More than 60,000 joined in the celebrations at the biggest and most eco-friendly Hackney Carnival to date.
Revellers danced their way from Mare Street to Lansdowne Drive at London Fields.
This year’s Carnival theme was global sustainability. Para-Carnival performers, dressed in green, waved “save the Amazon” banners, whilst the council provided multiple waste disposal points to boost recycling and free water stations at eight locations to encourage people to top up reusable bottles.
Over 25 carnival groups took part as the streets filled with dancers, entertainers, food stalls, and coulourful costumes including peacocks, a lion, a cow and a huge pig.
“Hackney Carnival is a beautiful mix of different cultures, backgrounds and demographics expressing themselves all in their own unique way,” said 60 year old dancer Ken Hinds.
“It’s a great celebration and I love being apart of it year after year. It’s so exciting to see so many residents coming out to experience Hackney Carnival,” he added.
“The atmosphere is electric, the costumes just keep on getting better, and the colours are fantastic. It’s an absolute joy,” said Pax Nindi, the carnival’s artistic director in a statement to the press.
The live stage was graced by its biggest line-up ever, including local gospel choirs, King of African and Ata Atak Unplugged and Cuban DJ Green Papi.
The Carnival Village, a new addition this year, featured seven sound stages (systems) including the “humourous and visible queer” Faggamuffin Bloc Party, who state that their “mission is to stake our claim to carnival, affirming our identities and showing pride in our visibility as Queer People of Colour”.
Disco Loco at St John’s Kids Playground was also a hit: “It’s a very good family feel, our children love Disco Loco. It’s great to see them having fun and enjoying the music in a safe environment,” said Anna Nijie, mother of three.
Hackney’s Speaker, Cllr Kam Adams, said the carnival was “a fitting celebration of the borough’s diverse community.”
Eco-friendly measures were taken as part of the Town Hall’s commitment to reduce the amount of plastic waste generated in the borough and to encourage people to think about their impact on the planet.
Traders operated with minimal plastic waste, whilst marketing and promotional materials at the events were made with minimal plastic components, said the council. Renewable vegetable oil generators that do not emit greenhouse gases were also used to power PA systems on floats.
“As a council, we've committed to some of the most ambitious actions of any local authority in the country to reduce waste and emissions,” said Cllr Jon Burke.
Future Carnivals will keep the sustainability theme at the heart of the event.