6 Ways To Celebrate Notting Hill Carnival This Weekend

Notting Hill Carnival

Notting Hill Carnival returns this weekend! Expect three days packed with Caribbean flavours, live performances, vibrant parades, ruffled feathers and big crowds. Here’s everything you need to know about the event, from the history of the Carnival to the best pop-ups taking place.

The History

What started as an intimate community children’s street fair, celebrating Caribbean culture, has since transformed into the Notting Hill Carnival we know and love today. 

The first Carnival experience took place in 1959 at St Pancras Town Hall in response to the 1958 Race Riots in Notting Hill. It later officially began in 1966, and it’s since grown significantly, increasingly in popularity with over a million visitors celebrating each August Bank Holiday. Nowadays it’s packed with live performances, parades, music and more. 

The Dates

Taking place every August Bank Holiday, the Carnival is packed out with brilliant foodie vendors, mega sound systems, live performances, mesmerising floats and an array of fluttering feathers. This year’s Notting Hill Carnival will be taking place Sunday 27th August – Monday 28th August 2023.

The Line-Up

Saturday 26th August

While the main parade takes place on Monday 28th August, there are festivities right through the weekend, starting as they always do on Saturday with Panorama, The UK’s biggest steel pan competition at Emslie Horniman Pleasance Park. This one is friendly for all the family, so get yourself in the spirit early by heading along. 

Sunday 27th August 

Sunday is the dedicated family day, so expect lots of events geared towards children and the younger generation. J’Ouvert, a traditional festival known as “break day” acts as the unofficial start of Carnival, and kicks off just before sunrise.

This is followed by The Children’s Parade, featuring lots of costumes and street-dancing, and the Traditional Parade featuring mas, soca, calypso and much more.

Sunday 28th August

Sunday sees the Adults Day Parade take centre stage. Kicking off at 10:30am from near Westbourne Grove tube station, it will feature lots of dancing, parading and partying

5 things to do during the carnival 

Children's Parade, Notting Hill Carnival

1. Eat your way through the food stalls

Dancing all day is hungry work, and luckily you won’t have to look far for some delicious food stalls – there are hundreds of them.

Expect lots of traditional food  including Jamaican Jerk chicken, Trinidadian roti and Guyanese pepper pot.


When: Sunday 27th August – Monday 28th August

Where: All around Notting Hill

2. Sample a Carnival sound system

Throughout Carnival there are 40 static sound stages and about 70 performing stages. Each soundstage is run by a different crew, many of whom have been doing this since the 70s like Volcano Sound.

At these sound systems you can find a host of renowned DJ’s playing a wide variety of music, from soca, hip hop, reggae, disco, soca, dub, dance, pop, R&B, samba, calypso and everything in between.



When: Sunday 27th August – Monday 28th August

Where: All around Notting Hill


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3. Enjoy a Carnival bottomless brunch at Burlock Rum Bar

Celebrate Carnival in style on Saturday at Burlock, where they have a tantalizing brunch offer available, including Caribbean-style plates alongside bottomless drinks to get you in the mood for the weekend.

 It will feature carnival dancers and a DJ from 2pm, playing a mixture of RnB, Commercial Hip-hop, Bashment, and Afrobeats.


When: Saturday 28 August 12pm until 4.30pm

Where: 31 Duke St, London W1U 1LG

4. Set sail at Carnival on the Thames

2023 marks the 3rd pre-Notting Hill Carnival party on the scenic River Thames – and this year is set to be even bigger and better than ever before.

Those attending will be invited to wear their brightest colours and jump on board for a maritime celebration of Carribbean Culture.

With an array of the best DJs in the UK representing the Caribbean and beyond, spinning across 3 decks of music; from Soca to Garage, Dancehall to Hip Hop, Afro-beats to RnB and everything in between.


when: saturday 26th august, 18:15

Where: festival pier, London SE1 8XZ


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5. Head to a Carnival after-party

Does 10 straight hours of dancing, celebrating and eating not sound like enough? Keep the party going by heading to one of the many after-parties that will be going on during the weekend. 

The Ministry of Sound is the biggest after party, and runs into the early hours of Tuesday, featuring sets from Martin 2 Smoove, Kenny Allstar, Crazy Cousinz  and a special guest headliner yet to be announced…


When: Mon 28 Aug 2023 10pm — 6am

Where: 103 Gaunt St, London SE1 6DP

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