Notting Hill Carnival 2020 cancelled

Thursday 7 May 2020

Organisers of the Notting Hill Carnival made the difficult decision to cancel this year’s event, after extensive consultation with partners. They are working towards an alternate Notting Hill Carnival for 2020 that they hope will bring the Carnival spirit to people from the safety of their homes, and make them feel connected and engaged.

The Council has welcomed this difficult decision, which takes into account the potential risk to public health of large crowds gathering in close proximity.

Cllr Emma Will, Kensington and Chelsea Council lead member for culture, leisure and community safety, said:

“It is a huge shame, so many people have put in so much effort to get Carnival ready for 2020, including our own officers here at the Council. But it is absolutely the right decision given what the UK and London is currently facing.

“It has been very difficult for all those involved, but Carnival organisers need to be given real credit for making an early decision on this and following the guidance from health professionals. They have put the health of the local community and participants first.

“This now gives us all an opportunity to explore how we can still celebrate Carnival in different ways this summer, before bringing it back even better in 2021.

“Kensington and Chelsea Council is committed in giving logistical and financial support to turn alternative plans for carnival this year into reality. There is no reason why we cannot all bring the true spirit of Carnival into our own front rooms.”

The Council will be working with organisers as they find other ways to mark the annual event, from our living rooms. The Council is absolutely committed to supporting carnival, the communities and businesses it inspires and will be working with organisers to plan a spectacular event for 2021. If your business requires support due to the Covid-19 pandemic, visit our Covid-19 portal where you can find all the latest information on government and council support schemes.

What Public Health and NHS advice has been given?

NHS and Public Health leaders advised Carnival organisers that resources on the ground will be very limited as they deal with Covid-19, and the next few months are critical for the response to Covid-19 and bringing other critical care services back online.

They also pointed to the major risks of holding Carnival this year.

Despite encouraging signs in recent days, Covid-19 is not going away.

The prospect of having a large group of people in a confined area where social distancing measures will be impossible to impose, raises a significant risk to those attending and the local community itself.

Read the full letter from our Director for Public Health, Houda Al Sharifi.