Hackney Council criticised over decision to cancel last weekend's Carnival
The event, that was due to take place on Sunday, was cancelled out of respect following the death of Queen Elizabeth II
Hackney Council has received backlash following its decision to cancel this year's Hackney Carnival in response to the death of Queen Elizabeth II.
Following the Queen's death on September 8, a number of public events have chosen to cancel and postpone as a mark of respect — though there is an official "mourning period" in place it is at the discretion of organisers if they want to go ahead or not.
Hackney Council announced that the carnival would not go ahead on Friday, September 9, in a statement on Twitter, writing: "Hackney Council has regretfully announced the cancellation of Hackney Carnival, on Sunday 11 September — as the nation enters an official 10-day period of mourning to observe the loss of its longest-serving monarch.”
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“The Council is exploring whether it is feasible to hold the carnival at a later date this year and will honour all payments to Carnival suppliers,” The carnival concluded.
Criticisms around the decision included that the event was cancelled with just 48 hours' notice, the significance of cancelling a celebration of Carribean culture following the death of a symbol of colonial power and the cancellation of the first Carnival since COVID.
Comments on the Instagram announcement included: “You were under no obligation to cancel, and doing so with two days' notice for vendors and attendees is absolutely cruel."
"All this for a monarch with current colonies in the Caribbean still now. Let people mourn or celebrate as they wish and traditionally do during a carnival. It is indeed a regretful and a spineless decision to cancel.”
According to the BBC, Mayor of Hackney Philip Glanville said the council "regretfully" made the decision to cancel the event. "We'll be looking at whether it is feasible to hold carnival at a later date this year, or if we can showcase the artists' work in another way.
"We know many people will feel extremely disappointed, and we are sorry for the sadness and upset this will cause."
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Many took to Twitter to air their greviences over the decision:
Cancelling events with less than 48 hours notice, after small businesses have already prepped to cater for 300 people, is not a good look https://t.co/YXayytLzxv— Mike P Williams (@Mike_P_Williams) September 9, 2022
It’s really not clear who decisions like this serve, but patently obvious who they have a huge, negative, wasteful impact on. https://t.co/4G6FORfqqZ— Will Pritchard (@wf_pritchard) September 9, 2022
What the actual fuck? https://t.co/hGthce16jB— SHERELLE aka CHEEKS 🌐 (@iamsherelle) September 9, 2022
Or just let carnival happen? Its really not that deep cos who said we was mourning ? https://t.co/mbM5u8ISOM— . (@jsg_xo) September 9, 2022
This is a mistake. I am sure many people have already made financial preparation’s that cannot be canceled and will lead to a financial loss I understand the sentiment but it’s still a mistake https://t.co/rsgIdOmUps— Dovid Tzvi Sorotzkin (@DovidSorotzkin) September 9, 2022
this is such bullshit https://t.co/kSjyMF27Xo— senorita ugly (@bex_bambi) September 9, 2022
A petition has now been launched to reinstate Hackney Carnival with the statement behind the cause reading: "People from the local community have spent countless hours and money on preparing for this event which will now go to waste. There is also no guarantee as of yet if the event could even be rescheduled this year.
"This is the wrong decision to make — local small businesses will suffer and people who are already struggling. If the council wishes to mark the death of the Queen then an appropriate act of remembrance during the event would be a more measured approach."
Check out the petition here.
Becky Buckle is Mixmag's Video and Editorial Assistant, follow her on Twitter