London – Notting Hill Carnival is Europe’s largest free street festival and is a vital date in the diary for any visitor to London. It features a spectacular parade that showcases London’s rich and varied multicultural heritage with masquerade bands, steel bands and samba bands as well as live music stages, sound systems, children’s activities, and an array of delicious Caribbean food stalls to choose from.
What’s new this year?
Carnival Village Trust’s subsidiary, Notting Hill Carnival Ltd (NHCL) have taken over this year as the official organisers of the Notting Hill Carnival 2018.
The group have vowed to safeguard the future of the event by making it the most “successful, safe and spectacular carnival” to date.
NHCL are dedicated to the arts and bringing together the carnival’s community to reinvigorate and celebrate the carnival’s rich heritage.
“Our aim is to put on a successful, safe and spectacular Carnival and really bring everyone together, using all the incredible talent and enthusiasm that this community is known for,” says Notting Hill Carnival Executive Director, Matthew Phillips. “I saw a banner at last year’s carnival that read “ComeUnity”. For me that is carnival. It brings unity. We want to celebrate its heritage, enjoy its present and welcome as many people as possible to safeguard its future.”
NHCL have brought together an advisory board. Through this broad committee, NHCL will help ensure that Carnival’s heritage is respected while introducing a raft of new initiatives (more info attached).
There is going to be an additional 10 children’s bands participating this year, and Meanwhile Gardens will be solely dedicated to children’s entertainment and families. There will now be dedicated lost children’s posts run by qualified child workers.
There will be much greater access to pre event information on the new website and social channels this year. This will give everyone better opportunity to plan their days.
A commitment to train a substantial number of local stewards is also central to the plan, handing ownership of Carnival to the community, allowing the police to step back and providing Carnival goers with the best local knowledge. Each community within the carnival’s footprint will provide stewards for their area, with steward training to a NVQ and SIA standard offered – the qualification providing employment opportunities beyond Carnival. The stewards will be paid and work alongside staff from crowd management company McKenzie Arnold.
There will be stricter enforcement of parade rules to ensure that all bands are constantly moving, resulting in an equal opportunity for all participants to be judged as well as keeping the parade flowing and timely.
Health and Safety will be centralised for the first time with regular planning meetings scheduled with Carnival’s “Strategic Partners” (listed below). Enhanced temporary building, electronics and food hygiene standards are essential in safeguarding a long and prosperous future for Carnival.