This past weekend was the much anticipated Notting Hill Carnival. Anyone who knows me well, and knows anything about the carnival, was probably aware that my visit wouldn’t exactly be the meeting of like temperaments but there was always the (highly unlikely) possibility that I would suddenly light up a joint, drink whatever could be poured into a coconut, throw cares to the wind and become Rastafarian for the weekend.
As exciting as that might have been, instead I was escorted throug the event by good friend and Spoonfed editor in chief Joe, his wife and their friend who were all experienced Carnival-goers. Thank goodness I had someone to help me navigate the hordes of people (around 1.2 million were expected to have attended over the two days, I believe), the piles of Red Stripe cans, the haze of smoke over the scene and the giant sound systems.
It was, all in all, a rather interesting afternoon and not one I would necessarily want to repeat. That said, it was a pretty amazing event and, as is clear by the turn out, quite a popular one. I can sort of see the appeal. It’s a chance to throw inhibitions to the wind, spend two days surrounded by music and the amazing smells of Caribbean food, and – if you can find the space – dance like there’s nobody watching. My favourite part of the day was our stop off at Gaz’s Rocking Sound System which featured live music in addition to classic Caribbean DJing. Although I only had a short visit to the Notting Hill Carnival, I’m glad I went to check out the mayhem. Take a look at some of the pictures from the day: