties. The Notting Hill Carnival is now the largest street party in Europe, with over a million people attending across the weekend, and more than 50,000 performers taking part. You'll find something to your taste, be it the gentle chimes of steel drums, booty-shaking dancehall or window rattling bass of the sound systems.

Carnival starts on Sunday August 28 (also referred to as 'Children's Day') and continues into Monday August 29. Spread throughout W10 in west London, the Carnival celebrations take over the areas of Notting Hill, Ladbroke Grove and Westbourne Park. The parade will be easy to find, just follow the beat and the dancing, but make sure you are aware of various public transport alterations which are in place to handle the sheer number of people coming to the area.

It's a full day of activity as floats and bands set off at 9am on both Sunday and Monday mornings, running roughly until 7pm both days. There are also 38 static sound systems lined throughout the route, where you can stop and have a bit of a dance. Offering a broad selection of styles and tastes to suit, from oppressive drum 'n' bass, exotic calypso, epic disco and the predominant dub and reggae booming systems.

There's always live performances too, with occasional cameos from big stars. Various rappers, soca stars and soul acts have held impromptu gigs, and all the up and coming names are well represented. You might walk down one road and find yourself faced with a crowd going mental for Skepta. It's that sort of event.

Also, it goes without saying as regards any big street event, is to keep your wits about you and respect the neighbourhood. Front gardens aren't toilets or bins either. Remember that it's not Glastonbury and everyone's in a field - it goes back to normal on the Tuesday and people do actually live there!

You can keep up to date during the day with Carnival based apps for your phone, and also Twitter is a good place to keep an eye for any rumours or developments throughout the day. 

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