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Last Updated: Thursday, 1 September 2005, 10:52 GMT 11:52 UK
Did you go to Notting Hill Carnival?
Performers in the procession on Children's Day at the Notting Hill, Carnival
Did you join in with the festivities at the Notting Hill Carnival?

Around half a million people descended on to the streets of London's Notting Hill for the second day of the 41st carnival.

The event is the largest street festival in Europe and has paraded through Notting Hill since 1964.

Meanwhile the Caribbean Showcase, a free family event organised by the mayor of London, took place in Hyde Park.

Did you attend the Caribbean event in Hyde Park? Did you attend any other events elsewhere in the UK over the Bank Holiday weekend?

Send us your pictures or moving footage of the carnival or any other events you are attending to yourpics@bbc.co.uk

This debate is now closed. Read a selection of your comments below.


The following comments reflect the balance of opinion we have received so far:

This was my second year of being a steward at the Notting Hill Carnival. In Ladbroke Grove everyone young and old, and people of all origins British, Germany, American, Chinese, African etc were having a good time, even the Police Officers!! I had such a good time with the crowd and the floats and even the British weather was on our side! Yes, you always get the odd incident which does bring down the tone of the event, but overall the arrests were minimal.
Lisa , London, England

Nope, I went to the Reading Festival. Far more entertaining and with far fewer police
Daniel, Loughborough

Absolutely crawling with intimidating police and police horses
Martin, Birmingham, UK
I went and I'm afraid to say it was boring; absolutely crawling with intimidating police and police horses, an unfriendly atmosphere, nowhere to sit, queues everywhere and security barriers stopping people from dancing and moving around freely. Rubbish, and I won't be going back in a hurry.
Martin, Birmingham, UK

Great event. However, it should not be called carnival. This is how real traditions are lost, in the same way that consuming fruits that are out of season. Real carnival celebrations take place 4 weeks before Lent in February-March.
Anon

No, I didn't. I went once to this procession, and all I spotted there was people yelling, selling expensive junk foods, lousy chats, and dirty streets, dumped with cans and plastic.
Robert, London

It's not a carnival, it's a procession through a wonderful part of London.
Tom Franklin, London, UK
Like most other Notting Hill residents, I escaped abroad for the weekend. Dreadful music blaring out through poor music systems, beautiful costumes on miserable looking and uncoordinated dancers, aggressive and rude people in the audience shoving everyone out of their way and truly awful food, this carnival is a misnomer. It's not a carnival, it's a procession through a wonderful part of London. For true carnival - which has spirit which this procession sadly lacks - look abroad where it is full of culture, energy and a sense of life. It's a great pity, because it could be so much better.
Tom Franklin, London, UK

We had a great time at the Carnival this year. The weather was superb, and there were plenty of people there without it being too overcrowded. Generally there was a great atmosphere, with a choice of watching the floats or listening to a wide range of sound systems. Even found that public transport was manageable this year too. Well done to the organisers!
Dave, London, UK

Carnival continues to be the best event in the country. Two days dancing in the sun to the sounds of Good Times with Norman Jay. I didn't see any trouble and never have! Curried goat, anyone? Can't wait for next year.
Andrew Malden, Milton Keynes, England

Rubbish, and I won't be going back in a hurry
Martin, Birmingham, UK
I went and I'm afraid to say it was boring; absolutely crawling with intimidating police and police horses, an unfriendly atmosphere, nowhere to sit, queues everywhere and security barriers stopping people from dancing and moving around freely. Rubbish, and I won't be going back in a hurry.
Martin, Birmingham, UK

This year was my second to the Carnival. Unfortunately, my day was ruined by an (unsuccessful) pickpocket and bad crowd control. The crush was so bad in places I could barely breathe. Each side of the street should be for walking in one direction only with suitable crossing points should someone wish to change direction. I can't see myself going again, there are better and safer ways to enjoy a hot Bank Holiday weekend.
Grace McGowan, London, UK

Yesterday was my first ever trip to the Notting Hill Carnival - I assure you it won't be my last! To those who suggest resident's rights are being ignored - I'd be happy to pay a bit more for a property on the carnival route... so if your looking to move out...?
Hugh, South London

I met people of all races, police were warm, feel good factor. The music, food and costumes all fab. I also met many natives from St. Vincent, complete strangers but they were all warm. Fab time, thanks London.
John Dasilva, Willesden, England

The key to carnival is to find a good static sound system and stay put
Frank, London
Fantastic as per usual. Carnival is my favourite London day of the year. Made even better by the great weather. The key to carnival is to find a good static sound system and stay put. By 7pm you've made a load of new friends and are ready to get out of West London and head for a pub. It was less crowded this year which was nice. 25th year of Good Times sound system was fantastic. Best crowd in the whole of carnival. See you next year!
Frank, London

I think the idea of a Caribbean event in Hyde Park is a good idea. Perhaps the carnival should be moved to Hyde Park instead of residential Notting Hill which will make it easier for police to control crime and also provide places for people to sit when tired and have a good day out with a picnic etc. whilst watching the parades. I myself did not go to carnival this year as I hate all the large crowds and no where to sit when your feet begin to ache.
Tamika, Peckham, London

