Notting Hill Carnival has introduced a hardship fund to support performers who have been affected by the event’s cancellation.
The Carnival Trust Fund will be used to support the “carnival community”, which includes bands, artists and soundsystems set to feature at this year’s street party. The organisers hope it will provide a financial safety net for those who otherwise may have had to stop performing.
Sales from Ishmahil Blagrove Jr. and Margaret Busby’s book ‘Carnival: A Photographic and Testimonial History of the Notting Hill Carnival’ will contribute to the fund, alongside proceeds from a series of smaller-scale live events.
The cancellation of Notting Hill Carnival 2021 was announced last month, amid concerns surrounding coronavirus.
In a statement, the board announced that “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.”
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The annual West London event, which usually takes place on August Bank Holiday weekend, has now been cancelled for two years in a row.
Last year, the organisers presented an alternative digital Carnival for the first time in its 54-year history. Artists pre-recorded live sets whilst organisers conducted interviews with sound system operators and offered instructions for people to make Caribbean dishes from home.
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As in 2020, this summer’s Notting Hill Carnival will take place in an online format that represents what the celebration stands for. Further details are to be released in the coming weeks.
Organisers hope to see the festival return to the streets in 2022.
Safi Bugel is Mixmag's Digital Intern, follow her on Twitter