Hackney

Culture: Soca, Feathers And Grinding At Hackney Carnival 2018

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Sunday the 9th of September was a party day for Hackney this year. Although it sits in the shadow of Europes largest, loudest and booty-iest carnival over in west London in late August, Hackney is a smaller but far more local affair. The sun shone, the outfits were outrageous and the vibe was youthful and eclectic. Imagine groups of teens whistling and dancing, families waving from the sides and the occasional eccentric middle-aged boogie queen who shows us all how it’s done….check her out.

 
 

Unlike Notting Hill, what makes the Hackney Carnival so special is that it’s more diverse, don’t get me wrong there’s still plenty of soca music but also floats representing a much broader array of cultures from Asia, South America and the common sounds of the West Indies. The carnival sound systems organiser also promotes diversity in sexuality and the representation of LGBT in London. You can read these thought-provoking posters found outside The Night Tales sound system near the Hackney Central train arches….

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Slow motion always makes things a little strange…

Here is 45 seconds of unedited carnival carnage. The sun was setting in front of the Hackney empire and energy was rampant; dancers posing, crowds passing and one guy who just stood in front of the shot, thanks mate!

Part mermaid, part dolphin and lion whisperer

Part mermaid, part dolphin and lion whisperer

The epic purple swan

The epic purple swan

Rarely the best of friends in the wild, this bird and snake seem to be getting on just fine here

Rarely the best of friends in the wild, this bird and snake seem to be getting on just fine here

At 3 meters in diameter, this lady did a lot of spinning to show off the span of her dress.

At 3 meters in diameter, this lady did a lot of spinning to show off the span of her dress.

The tiny hot pants award goes to… we really digged this guys get-up!

The tiny hot pants award goes to… we really digged this guys get-up!

A carnival beauty, bird of paradise.

A carnival beauty, bird of paradise.

Robot snake man on wheels…

Robot snake man on wheels…

Hackney Carnival is a growing event but it definitely has a different vibe to Notting Hill. Firstly, there’s very few police, which can add an edgy feel at Notting Hill. The music and floats are more diverse and there is en excellent representation of the different cultures in Hackney. There’s never a shortage of people who like to enjoy themselves in Hackney, but ever-so often they are the nighttime people. It’s was great to see some daytime party vibes with residents out on the streets chatting, dancing and having fun. We definitely felt like we were surrounded by neighbours rather than strangers as is the case at Notting Hill. So when September 2019 starts calling, remember to get yourselves down to Hackney for some local carnival action. You might even catch me in some cheeky hot pants!

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(finders keepers)

 
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