Thousands enjoy the atmosphere at Hackney Carnival 2019
Crowds gathered to celebrate the biggest Carnival the borough has seen, as final figures are still to be confirmed but attendance is estimated to be well above last year’s 60,000 at Hackney Carnival on 8 September.
The borough was awash with colour as the streets were filled with dancers, entertainers, elaborate mas costumes, food stalls, children’s areas and multiple sound stations.
The crowd danced and sang along as the 25 Carnival groups representing countries from around the world, grooved their way through a new route starting on Mare Street, turning left onto Graham Road and down Queensbridge road before turning back towards London Fields to end on Lansdowne Drive.
Peacocks, a lion, a cow and even a huge pig were a part of the amazing costumes on display. Para-Carnival performers were dressed in green, waving banners reading “save the Amazon” in representation of the ‘sustainability’ theme.
New for this year, the Carnival Village was a great success and included seven sound stages based around the Hackney Central area, including the Faggamuffin Bloc Party in Bohemia Place – the sound system run and curated by queer people of colour.
The Carnival also presented its biggest line-up on the live stage ever with lively entertainment from Jah Bunny, DJ Green Papi, local gospel choirs and a special performance from King of African electronic music and Rap, Ata Kak.
Pax Nindi, Founder of Global Carnival Centre and Hackney Carnival Artistic Director: “It’s so exciting to see so many residents coming out to experience Hackney Carnival. The atmosphere is electric, the costumes just keep on getting better, and the colours are fantastic. It’s an absolute joy!”
As the Carnival groups danced past judges in Hackney Town Hall Square, there were some crowd favourites who received extra applause and big cheers. Including local groups Jamboulay, GAHU Dramatics, Dimensions and Tropical Isles.
A huge congratulations to everyone involved in the biggest Hackney Carnival of all time! What an amazing atmosphere, a fitting celebration of the borough’s diverse community!
Cllr Kam Adams, Speaker of Hackney said: “A huge congratulations to everyone involved in the biggest Hackney Carnival of all time! What an amazing atmosphere, a fitting celebration of the borough’s diverse community!”
This year’s Carnival was also the greenest yet, with multiple waste disposal points, traders operating with minimal plastic waste and people encouraged to bring reusable bottles to top up at free water stations.
Dancer, Ken Hinds 60, said: “Hackney Carnival is a beautiful mix of different cultures, backgrounds and demographics expressing themselves all in their own unique way. It’s a great celebration and I love being apart of it year after year.”
Anna Nijie, who attended with the partner and three children said: It’s a very good family feel, our children love Disco Loco, it’s great to see them having fun and enjoying the music in a safe environment.”
Hackney Carnival is funded by Hackney Council and Arts Council England. It is organised by the borough’s culture team together with local Carnival groups and artistic direction is provided by Global Carnivalz.
Partners include Transport for London, Second Screen, Dukeminster, St John at Hackney, Tesco and Shoreditch Town Hall.
For a full range of pictures please visit: https://flic.kr/s/aHsmGPUMRG