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Hackney Carnival

Hackney Carnival is taking place on Sunday 8 September from 12 noon to 7pm.

New format

Hackney Carnival’s getting bigger every year as more and more people come to celebrate the borough’s renowned creativity and diversity. It’s clear that Ridley Road was severely overcrowded in 2018 and won’t be able to accommodate any larger audiences this year.

Due to the expected increases in audience numbers, it will no longer be safe to use it to host the Carnival’s very popular sound systems. Instead, a new ‘Carnival Village’, or cluster of sound systems and live music will be created in Hackney Central.

We’ve worked closely with creative partners to enable the carnival to spring up with the same energy at its new location. After this year’s carnival, we’ll review the event location and the best format for the event.

Procession route and times

The procession will travel along the following roads:

  • Mare Street
  • Graham Road
  • Queensbridge Road
  • Pownall Road
  • Brougham Road
  • Trewerden Road
  • Lansdowne Drive
  • Gayhurst Road
  • London Fields West Side

We’ll provide more information about the direction of the procession, times and road closures when it’s available.


Hackney Town Hall Square and Hillman Street

  • 11am-6pm Hackney Playbus and pop-up play-road for kids on bikes
  • 11am-6pm Wellbeing area
  • 12 noon-12.45 Access All Areas Carnival Collective and Jah Prophecy sound system
  • 1-4pm Carnival judging
  • 4-7pm Jah Prophecy sound system

Hackney Town Hall Car Park

  • 12 noon-7pm Dubson Sounds sound system

Morning Lane Car Park

  • 12 noon-7pm NTS Live sound system
  • 12 noon-7pm First Class Sounds sound system

Narrow Way

  • 12 noon-6pm Live street art performances

St John’s Churchyard

  • 12 noon-7pm Community HiFi presents: Belly to Belly Sounds, King Warrior Sounds, Jah Wonder, Bradbury Sounds sound systems
  • 12 noon-7pm Solution Sounds sound system
  • St John’s Live Stage
  • 10-2pm St John’s Church service, gospel and bands
  • 2-2.30pm Generation Uncovered: Live
  • 2.30-2.45 Latin and Soul DJ Green Papi
  • 2.45-3.30pm Dalston Collect
  • 3.35-4pm Marawa’s Hula Hoops
  • 4-4.40pm Jah Bunny
  • 4.40-5pm DJ Green Papi
  • 5-5.40pm Joyous sounds of Highlife Afrospot
  • 5.45- 6pm King of African electronic music and Rap Ata Kak Unplugged – Solo
  • 6.05-6.45pm International Soca artist OLA (Olatunji Yearwood)

St John’s Kids Playground

  • 11am-6pm Disco Loco

Churchwell Path

  • 12.30pm Hackney Can Sing
  • 1pm Mark 1
  • 1.45pm Spoken Word JJ Akinlade
  • 2.30pm Afro tunes acoustic link with highlife Kodjovi Kush
  • 3.30pm Solo protest acoustic Barber Luck
  • 4pm Acoustic revival tunes Carlton Broden (Cosmics)
  • 5.15 Spoken Word Surprise Guest
  • 6pm Award winning spoken word Malika Booker

Bohemia Place

  • 12 noon-7pm Faggamuffin Bloc Party sound system

Carnival groups

Details of the procession participants and their themes are to follow.

Entertainment in Hackney Central

Pop up kids’ play areas

The Hackney Playbus will be outside Hackney Town Hall, there will be a family cycle experience on Hillman Street led by Stars ‘n’ Stripes and there’s an open mic for kids in St John at Hackney’s playground, led by Disco Loco. Times and details to follow.

Live music

A programme of live music will take place at Churchwell Path, St John’s Churchyard and St John at Hackney paddock from 12 to 7pm, featuring gospel choirs, local bands and other live performers. Further details are to follow.

Sound systems

Sound systems will be located in St John’s Churchyard, Bohemia Place, Morning Lane car park and Hackney Town Hall square and car park.

Mare Street and Narrow Way

A programme of street arts will take place on Mare Street and Narrow Way from 12 noon to 7pm.

Food stalls

A wide range of food stalls selling food from around the world at all event locations in Hackney Central and water refill points at all information areas.

Carnival judging

Outside Hackney Town Hall.

How to apply to be part of the carnival

Do you have a talent or performance that could be showcased at the carnival? We welcome applications from creative individuals and groups to participate in the carnival procession, on the live stage, in the street arts programmes or to help with decorating the area.

If you, your group or your school would like to be part of the carnival please complete the Carnival 2019 application form. You will need to download the form. The deadline for applications is 28 June.

How to apply to have a stall at the carnival

If you’d like to apply, please complete the application form and submit it by email to or by hand to the markets office at Ridley Road Market: Unit 2bii Kingsland Shopping Centre, Kingsland High Street, London E8 2LX.

Closing date: Monday 12 August.


Hackney Council is working in partnership with Transport for London, Met Police, Westminster Council, St John at Hackney, Tesco, Dukeminster, Shoreditch Town Hall and Global Carnivalz.

Follow the carnival

You can follow Hackney Carnival on our Hackney Carnival Facebook page. Tweet and share your photos on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram on the day using #HackneyCarnival.

Last year’s carnival

Last year’s carnival took place on Sunday 9 September with spectacular costumes, energetic dance, sound systems and live music from around the world. More than 25 carnival and community groups joined residents in a celebration of Hackney’s thriving cultures and outstanding creativity, as the procession weaved its way through the borough. The carnival also featured play areas in Gillett Square and the Town Hall, a live stage in Gillett Square and a party at Ridley Road with sound systems, global food and arts and crafts. For further information about last year’s carnival please see our Hackney Carnival Facebook page.

Hackney Carnival 2018

Page updated on: 3 June 2019

Cultural Development Team


Hackney Town Hall
Mare St
E8 1EA


Opening times

  • Mon to Fri: 9am - 5pm