Hackney Carnival

Hackney Carnival took place on Sunday 9 September, from 12 noon-8pm.

For ongoing updates see our Hackney Carnival Facebook page.

Route and times

The procession travelled along Queensbridge Road, Richmond Road, Mare Street, Amhurst Road and Dalston Lane, 1.30-5pm. As well as the procession, there was:

  • a pop-up play area in Gillett Square
  • street entertainment in Hackney Town Hall Square, featuring the Hackney Playbus, a Chinese lion dance and performances by Hoxton Hall, Access All Areas, Band Off the Wall and DJ Debbie Outerglobe
  • five sound systems and food stalls in Ridley Road
  • Carnival judging in the Town Hall Square
  • sound system in Bradbury Street
  • sound system in Bohemia Place
  • live music in Gillett Square


Carnival groups

This year's parade entries were inspired by the theme 'iconic Hackney'. The procession is started at Queensbridge Road and passed through Richmond Road, Mare Street, Amhurst Road and Dalston Lane. 

This year's carnival group procession running order:

  1. VIP Carnival Bus
  2. UFO Steel Band
  3. Carnival Elders Float
  4. Blema Dancers
  5. Caporales San Simon
  6. Mandinga Arts
  7. Unity No Nonsense
  8. Pan Vibes
  9. People of Paradise
  10. Urban Touch
  11. Iconic Hackney Group
  12. Jun Mo Generation
  13. Dende Samba Reggae
  14. GAHU Dramatics
  15. Yaram Lions
  16. Paracarnical CIC
  17. Paraiso School of Samba
  18. Heritage Social Arts
  19. Soca Sagaboys
  20. Jamboulay Carnival Arts
  21. Dimensions London
  22. Tropical Isles
  23. Soca Massive
  24. Peace In The Street Network
  25. Notting Hill CAMF Troupe
  26. Elimu Mas Band NHC Float 2
  27. NHC Float 3
  28. The Crib

Sound systems

Carnival celebrations are traditionally famous for the sound systems and DJ collectives that can be as big a draw as the procession itself. This year, we were pleased to present our biggest, and most diverse line-up of sound systems ever.

Most are based in the Dalston area, but new kid on the block Faggamuffin Bloc Party, in Hackney Central, made history as the carnival's first ever sound system run and curated by queer people of colour.

  • Solution Sound System Roots: reggae and dub in Ridley Road, Dalston
  • NTS Radio: urban, R&B, reggae, soca in Ridley Road, Dalston
  • First Class Sound: 70s dub, old and new reggae in Ridley Road, Dalston
  • Jah Prophecy: roots reggae in Ridley Road, Dalston
  • Dubson Sounds: drum 'n' bass in Ridley Road, Dalston
  • Bradbury Street Party Sound System: world music and reggae in Bradbury Street, Dalston
  • Faggamuffin Bloc Party: bashment, dancehall, grime, soca, calypso, R&B, hip hop, UK funky, Jersey club and future beats in Bohemia Place, Hackney Central

Ridley Road

Sound systems and stalls will be based in Ridley Road.

Gillett Square

This year, there were local bands alongside the headline act, legendary reggae star Earl 16.

  • 12 noon: Visual Ministry gospel choir - one of the UK's finest gospel choirs, the Visual Ministry Gospel Choir kicks off the programme with powerfully dynamic and life affirming songs
  • 12-3pm: DJ Green Papi - DJ Green Papi brings an eclectic selection of mainstream danceable beats, seasoned with the heady essence of his Cuban/Caribbean roots
  • 1pm: The Baytrees - the Baytrees are a four-piece electric groove band from Brixton, formerly known as The Thirst
  • 1.40pm: Chanel Brown - AKA BittaSweet, Chanel Brown is an aspiring singer, songwriter, model and actress delivering some of her best tunes and says she can't wait to bless the stage
  • 2pm: Scrappy - since his debut in 2005, Monserrat-born Scrappy has consistently released hits year on year, making him one of the most popular soca artists in UK
  • 2.45pm: M2K Entertainment - one of the most entertaining duos on the radio, spinning the best of Afrobeat, Kenrick and Ryan (inset) are coming back in Gillett Square due to popular demand
  • 3.30pm: Afrospot All Stars - all about the joyous sound of Highlife, the indigenous, authentic dance music of West Africa, infusing the rhythms of Togo, Ghana and Benin with jazz influences
  • 4.15pm: DJs from Community Hi Fi Soundsystem - spinning some serious roots reggae from the past and special dubplates
  • 5.15pm: Kasa├» Masa├» - brings the traditional sound of remote Congolese villages to Dalston's town centre, marrying vintage grooves with contemporary dance music
  • 6pm: Belly to Belly Soundsystem - Hackney's very own Belly to Belly Soundsystem will be playing late 70s and early 80s roots reggae on vinyl
  • 6.15pm: Earl 16 - legendary reggae star; the cracked falsetto of his voice makes him an unforgettable artist and has established him as a major figure in reggae and contemporary dance scenes
  • 7.30pm: DJ explosion - a final set from all the DJs who have played earlier sets, showcasing different genres including roots reggae, Afrobeat, dub and world music

Town Hall Square 

  • street entertainment in Hackney Town Hall Square featured the Hackney Playbus, a Chinese lion dance and performances by Hoxton Hall, Access All Areas, Band Off the Wall and DJ Debbie Outerglobe
  • the Carnival was judged in the Town Hall Square, 3-5pm

Sponsors and funders

Hackney Council is working in partnership with Arts Council England, Global Carnivalz, Transport for London, Shoreditch Town Hall and Hackney Walk.

Last year's carnival

The Hackney Carnival took place on Sunday 10 September 2017 with spectacular costumes, energetic dance, sound systems and live music from around the world. More than 23 carnival and community groups joined residents in celebration of Hackney's thriving cultures and outstanding creativity in a procession weaving its way throughout the borough. The carnival also featured play areas in Gillett Square and the Town Hall square, a live stage at Gillett Square and a party at Ridley Road with sound systems, global food, arts and crafts. For further information about last year's carnival, see the Hackney Carnival Facebook page.

Hackney One Carnival 2016

Page updated: 04/12/2018 10:43:56