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Home / Notting Hill carnival taken off the streets due to Covid pandemic

Notting Hill carnival taken off the streets due to Covid pandemic

Posted on Jun 18, 2021

The organisers of the Notting Hill carnival have made the decision to take the event off the streets in its 55th year.

The carnival, which was forced online last year due to the pandemic, is normally attended by about 2 million people.

In a statement, the board of Notting Hill Carnival Ltd said it had decided this year’s event in London “will not be on the streets due to the ongoing uncertainty and risk Covid-19 poses”.

“This has been an incredibly difficult decision to make,” the statement added. “Everyone involved in the event desperately wants a return to the road where carnival belongs but safety has to come first and with the latest cautious announcement on the government’s roadmap, this is the only way to ensure that.
In making this decision, we have considered our responsibilities to deliver a safe, spectacular, successful and sustainable carnival.

“The conclusion is that with so much uncertainty, with time short for carnivalists to prepare and the risk of eventual cancellation a real possibility, we must refocus our efforts for 2021.”

Matthew Phillip, the chief executive of Notting Hill Carnival Ltd, told MPs on the Commons Digital, Culture, Media and Sport committee in February: “It would be very difficult to hold carnival in its traditional format on the streets with social distancing in place. It would be devastating for a second year in a row.”

The three-day festival of music, dancing, food and drink is rooted in Caribbean culture, and is second only to Brazil’s Rio carnival in size.

Last year, the first digital version of the event was hosted by the radio presenters DJ Ace and Remel London, and was streamed on four channels over the August bank holiday weekend.