Hackney Carnival at Home returns for a summer of Carnival fun



Hackney Carnival at Home returns with a summer-long community engagement programme in the run-up to an online gala event filmed at the Hackney Empire in September, followed by a Virtual Carnival weekend of live-streamed fun. 

Hackney Carnival is now appealing to residents to help build on last year’s success via a community engagement programme that gives residents the opportunity to participate in a range of online and at-home activities hosted by Hackney’s loyal and talented Carnival groups. 

Are your dance moves or song-writing lyrics award-worthy? Or perhaps you're a dab-hand at whipping up a carnival flag or knocking out some bunting ready for carnival weekend?

Seven Hackney schools have already got involved during National Children’s Carnival Week (12-17 July) and made public artworks to be displayed in Hackney Central, Dalston and Shoreditch during 12-19 September. Look out for these artworks reflecting the diversity of carnival traditions portrayed at the carnival. 

Residents can get involved in one of two ways: 

  • Hackney Soca Challenge

Love showing off your dance moves or know how to write a catchy lyric? Enter the Hackney Soca Challenge by sending in a film of your dance moves, or audio of your singing, to the specially-made Soca track Tamba Carnival. 

Tamba Carnival is not your typical Soca tune as it features various musical influences and styles including Latin percussions, Soca singing by Martinique born Soca artist Scrappy and Zimbabwean lyrics by carnival producer Pax Nindi.

Visit lovehackney.uk/soca-challenge to hear the track and find out how to enter. 

  • Free Carnival craft kits to make your own carnival flag at home

If you want to express your love for Hackney Carnival by creating a carnival flag to display outside your home, simply pick up a free carnival craft kit from one of Hackney’s libraries available from mid-August. Each kit comes with full instructions and is suitable for beginners. Pictures of your flags can then be shared on the Hackney Carnival Instagram account for all to see. 

Hackney Carnival remains one of the largest annual events of the borough’s cultural calendar and even in the pandemic, and against lockdown restrictions, has managed to bring people together to celebrate Hackney’s proud diversity and the extraordinary creativity of its residents. 

Hackney Carnival at Home looks forward to building on last year’s success, which saw people tune in from across the world, with an even more extensive and participation-focused series of events which will give everyone something to look forward to this summer. 

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Notes to editors

Visit the Hackney Council Flickr account for more images of National Carnival Week. 

For more information visit lovehackney.uk/carnival 

Follow Hackney Carnival on Instagram: @hackney_carnival and Facebook: facebook.com/hackneycarnival

Four carnival producers are collaborating on the production of Hackney Carnival with Hackney’s many diverse carnival groups. The co-producers previously collaborated on the Hackney Carnival at Home project in 2020. They are:

Pax Nindi, international Carnival consultant. CEO of 'Global Carnivalz' who wrote the Arts Council’s National Carnival Strategy. He has over 40 years of experience in delivering carnival projects in the UK and abroad. He is the Vice President of the World Carnival Commission and was the Creative Director for the Hackney Carnival from 2014-2019 and directed Hackney Virtual Carnival 2020.

Deborah Mullins, an arts consultant and creative producer. She is the founder, and from 1980 to 2019, the Artistic Director of Emergency Exit Arts (EEA). Deborah has 20 years of working at a senior management level in carnival. 

Manuela Benini, a carnival artist and producer and has delivered large-scale projects involving mass participation and carnivals all over the world. She has worked with Mandinga Arts, Shademakers, Walk the Plank, Festive Road, Rio and Olinda Carnivals (Brazil) and Transform Carnival (India, Brazil and Greece), to name just a few organisations.

Marva Antoine, a carnival artist and Managing Artistic Director for the award-winning, Hackney-based carnival group Tropical Isles. Marva has established Tropical Isles as a creative hub of excellence for carnivals in Hackney, which now plays a key role in the regeneration of the area around its carnival studio in De Beauvoir.

Participating schools include:

  • Millfields Primary School
  • Morningside Primary School and Children’s Centre
  • Betty Layward Primary School
  • Randal Cremer Primary School
  • Colvestone Primary School
  • St Paul’s with St Michael’s Primary School
  • Springfield Primary School

Participating elders groups include:

  • Uprising
  • Hackney Caribbean Elders

Hackney Carnival is funded and organised by Hackney Council.