Street trading at Notting Hill Carnival

Street trading at Notting Hill Carnival

Notting Hill Carnival 2021

In preparation for this year’s Notting Hill Carnival, the council is preparing for the licensing of street trading activity associated with NHC2021.

All traders who participated in 2019 will hold on to their sites for 2021, subject to safety mitigation needs, and will be contacted in June 2021 for the application process for NHC2021.

Potential traders, who have asked to be on the waiting list, will be reminded to do so as well.  The council will not license the sale of alcohol from street trading sites, please refer to the FAQs.

If you have any queries you can email us at: 

You can also get event status updates online.

For more information about the application process, as well as important information regarding street trading at carnival, please see below.

Trading from a residential or private premises during Carnival

If you wish to trade from your own premises during Carnival you might not need a licence in order to do so, but it is worth checking beforehand that you have done everything you need to in order to comply with the law and also with council requirements for street trading to operate business activity from your premises.

For more information about private and residential street trading at Carnival, please visit the Private street trading web page.

Frequently asked questions on street trading at Carnival

Please read the information carefully and ensure you are able to comply with the requirements and street trading licence conditions, before applying to be added to the street trading reserve list.

Q1. How does the street trading application process work?The application process works in three stages:

1. Traders, who have complied with their licensing conditions from the previous year, will be given first refusal over their site.

2. These traders are given the opportunity to transfer to an alternative location, subject to availability.

3. Once last year’s traders have been allocated, all applicants on the street trading reserve list will be given the opportunity to apply for the remaining sites. All contact regarding dates and requirements will be carried out via the registered email address. These sites will be offered in order of receiving a completed application.

Q2. What are the requirements for becoming a street trader at Notting Hill Carnival?All traders must

  • be over the age of 18 years old
  • have a National Insurance Number and proven UK residency
  • have Third Party Public Liability Insurance for the duration of the event, minimum value of £5,000,000 (see Q5 for more information)
  • must not have any convicted offences of unlicensed street trading within the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea
  • have a Level 2 Award Food Safety in Catering (when cooking and re-heating food)

When applying for a licence you will be required to provide documentation to support the above. The Council is required under Section 6 of the Audit Commissions Act 1998 to participate in the National Fraud Initiative (NFI) data matching exercise. All information provided will be used for cross system and cross authority comparison purposes for the prevention and detection of fraud.

Q3. What commodities can I sell at Notting Hill Carnival?Traders are able to sell food, non-food goods or both, this includes soft drink beverages (the sale of alcohol is not permitted).

Q4. What can I not sell at Notting Hill Carnival?Street traders are not permitted to sell alcoholic drinks of any type (such as: spirits, ales, beers, lagers, Guinness, port, wine, Babycham, rum punch or alcoholic jellies). Street traders are not permitted to sell illegal substances or legal highs. It is not permitted to sell Nitro Oxide (laughing gas) at Notting Hill Carnival. 

Second hand toys or electrical equipment, knives, solvents or any kind or real or imitation firearms are not permitted.

No counterfeit goods or unauthorised copies of copyright designs or labels. Fortune-telling, tattooing, body piercing, head massage, hairdressing or tarot reading are also not permitted.

Q5. Where can I obtain Third Party Public Liability Insurance?All traders must obtain Public Liability Insurance before their application can be processed. Your insurance must have a minimum cover of £5,000,000 which is a standard cover.

As a local authority we are unable to recommend any third party services. For your convenience, below is a list of insurance companies that street traders have used in the past. You may wish to use a company below or find your own.

Q6. How do I pay for the street trading reserve list fee?Payment is made online in full via credit/debit card at the time of your reserve list registration. 

Q7. What does the reserve fee registration cover?The reserve fee covers the cost of administering the street trading reserve list. Registering onto the reserve list does not guarantee you a trading site at Carnival.

Q8. When will I receive a street trading application?The street trading application will be sent out to the registered email address to all those on the reserve list at the same time. This process begins once the deadline for the previous year’s traders has passed - traders on the reserve list should expect to receive an application in June/July.

Q9. Once I receive my application form, what happens next?Sites are allocated on a first come first serve basis once the reserve list applications are sent out. The quicker you return your completed application and supporting documents, the more likely you are to be offered a site.

Q10. When and how can I pay for the licence fee?Payment for the street trading licence is made online in full via credit/debit card (we do not accept American Express cards). This payment is only taken once a trader has uploaded all the required details and documents, and their application has been approved by the Carnival Street Trading Team. Traders will also be required to select and book onto a mandatory Carnival training evening. Only once the above has been successfully completed will the trader be issued their licence for their site.

