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Google Arts and Culture brings Europe’s largest street festival online

August 28th, 2020

Europe’s largest annual street festival, held in the Notting Hill neighborhood of London, has taken place every year since the 1960s. For the first time ever, this year’s edition will take place online and in people’s living rooms. But celebrating from our homes doesn’t mean any less Carnival spirit—and in fact, the new format means people from around the world can join.

For 2020, Notting Hill Carnival organizers are bringing the spirit online throughout the weekend. Just in time for the bank holiday weekend, people around the world can experience Notting Hill Carnival on live streams and discover some of the history behind the event. From August 29 through August 31, the live streams will be available on YouTube as well as throughGoogle Arts & Culture.

To accompany live streaming music, dance performances, and DJ sets, you can now explore more of the story behind Carnival and its roots on Google Arts & Culture. Find out about the elements that form the basis of Carnival every year, from steel drums to sound systems, and meet some of the people who work year-round to bring the performances together. Allyson Williams MBE is a former NHS nurse and bandleader who would have been celebrating 40 years of performing at the 2020 event. And historian and Carnival ambassadorFiona Compton shares the origins of jerk chicken and steel pan drums. Both Carnival regulars will be participating in this year’s new online format.

Google Arts and Culture brings Europe's largest street festival online
Carl Gabriel
Credit: Aziz Vora
Google Arts and Culture brings Europe's largest street festival online
Ebony Steelband at Notting Hill Carnival in the 80s
Credit: Notting Hill Carnival Ltd.
Google Arts and Culture brings Europe's largest street festival online
Photograph of a dancer at Notting Hill Carnival
Credit: Notting Hill Carnival Ltd.
Google Arts and Culture brings Europe's largest street festival online
Photograph from Misan Harriman’s “The Last Dance” collection
Credit: Misan Harriman
Google Arts and Culture brings Europe's largest street festival online
Photograph from Misan Harriman’s “The Last Dance” collection
Credit: Misan Harriman

Alongside the Notting Hill Carnival collection, photographer Misan Harriman has released a series of over 200 photographstaken at the 2019 edition of Carnival. The Last Dance is a stunning series of portraits showcasing carefree carnival-goersin the streets of Notting Hill. A poignant sight in the context of current restrictions that prevent communities coming togetherin such numbers.

Whatever your plans are to mark Carnival weekend, there is something for everyone to enjoy. Dive into the Carnival collection at g.co/nottinghillcarnival and watch the live stream on YouTube over the weekend.