Back in May, for the first time in its 54-year history, the organisers behind Notting Hill Carnival made the tough and heart-breaking decision to cancel this year's edition to co-operate with social distancing rules and do their bit not to spread the virus through the capital more than it already has.
As crushing as it was to lose what is the central event in most Londoners' calendars, all is not lost. The annual West London mega-carnival may not be taking over our capital, but there's still a way you can enjoy it this year. Today, it's been announced that the steel bands, soundsystems and dancers are taking their joyous parades and floats online for another first in Carnival history. And while it's still gutting that we won't be able to enjoy all the top-tier food we love so much, we can at least get an opportunity to enjoy the spirit of Carnival in all its effervescent, technicolour glory.
Running from Saturday 29th August to Monday 31st August, the online 'Access All Areas' event will include all the steelpan, calypso, soca and Mas crews that make Notting Hill Carnival one of the most celebrated on the planet.
Among the soundsystems on the bill are Volcano, Arts-A-Light, Disya Jeneration, Gaz's Rockin Blues, Seduction City, KCC & The Rockin Crew, King Tubby's, Love TKO, Mark Ross, Rampage, Rough But Sweet, G T Flex Roadshow, CMC Matrix and Solution Sound. While the worlds of calypso and soca will be represented by the likes of Ms Desire, Brown Sugar, Rev B, and many, many more. There'll also be steelpan bands including Panash, Pan Nation, Panectar, Mangrove, Ebony, St Michaels and All Angels, to name just a small few. And, of course, the eye-popping world of Mas will be brought the online space by some of Carnival's most iconic crews such as Mangrove Mas, Tropical Fusion, Ebony Mas, The Bride Outreach, and countless others.
You can find out more information about the line-ups and where to enjoy it here.