London’s Notting Hill Carnival Moves Online

One of Europe’s largest and oldest annual street festivals will still go on this year, but it will be virtual.

Starting Saturday (Aug. 29) and running through Monday (Aug. 31), this year’s Notting Hill Carnival, a London tradition since the 1960’s, can be enjoyed online and in 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,” wrote Natasha David, Google Arts & Culture program manager on the company’s blog.

This year, David said, Notting Hill Carnival organizers are bringing the spirit through live streams available on YouTube as well as through Google Arts & Culture. 

The festival will feature live streaming music, steel drums, dance performances and DJ sets. New this year because it’s online, viewers will be able to meet some of the people who work year-round to make the performances a reality.

Allyson Williams, a former National Health Service nurse and band leader, will be on hand to celebrate 40 years of performing at the 2020 event.

Fiona Compton, a historian and Carnival ambassador, will share the origins of jerk chicken and steel pan drums.

Photographer Misan Harriman has released a series of more than 200 photographs taken at last year’s Carnival. “The Last Dance” is described as a stunning series of portraits showcasing carnival goers on the streets of Notting Hill.

To see the collection go to: and checkout the live stream on YouTube over the weekend.

Last week, PYMNTS reported the COVID-19 era has reversed lot of traditions as they make their virtual/digital debuts.

For example, New York City’s Fourth of July fireworks were scrapped in favor of smaller, five-minute mini-displays citywide to discourage crowds.

Macy’s has confirmed its Thanksgiving Day parade will go on but it will be reimagined. Organizers won’t say what they plan to do. But Mayor Bill de Blasio had a few ideas when he recently announced the modified parade.

Some of the parade will likely be virtual, he said, while other parts will involve small, in-person events spread throughout the city.

“It’s not going to look at all, of course, like what we are used to,” de Blasio said. “But the important thing is the traditions will be kept in some way.”