In May, Notting Hill Carnival announced the news we’d all been dreading (but expecting): it was cancelling its 2020 event due to the ongoing coronvirus pandemic. Now, instead of wallowing in the fact that your August bank holiday weekend is ruined, you can start preparing for virtual Carnival.
Organisers have unveiled their plans for the online event, which will take place between August 29 and 31. Notting Hill Carnival: Access All Areas will be streamed across four channels on the carnival’s website, and will see performances from dancehall and soca artists, steel pan and Brazilian carnival bands, as well as “well-known UK and international artists”.
There will also be 14 sound systems, and performances from some of the carnival’s Mas Bands, who’ll transport you back to the parade. Notting Hill Carnival has partnered with Spotify to share playlists curated by sound systems organisers, as well as podcasts about the carnival’s history and issues facing the Black British community.
“Carnival is such an important part of people’s lives,” the event’s executive director, Matthew Phillip, said in a statement, “and a key celebration of the multiculturalism of the UK, and we have a responsibility to our community and pioneers to honour that. We also have a responsibility to protect the Black community and our elders by respecting social distancing and taking Carnival away from the streets for this year. So this is a fantastic solution for 2020.”
A trailer for the virtual celebrations declares that “the carnival spirit will unite us as it always does”, adding: “Together, online, we’ll emerge strong, vibrant, and ready for the Notting Hill Carnival 2020: Access All Areas.”
Get more info and find out how to sign up for the streaming channels here.