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  • Notting Hill Carnival Costume by Mahogany Carnival. Photo: Benjamin Wachenje

The Craft of Carnival

Go behind the scenes at Notting Hill in our new film 'The Craft of Carnival'

Notting Hill Carnival has been celebrating Caribbean culture and taking place on the streets of London since the 1960s. Originally started as a response to racial abuse experienced by the West Indian community, carnival aimed to bring people together by creating solidarity and promoting community values.

Today, it has become a significant event in British culture attracting over 1 million people and contributing approximately £93 million to the UK’s economy. Notting Hill Carnival is 11 times the size of Glastonbury and has become the second largest street festival in the world.

There are over 15,000 hand-made costumes with 30 million sequins on display each year. But the craft doesn’t stop at the costumes! There are also 10 steel pan bands with each drum being carefully hammered and tuned to play the same amount of notes as a piano.

This year Notting Hill Carnival celebrated its 50th anniversary and we went behind to the scenes with Mahogany Carnival to discover the craft that helps make it a success each year.