August 28, 2015

Grab your rum and Red Stripe: It's Carnival time.

Notting Hill Carnival brings together hundreds of thousands of people to celebrate the rich cultural diversity of the area.

To make the most of Europe's biggest street party, from soca celebrations to paint parties - here are 10 events to have on your Carnival radar this weekend.

1 Notting Hill Carnival Sunday Parade

Carnival is one of the most hectic weekends of the year, but Family Day on Sunday the 30 August is a bit more low key than the Monday and gives you the perfect opportunity to check out some of the costumes in the children's parade.

From 10am to 8.30pm;


2 Gaz’s Rockin’ Blues Corner

Now 35 year’s young, Gaz’s Rockin’ Blues began life in Soho and is London’s longest running club one-nighter. Since 1989, Gaz Mayall has hosted a stage at Notting Hill Carnival outside The Globe known as Gaz’s Rockin’ Blues Corner. Gaz plays a mix of ska, rock, pop and punk, using strictly vinyl. Rather than a hardcore sound system, this tends to be where the young and the beautiful congregate, but it’s a good spot to see unexpected live performers (Razorlight joined the Rockin’ Blues stage in 2011) and DJs. Aside from Mayall himself, the late DJ and godfather of Ska Duke Vin was one of the vanguards of the Gaz’s Rockin’ Blues stage.

Talbot Road outside no.103, W11 1JR

3 Panorama

On Saturday the 29 of August, there will be an open air evening of steelpan bands and performers held at Emslie Horniman Pleasance park, Bosworth Road, W10;

4 The Carnival Countdown Breakfast Fete

The Tabernacle will be hosting a Carnival warm-up with a breakfast fete on Saturday 29 August at 9am. There will be Caribbean drinks, pholouri, rotis and saltfish dishes on the menu, and a series of DJ sets to get you in the spirit for the weekend. DJ Tate, Martin Jay and D Riddim ft Credable are all on the bill.

Standard tickets are £15 or £20 on the door.

The Tabernacle main auditorium, Powis Square, off Portobello Road, W11 2AY;

5 Jouvert Celebration

Drawn from ancestral Caribbean tradition, the Jouvert celebration, known as the ‘opening of the day’ is a time when the early risers cover their bodies in mud, powder and chocolate to celebrate the start of Carnival. When the sun is up, the masquerade begins to take over. If you manage to hear your alarm for the 6am start (many may begin even earlier, at 3/4am), make sure you wear clothes you’re willing to get dirty; there will be talcum powder and paint cascading through the air. It’s possible to join a Jouvert band if you plan it in advance (costs around £50) or you can just go along and watch.

Around 6am to 9am, Sunday 30 August. J’Ouvert starts and ends at Canal way, Ladbroke Grove W14 next to Sainsbury’s car park

6 Notting Hill Arts Club

Yamajam will be throwing a pre Carnival party at the Notting Hill Arts Club on Friday 28 August for the sixth year in a row. Expect a mix of dub, reggae, dancehall and hip hop. Entry will be £4 before 11pm and £8 thereafter, but the event is likely to sell out. If you’re still thriving and surviving by the end of the weekend, there will also be a Notting Hill Carnival afterparty at the club on Monday 31 August from 6pm to 1am featuring Kiko Bun, Smutlee and a ‘very special guest’ tbc. Tickets £15 in advance. Remember to always bring your ID to Notting Hill Arts Club, regardless of age.

21 Notting Hill Gate W11 3JQ;

7 The London Calypso Tent

The Calypso Tent at The Tabernacle on Powis Square is a place to drink in some fantastic soca and calypso sounds. Here the Association of British Calypsonians will provide a mix of competitions, poetry and storytelling and music. It’s a window into the Caribbean culture that’s at the heart of Notting Hill Carnival. There will be performances from Macomere Fifi, King Socrates and Nikisha Reyes. Visit Friday 28 August (tickets £10-£12) for the People’s Choice event to get your Carnival weekend off to a rhythmic calypso-filled start.

The Calypso Tent 2015 programme:

7th August 2015 – Grand Opening Night

14th August 2015 – Calypso Spectacular

21st August 2015 – Groovy Soca Night

27th August 2015 – Calypso Monarch Finals

28th August 2015 – People’s Choice

From 8pm to 11pm at The Tabernacle main auditorium, Powis Square, off Portobello Road, W11 2AY;

8 The Monday Parade

Monday 31 August will be Adult’s Day at Carnival, also known as the Grand Finale, when the hardworking artists unleash their masquerade floats in a sea of feathers, music and dance for the rest of London to enjoy. This marks the end of Notting Hill Carnival, showcasing a year’s worth of creative input and organisation in one colourful outburst.

The parade normally takes place from 10am to 8.30pm

9 Notting Hill’s Colours Paint Party

The Colours Carnival Float will be hosting a paint party at the event on Sunday 30 August and are inviting others to join. There’s a package for £60 which includes a security wristband, a bottle of paint, t-shirt, access to toilet facilities, soca tracks from the DJs on the Colours’ two music trucks and free drinks.

Find out more at

10 Morning Gloryville’s Carnival Bash

There will be ravers at dawn (or close enough) on the 29 August as Morning Gloryville host their first Carnival party at Mode London. Starting at 9am, this early-doors party is a great way to wear-in your Masquerade gear and get energized for Carnival weekend. There are some tickets left at £17.50, or else it’s £20 entry on the door. Expect free yoga, free massage, a live performance by The Artful Badger and a serious amount of dancefloor sweating. Nama Foods will be on site serving superfood smoothies and healthy-living food. Follow the Gloryville motto and ‘rave your way into the day’. 

9am-1pm Saturday 29 August 12 Acklam Road W10 5QZ; tickets at

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