After the disappointment of last year’s cancellation, Kingston Carnival is back on September 6 and it’s set to be properly brilliant.

Here’s 11 reasons why 2015’s Kingston Carnival should be totally awesome.

Because it’s happening at all

Last year’s cancellation amid safety concerns – did it get too big? – was a low-point so we should thank our lucky stars the carnival is going ahead this year. It’s not been an easy road for its supporters but they got behind the event – more than 700 people signed a petition for its reinstatement – and here it is.

This year, organisers Kingston Race and Equalities Council (KREC) have now announced there will be a focus on up and coming talent and local music acts. 

Last year would have been its 15th year but it was cancelled so this year marks the 15th carnival event – it says a great deal about the love for multiculturalism in a royal borough

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The procession

Obviously. It’s not a carnival without a procession. This year, it departs at noon from the Guildhall through Eden Street along Clarence Street into Market Place and back to Guildhall. Everyone’s welcome to join in. Go to to find out how.

Fun from Notting Hill

Experience a slice of Notting Hill Carnival spirit with performances throughout the day from Latin American beats to Tribo and other carnival vibes and colourful costumes borrowed from Notting Hill.

It’s alcohol-free

Don’t sigh. It’s a family-friendly day celebrating lots of different cultures and while a pint or two can add to an event’s enjoyment, no-one wants to stand next to the drunk guy who has lost all perception of personal space.

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Double vision

One stage isn’t enough for all the entertainment. Alongside the Prabha Shetty main stage in Market Place, the Colin Bloxham Community Stage in the High Street will allow groups from around the borough to show off what they’ve been up to. The diverse list of people taking part include Chinesewise School, Milaap Day Centre, Global Arts Kingston, Sarvoday Hindu Association and Kingston Youth Association.

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The ‘after party’

It’s not officially part of the carnival but Kingston has some great entertainment after the day time event hits its strict 6pm curfew.

The Rose Theatre is hosting huge British band Bring Me the Horizon, whose last London gig was a sell-out at Wembley Arena. Both the evening gig and the marquee names performing at the carnival were organised by Banquet Records.

Your Local Guardian: Akala


Hip hop artist Akala is far from your average rapper. The critically-acclaimed MOBO-winning little brother of Ms Dynamite is a clever guy who performs socially conscious music that draws inspiration from the likes of Orwell and Shakespeare. He knows how to get a crowd rocking better than George or William, though...

Your Local Guardian: BEANS ON TOAST

Beans on Toast

Another of the carnival’s bigger names, witty acoustic-folk-punk singer Beans on Toast tackles everyday subjects and controversy in his songs and has amassed big following. The Essex singer has played Glastonbury Festival every year since 2007. Kingston’s celtic-inspired punk band, who played at the last carnival, will also perform.

And for those worried about some of Beans on Toast’s more fruity lyrics, don’t.

He said: “If it is booked as a family-friendly show I am respectful. I play a set according to what is appropriate and what I have been asked to do.”

Street Theatre

As well as performers on stage, there’ll be acts coming to you with dancers, stilt walkers and musicians among the street performers.

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Something for the kids

Not only will youngsters love the colourful procession, the entertainment and atmosphere, but there will be fun just for them on the lawns of Memorial Gardens Everyday Church and All Saints’ Church. Facepainting, inflatable and games are all part of the attractions to keep them happy.

You helped fund it

It’s always more rewarding to enjoy something you helped to create. This year, carnivalgoers  have been able to help fund the event. Organiser Kingston Race and Equalities Council set up a page to let people donate. As an example, £10 pays for a steward for an hour, so there’s plenty of giving required. Go to

Find out more about the carnival at