Coronavirus: Hackney Carnival parade will sadly not go ahead as Council focuses on pandemic response


This year’s Hackney Carnival parade will sadly not go ahead as the Council and emergency services focus resources over the coming months on responding to the coronavirus pandemic.

The parade, which was planned for September 2020, will be replaced by a digital cultural programme led by the grassroots carnival groups and organisations who regularly partake who will still receive planned funding. Proposals are already being shaped and details and timings will soon be announced. 

The decision was taken so that the Council, emergency services and other public bodies could focus resources over the next few months on delivering vital services to those who need them most – rather than on the significant planning, production and rehearsal that goes into each year’s parade.

Philip Glanville, Mayor of Hackney, said: “Hackney Carnival is a major and important event and a time we look forward to sharing and enjoying each other’s cultures in event spaces and on our streets. In the face of the coronavirus pandemic, we have to do what’s right for the safety of our community and resilience as a borough. While this is sad news, we will safeguard funding for some of the finest carnival groups in London and use our creative energies to produce an alternative program that still brings us together.

“We have already been in touch with the many stakeholders and groups who work hard to deliver this valuable event to explain our decision. We thank them all for their understanding – as well as their creativity, as we adapt our initial plans.

“Hackney Carnival is a celebration of the borough’s diverse community and this spirit will continue as we shape this year’s alternative programme, and as we plan for a spectacular comeback for Carnival 2021.”
Philip Glanville, Mayor of Hackney

Last year’s Hackney Carnival attracted over 80,000 people making it the largest event of the borough’s cultural calendar. The months leading up to Hackney Carnival are critical to the operational planning, making and rehearsing that makes the event a year on year success.

All partners have agreed that continuing this work would place carnival groups at risk at a time where community safety and health comes first. The decision is not related to any public health restrictions that could be in place in September.

For more information on the Council’s Cultural Development Team’s response to the coronavirus pandemic and their ongoing support to Hackney’s arts and cultural institutions, venues and organisations, visit hackney.gov.uk/culture

For the latest information about how the Council is working hard to slow the spread of coronavirus and to sign up for email updates, visit hackney.gov.uk/coronavirus 


Notes for editors 

Like the Hackney Carnival Facebook Page to keep up to date with announcements.

Images of Carnival 2019 are available to view on the Hackney Council Flickr account.