Notting Hill Carnival launches for 2023

Published: Thursday 20 July 2023

What’s on at this year’s Carnival?

Tonight, Notting Hill Carnival launches its 2023 edition, with an event at the Tabernacle led by the Notting Hill Carnival organisers including sound systems, Mas bands, food and drinks and plenty of treats as Carnival is brought to life for another summer in the borough. This year, Carnival coincides with two anniversaries that will make this year’s Carnival even more special: the 75th anniversary of Windrush and the 50th anniversary of the introduction of the Mas bands and sound systems to Carnival.

When did Carnival start?

Notting Hill Carnival was born out of racial tensions in North Kensington as those now known as the Windrush generation of Commonwealth-born citizens, largely from the Caribbean, moved to the UK on the promises of a better life and to rebuild the country following WWII, often faced racism, discrimination and brutality. Following the murder of Kelso Cochrane in 1959, activism and communities came together and led to the beginnings of Notting Hill Carnival. Read more about the history of Carnival.

Today, Carnival is a two-day event every bank holiday August weekend, with colour and costumes, an eclectic mix of music genres centre stage. At its heart though, Carnival remains a collective symbolism of the diversity of the people and communities in North Kensington, the coming together of neighbours and strangers alike in celebration of West Indian culture and for a better future.

What does Carnival involve?

Each year, hundreds of Council officers, Carnival organisers, event partners and volunteers from across the community work around the clock to ensure a safe and spectacular Carnival for everyone. From traffic restrictions and waste collections to licensing, Carnival is an event like no other and requires a year-round level of support.

Carnival opens at 10am on Sunday 27 August and on 10.30am on Monday 28 August, with parades on each day free for everyone to attend. Read more about the days' events, including those taking place across the weekend on the official Notting Hill Carnival website.

Lead Member for Culture, Leisure and Community Safety, Cllr Emma Will said:

Tonight’s launch celebrates the year-round hard work that goes into one of London’s biggest events. Carnival is known around the world and requires a network of hardworking people from Council officers, Carnival organisers and many community volunteers to come together to ensure a safe and enjoyable event.


As we prepare for the upcoming celebration of West Indian culture and history, we are committed to supporting residents and businesses in the Carnival footprint and ensuring that visitors from far and wide have a safe and spectacular Carnival.