Watch the Hackney Carnival at Home Gala 2021

Filmed live from the Hackney Empire stage, watch part 1 and part 2 of the Hackney Carnival at Home Gala 2021.

Building on the success of the Hackney Carnival at Home in 2020, this year’s Hackney Carnival celebration is taking place online from 12-19 September via the Hackney Carnival Facebook page.

The festivities began with the first ever Carnival Gala event live streamed from the Hackney Empire on Sunday 12 September.

The Gala, presented by MC Paigey Cakey, provided an insight into the diversity of carnival themes and the cultural traditions of the groups and communities which take part. 

Carnival groups, including those from Bolivia, Brazil, the Caribbean, Ghana and Senegal, featuring artists of all ages and abilities including children from Morningside and Colvestone Primary Schools, showcased different themes at the Gala influenced by their cultural roots. The diversity of themes and cultural traditions were celebrated through costumes, song, dance, and live steel pan music. 

The groups and their themes were: Tropical Isles presenting ‘Serenity: The Mother of Peace’; Jamboulay Carnival Arts presenting ‘Mamaguy, The Spider and the fly’; Mi Viejo San Simon presenting ‘The Bolivian Caporal Dance’; Unity Carnival and Cultural Arts presenting ‘Windrush Child’; Taru Arts and Morningside Primary School presenting ‘Colours of the World’; Pan Vibration presenting ‘Carnival Lives Matter; Paracarnival presenting ‘11 Years Anniversary Rally’; Dimensions and Colvestone Primary School presenting ‘Swinging 20s’; Gahu Dramatic Arts presenting ‘A New Day Dawns’; Soca Massive Fancy Sailors Carnival Band presenting ;Tropical Sunrise’; Yaram Arts presenting ‘Zimba and her Cubs’; Urban Touch presenting ‘Rebirth’; Pantonic Steel Orchestra presenting ‘Soca Love’.

In addition, many young soca artists contributed to the show, including Adelaide Mckenzie, SunDivas, Simbaarley and Desire.


The Hackney Carnival Gala was organised by the following team:

  • Producer: Marva Antoine 
  • Associate Producer: Angela Duncan Thompson
  • Production Manager: Pembe Tokluhan
  • Live Stream: Hackney Empire

Marva Antoine is 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 carnival in Hackney, which now plays a key role in the regeneration of the area around its carnival studio in De Beauvoir.