Hackney Carnival is a roaring success
Flags, costumes and lashings of colour filled the streets of the borough for Hackney Carnival as a record 60,000 people partied under the sun on 9 September.
The crowds whooped and cheered as 1,000 performers in 28 groups from around the world – including Bolivia, Ghana and Senegal – shimmied around the borough, starting and finishing at Queensbridge Road.
Dancer Yvette, 49, said: “I’m very excited about today. I love celebrating and everyone being together. It’s really nice to get the whole community together.”
Lizards, lions, a huge snake and a Chinese dragon were part of the amazing costumes on display. Para-Carnival performers dressed as royalty, while Faggamuffin Bloc Party – the first carnival sound system run and curated by queer people of colour – joined six other systems in pumping out tunes.
As the carnival groups – inspired by the theme ‘iconic Hackney’ – danced past judges in Hackney Town Hall Square, there were extra big cheers for local groups such as Jamboulay, GAHU Dramatics and Tropical Isles.
Jorge Gonzales, 65, said: “I have come down to carnival every year for a long time now since my children moved away. Every year I have seen the festival grow and more and more
people come to Hackney to celebrate. I love it because it’s a nice day with lots of friends and happiness – and I feel less lonely. I see my community together with nice vibes and nice smiles, and it makes me happy.”
It’s so exciting to see even more residents each year coming out to experience Hackney Carnival. The quality of the costumes, the colours are fantastic, the joy massive!
The Carnival presented its biggest line-up of sound systems ever, with seven sound stages – hosting a diverse roster of DJs – blaring out tunes across the borough. Alongside the procession and sound-systems there were two pop-up play areas and an all day live music stage in Gillett Sq.
Legendary reggae star Earl 16 headlined the stage, and got the crowd dancing with his infectious energy. One fan Agrippa Goredema said: “I can’t believe I have experienced this legendary reggae star for free in my own local community. I’m still excited!”
Well done to everyone involved in the biggest Hackney Carnival of all time! What an amazing atmosphere, a fitting celebration of the borough’s diverse community!
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 is directed by Global Carnivalz.