MTV’s Guide To Notting Hill Carnival
Heading west this weekend? Here’s what you shouldn’t miss out on…
By Tamara Roper
You’ve heard the Katy B song, and you’ve seen what we think you should wear, but what about what happens on the two days of Notting Hill Carnival? Arguably what brings the whole festival together are the sound systems that scatter every corner, or the performers who shake their undeniably fabulous tail feathers the whole way round Ladbroke Grove.
A lot of great artists are propping up the stages of Carnival this weekend, and whilst you’re busy queuing for the toilet and keeping hold of your mates in the crowds, here are a few you definitely shouldn’t miss.
Red Bull Music Academy Sound System
The hottest ticket in town, Red Bull Music Academy throw a pretty lavish party under the West Way - if you can get in. With a line-up of Basement Jaxx, carnival warriors The Heatwave and Jus Now, it’ll be one of the most tropical sounding parties of the day.
We asked The Heatwave chaps what it is about carnival they love, and the response captures the true spirit of the day.
“Getting drunk in the morning. Seeing all your best mates at once. Singing along to everything you know the words to. Actually, singing along to anything you don’t know the words to. Dancing till your feet hurt. Following a truck and joining a soca troop. Not taking any photos. Running out of phone battery. Drinking rum not beer.”
Bristol record label DSB are triumphant in their annual stage, pulling in all of the bass heavy hitters. Boss Shy FX heads the line up and will be sourcing some of the finest jungle and drum and bass, and he’ll be joined by likely raucous Lily Allen, as well as Chase and Status.
Toddla T Presents
Toddla T is one of the biggest advocators of carnival tunes in the music industry. His second Toddla T Presents stage is jammy mix of pop hitters like Maverick Sabre and Clean Bandit, dancehall mavens like missus Two Bears and Stylo G, and of course, his missus, Annie Mac.
MTV asked Toddla what his favourite carnival moment was, and he warms the cockles with this:
“My favourite carnival moment is actually my first, getting off the tube at Westbourne Grove after a train journey from Sheffield… Walking onto Portobello Road, seeing an overwhelming amount of people under the West Way, hearing the best music and the sun was shining… I was home!’
Rinse x Boxfresh
Seems like the Rinse FM lot have scooped up a whole load of chart toppers for their stage with Boxfresh. Including Katy B, Jess Glynne, Route 94 and Sinead Hartnett, Rinse are celebrating their 20th birthday in style. Get there early for the chance to see your favourites for £0.
Keen To Carry On?
…But of course you are. The sound systems close at 7pm and the party don’t stop if you’ve been dancing all day with a Rum ‘n’ Ting strapped to your hand. Most after parties start at 7pm and finish around 1am or 2am, so you’ll be fresh for round two the next day (or work, if it’s Monday). These are great shouts if you’ve still got itchy feet.
Sunday: Turf - Real Afro-beat vibes with DJs Romare, Auntie Flo and Moxie.
Monday: Deviation - DJs from all stages bring the weekend to a close with the annual Deviation knees up. A great chance to catch all the gang you might have missed in one place, featuring Toddla T, Mark Ronson and Skepta.
Check Out Our What To Wear Gallery Here [x] and come back tomorrow for an exclusive Carnival Playlist curated by Mele!