Notting Hill Carnival will be “off the streets” in 2021 as the event cancels its upcoming edition due to ongoing COVID-19 worries.
It will be the second year running that the legendary August bank holiday celebration has been cancelled, with its 2020 edition being the first carnival to be cancelled in 50 years.
In a statement confirming the 2021 cancellation, the team behind the event said: “After lengthy consultations with our strategic partners, our Advisory Council and individual participating bands and sound systems, the board of Notting Hill Carnival Ltd, the organising body of Notting Hill Carnival, has decided that this year’s Carnival will not be on the streets due to the ongoing uncertainty and risk COVID-19 poses.
“This has been an incredibly difficult decision to make. Everyone involved in the event desperately wants a return to the road where Carnival belongs but safety has to come first and with the latest cautious announcement on the government’s ‘roadmap’, this is the only way to ensure that.”
NHC PUBLIC ANNOUNCEMENT
We have an update for you regarding NHC 2021.
Please see our official statement from the NHC Board of Directors pic.twitter.com/02g2l3uWzE
— Notting Hill Carnival (@NHCarnivalLDN) June 18, 2021
The statement added: “In making this decision, we have considered our responsibilities to deliver a safe, spectacular, successful and sustainable Carnival. The conclusion is that with so much uncertainty, with time short for Carnivalists to prepare and the risk of eventual cancellation a real possibility, we must refocus our efforts for 2021.
The carnival went on to add that they are “working towards alternate events” for the 2021 edition “that will allow everyone to safely celebrate everything Notting Hill Carnival stands for”. Announcements on such events are set to be announced soon.
“Going forward, we will be working with Carnivalists toward the greatest ever Notting Hill Carnival for 2022,” the statement concluded.
Many live events this summer are now in jeopardy after the government this week announced a delay to the planned June 21 reopening. All restrictions on social gatherings are now set to be lifted on July 19.
Music venue bosses are also now calling on the government for urgent clarity and support to help them survive until July 19, with venues set to lose £36million in the month-long delay. Live music organisation LIVE have said the delay could “irreversibly damage” the UK live music industry.