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Notting Hill Carnival 2016: When Does London’s August Bank Holiday Weekend Party Start?

Prepare to PARTY

22/08/2016 12:58 | Updated 24 August 2016

Not only are we around the corner from a delicious three-day bank holiday weekend, but it’s also London’s annual Caribbean-style street party, the Notting Hill Carnival.

Held every August since 1966, the two-day party has become the largest festival of its kind in Europe.

This year will see entertainers take to the streets on the 28th and 29th of August. 

Tim Ireland/AP
Dancers at the Notting Hill Carnival in 2015 

At the roots of the festivities are the Caribbean carnivals of the early 19th century, which were held to celebrate the abolition of slavery and the slave trade.

Check out these must-read websites before you go, giving you the most up-to-date information on travel options, live music, parties and food. 

  • The Notting Hill Carnival official site should be your first port of call for information on what, when and where. 
  • More than a million people are expected to visit the carnival over the weekend. There will be extensive road closures and bus diversions in place. Some cycle docking stations will also be out of use during the party. Your best bet is to use the London Underground and Overground but do note closures and travel advice here.
  • London Live will be broadcasting live from the carnival for two hours each day between 4-6pm. 
  • TimeOut has rounded up a decent selection of useful tips on how to manage the crowds and what to look out for. 
  • The Metropolitan Police offers this safety advice.

Campaign group Black Lives Matter UK has confirmed it will be at the event but has denied reports it is organising a rally. A spokesman said the group will be handing out Know Your Rights leaflets during the weekend. 

Organisers have promised security will be doubled this year, with 2,000 stewards set to be on streets, as opposed to 800 in 2015. Last year 407 arrests were made, the highest number since 2008. 

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