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  1. ITV Report

Notting Hill Carnival 2020: Event cancelled for the first time ever

Notting Hill Carnival has been cancelled for the first time ever because of the ongoing coronavirus crisis.

Organisers said safety had to come first and they would work instead on an alternate event, bringing the spirit of carnival to people's homes.

Like all events around the world, the COVID-19 pandemic has meant that Notting Hill Carnival has faced many challenges this year.

After lengthy consultations with our strategic partners and our Advisory Council, the Board has taken the decision that this year’s Carnival will not take place on the streets of Notting Hill as it has done for over 50 years.

This will also mean that Panorama, the annual steelband competition, will not take place.

Notting Hill Carnival was founded to bring people together during trying times, and we intend to continue that legacy.

We are working towards an alternate NHC 2020 that we hope will bring the Carnival spirit to people from the safety of their homes, and make them feel connected and engaged.

– Notting Hill Carnival statement

Organisers said it had not been an easy decision but they had to face the reality of the global pandemic.

We also have no wish to place extra strain on our colleagues at St John Ambulance and the NHS.

We, of course, work very closely with them for Carnival and want to take this opportunity to express our utmost respect, admiration and gratitude for their work.

We are still at the early stages of planning for Notting Hill Carnival 2020 in its temporary form. We will share more information on how it will take shape soon. We will now be working closely with our partners, the Carnival community and others to deliver a celebration of Carnival culture and arts for the whole nation over the August bank holiday weekend.

We look forward to welcoming you back to the streets of Notting Hill in 2021.

– Notting Hill Carnival statement

Last year more than one million people attended the August Bank Holiday carnival which has been held in west London since the mid 1960s.

It’s a great shame that Notting Hill Carnival will not be celebrated on our streets this year, but the Board has made the right decision to change the format of this year’s event for the good of everyone’s health.

The community-organised carnival has grown to be the biggest in Europe, a true celebration of our diversity and a real highlight of our year, but it would not be appropriate to have more than a million people physically joining together in August.

We will work with the community to celebrate carnival in a creative and safe way, keeping carnival’s unifying spirit alive, and look forward to when we can unite again on the streets of London.

– Sadiq Khan, Mayor of London