How to step across Notting Hill Carnival like a pro? Well, there’s an app for that…
Lead image by Niall Green
It’s the biggest street party in Europe and the second biggest carnival in the world after Rio, so it’s worth heading to Notting Hill with a little knowledge… like, where are the loos?
Notting Hill Carnival has once again collaborated with London-based event app developer Second Screen to create their essential digital companion for the August Bank Holiday weekend.
The app, which is available to download for iPhone and Android now, is full of Carnival information, including, for the first time ever, every one of the Carnival’s many vibrant food stalls complete with helpful information for those with dietary requirements – praise be veggies, vegans, coeliacs and those who need to know where their closest jerk chicken stall is at all times!
In fact, the app is home to two detailed maps that will help you traverse the event like a seasoned carnivalist – as well as the street food trader map, there’s a map to help you find the loos – essential knowledge if you hit the Red Stripes at midday (drink sensibly please, folk).
The maps also shows the parade route, stages and sound systems, as well as quiet areas when you need to chill. GPS tracking will also give you up-to-the-minute information on the whereabouts of each float.
Plus, on the eve of Carnival, at the annual Panorama steel band competition, app users will be able to vote for their favourite band so that a Peoples’ Favourite can be crowned.
‘As well as the street food trader map, there’s a map to help you find the loos – essential knowledge if you hit the Red Stripes at midday’
App developer Second Screen has also facilitated collaborations between Carnival and Adidas, which is providing footwear to all 320 community stewards over the weekend, and Innocent, which is transforming Powis Square into a chill out zone away from the excitement of Carnival.
The Notting Hill Carnival app also has a news feed to keep you abreast of all the latest social media news, gift you exclusive Carnival stickers on the in-app camera so you can share the best selfies and help you meet other Carnival goers.
You’ll also get the latest event updates through app notifications.
General Carnival tips
- Check before you travel: Some Underground stations are closed during Notting Hill Carnival to avoid congestion, so take a peek at TFL’s journey planner before you head out
- Be prepared: Like a good little girl guide or savvy scout, pack the things you need to keep you on top form all day – tissues for the loos, hand sanitiser if you’re a germophobe, a refillable water bottle to keep you hydrated, lip balm, a mobile phone battery pack, a poncho if the weather looks dicey or sun cream if things look promising and, the most important thing… glitter (biodegradable, of course). A backpack will keep you hands free, but make sure it’s one that pickpockets can’t easily access. If you can fit it all in, a festival bumbag is your best bet.
- Wear trainers: You’ll be covering a lot of ground so your feet will thank you for comfy footwear!
- Pick a meeting spot: Finding friends in the crowds can be tricky, so arrange a well known and easily accessible meeting spot beforehand.
- Find a good spot: This should be easier than ever with the new Notting Hill Carnival app should make it easier than ever this year, but a fail-safe tip is to bag a spot near a judges station, where carnival dancers really pull out all the stops. But don’t forget about the sound stations, where the party really gets going.