Q11. Are stalls provided to traders?No, traders must provide their own stalls, ensuring that they have stalls suitable to conduct their trading. The stall, equipment and canopy (if using one) must fit within the designated area given. Stalls must be of metal construction, capable of bearing the weight of all equipment and products. It must have a roof cover on the top and ideally three sides.

Q12. Are traders provided with water?There are currently 26 static drinking water units, positioned in the carnival area for the sole use of our traders. Although we do provide limited water, we advise all traders to provide their own, as the water does run out during the event and the units are not refilled until the next morning.

Q13. Are traders provided with electric?Currently the Council does not provide electricity for Carnival street traders. Traders will need to provide their own power supply by a generator.

Q14. What type of generator do I need and where can I get one?The London Fire Brigade recommend all traders use diesel generators as they generally require less refuelling and the fuel is more stable. Generators can be hired from any reputable hire company, and it is important that traders who have they own generator gas safety check them yearly. Your annual generator certificate will need to be provided on request. Petrol generators are not permitted. All generators must fit within the trader allocated pitch size. 

Q15. What are the trading hours?The street trading licence is valid between 7am and 8pm and trading can only be carried out between these times. All traders must cease trading at 8pm each day.

Q16. Is parking provided to street traders?No, all traders' vehicles must be removed from the Carnival area by 8.30am (this time is subject to the event schedule and may be liable to change).

Q17. Can I bring a vehicle into the carnival area to store stock?No, all vehicles must be removed from the Carnival area. The stall, stock and trading must be kept fully contained with the designated pitch size.

Q18. What are the sizes of the pitches?There are five types of pitch sizes at Notting Hill Carnival (sizes shown as width x depth).

4m x 2m (w x d)
No cooking or reheating is allowed on these sites.

4m x 3m & 4m x 4m
These sites are recommended for small concessions (traders selling a small amount of goods or concentrating on a particular product, with minimal equipment and stock(). This site is not recommended for traders with catering equipment or several BBQs.

6m x 3m & 4m x 5m
These sites are recommended for traders who require a lot of space for equipment and stock. Traders wanting to bring large jerk pans and BBQs would be advised to apply for these larger-sized sites.

Ice cream site 10m x 2m
These sites are for ice cream vans or mobile units only. No static pitches or hot dog trolleys are allowed on ice cream pitches. No trading stalls other than those listed on the licence are able to use the site. Any trader found to be sub-letting their site will be evicted from the event. Ice cream sites are positioned at key exit points within the Notting Hill Carnival area. The unit must be able to move immediately if needed. Static sites will not be allowed. Tow bars and generators must fit within the traders designated pitch size.

Q19. How much does it cost to have a site at Notting Hill Carnival?Sites for Notting Hill Carnival 2019 are £50 per square metre:

Type of pitchSizeFee
Smallest - No cooking or reheating4m x 2m£400
Medium4m x 3m£600
Medium4m x 4m£800
Large6m x 3m£900
Largest4m x 5m£1000
Ice cream / mobile units only10m x 2m£1000

Q20. Vehicle AccessVehicle Access Pass (VAP)

In order to enter the Carnival footprint with a vehicle, you will require a Vehicle Access Pass (VAP). Vehicle access is only possible at the allocated entry points between the times of 6am and 8.30am on Sunday and Monday of the Carnival event.

The mandatory documents required for your VAP include:

  • driver's name
  • driver's address
  • driver's date of birth
  • driver’s driving licence number
  • vehicle registration number

You will be required to submit all of the above details prior to the Carnival event in order to be issued with a VAP. However, if you do not know your vehicle registration number until closer to the event date or until you collect a hired vehicle, you can submit this information to us up to the day before (deadline is Saturday 24 August 2019 before 1pm). Please note, all driver details (name, address, date of birth and licence number) must be submitted by Friday 2 August 2019 at 3pm. 

If you wish to print the FAQs use the link below:

Notting Hill Carnival 2019 - Street Trading Information Sheet

If you have any further enquiries please email the Carnival Street Trading Team at Please outline your needs and any images or details that will assist us in responding to you. Please allow for five working days fur us to respond to your email.

Other useful information for street trading at Notting Hill Carnival

All street traders trading within the Royal Borough must comply with our street trading standards.

Notting Hill Carnival: street trading requirements for food stalls