I ended up in the middle of the carnival completely by mistake yesterday, having taken a tube from King's Cross that didn't stop at Royal Oak, and got off at Westbourne Park. I thought it was the most miserable, bedraggled event I had ever seen, and have never felt quite so much like I knew what purgatory would be like. I felt sorry for the police, although given that I was clearly simply looking for a way out of the drunken carnage, I thought they were unnecessarily rude and aggressive - still, after two days there, I can see how they might be. I think it's a complete waste of public money, there's absolutely no carnival atmosphere, just a few people looking like they're having a good time because their pupils are so dilated they aren't even aware of their surroundings. For once, Ken has a point - it's impossible to have something this massive in a couple of quiet backstreets normally populated by enormously rich bankers.
Freya, London

My friends call me without fail so I can hear what I am missing
Catherine, Brit in NYC, New York, USA
I am missing carnival for the 3rd year running and am absolutely devastated. It was always my favourite weekend in London. My friends call me without fail so I can hear what I am missing. Great news though, Norman Jay is coming to New York next weekend so at least I will enjoy some carnival tunes!
Catherine, Brit in NYC, New York, USA

Some people are so miserable! Fabulous event, fantastic food, fantastic rum punch! Londoners should be proud that nearly a million people are expected! Proves that London can still party on despite 7/7!
Clare, London

I've just come back from the carnival and I've found it quite disappointing. I expected a lot more people to be there especially with the good weather but there seemed to be not that many people there compared with other years I've been and there is never that much alternative entertainment to the floats. They should have much more side stalls showing Caribbean arts and culture not just the floats.
John, London, UK

I will happily avoid all the over-crowded streets and crammed public transport network and miss nothing. The carnival is vastly over-rated and is nothing in comparison to real carnivals in the like of Rio, Bahia and New Orleans. The pathetic sideshow in Hyde Park is likely to also be best avoided, something made easier by the cancellation of the Piccadilly line services to West London, where I live.
Trevor, London UK

It infuriates me that the Notting Hill Carnival, and related events, are allowed to grow and grow, despite the annual high levels of crime and violence, whilst the Police have (year after year) capped the number of tickets sold for Gay Pride, stating that they can't police large numbers of people! No murders or shootings have ever taken place at Pride and it's a safe area, which is something that cannot be said for the Notting Hill Carnival.
Andrew Fyall, London

It is the celebration of London's uniquely multicultural environment
Jasmine, London
I think the carnival is great fun. It is the celebration of London's uniquely multicultural environment and should not just be viewed as a 'black event'. I advise everyone to go out there and join in the party and celebrate the great diversity of cultures in London.
Jasmine, London

I'm really sad not to be there this year. I lived on the route for about 20 years. It brought the community together like nothing else I've ever experienced, and I'm sure it still does. Those who treat it as one more tourist attraction are missing something. It's for the people of the area, basically. It made you feel.... hopeful and good! Others said the same - it was moving to be there.
Brian, Germany

This year is the first in 4 years I won't join in the carnival. Last year, it was tremendous for the 40th anniversary! Long life to the carnival and I hope to participate in the coming years.
Catherine Vanel, Nancy, France

Having been born in Notting ill in the early seventies I consider myself a veteran of the carnival. My first recollection of the carnival was an interesting blaze of colour and sound, but I didn't really start to enjoy the carnival until I was in my teens and I really did enjoy it for a few years. However, over the years I have come to realize the carnival holds no special meaning for Londoners other than an excuse to get totally intoxicated! Some might say this is as good an excuse as any. The problem is the resident's rights are totally ignored. Notting Hillers are sent into exile. Those that can afford to get out of town do, and those that can't tend to stock up on provisions and hole them selves up for a few days. Most of the so-called local resident groups who participate in the carnival do not reside in Notting Hill as with most of the "performers". As the carnival has no real contemporary connection with the Notting Hill or the Caribbean save for a few largely ignored floats, why doesn't Mr Livingstone put his foot down and move the carnival to a more centralized, logistically practical location readily accepted as a space for all Londoners to gather such as Hyde Park! It is too big and obnoxious to be held in a small unpoliceable warren of backstreets.
Miles Gilbert, London

I think the Notting Hill Carnival is great and should continue to be held there. We need more events of this kind to get people celebrating together and to show others who like to think their actions will change or way of life that they will not.
Christine Green, Sheffield, England

Unfortunately the use of security barriers all along the route mean that one no longer takes part in carnival but instead is reduced to a spectator. You can no longer dance behind the floats which was one of the great pleasures. I don't mind the security, it's the over zealous health and safety that is reducing it to pap.
Sophie, London

I was there the very first year it started
Susan, London, UK
No won't be there this year, but I was there the very first year it started. I don't think anyone at the time thought it would become the mega event it is today. Hope the weather stays nice for it.
Susan, London, UK

I'm not going this year, but have been in previous years. It's a stunning festival which leaves you amazed at the energy and creativity of the participants (and spectators). The street processions are so much a part of it, that it can't be right to take it away from its natural home in the streets in Notting Hill. We should be suspicious of Ken Livingstone's idea of an "official" carnival. Another photo opportunity, Mr. Mayor?
Richard, London

Absolutely not and as one who saw some of the formative ones when I lived in that area in the 60s, I can honestly say that they have outlived their usefulness.
Tony, Welling Kent

I am not going to the Carnival - it's coming to me! I live in W10.
Anon

It's a pity that little is said about Leeds carnival, after all it has been on the go a lot longer than London's event. It's easier to get to, sounds the same, smells the same, looks the same but the food is much better. Will I be going to London? No Leeds.
Howard, Newcastle upon Tyne, UK

Caribbean people can teach the world a thing or two about accepting cultural diversity, since their island societies are a product of the fusion of many cultures. The Notting Hill Carnival is a manifestation and celebration of this. Let's show them: better bands, bongos and bacchanal than bombs and bigotry any day.
Lennox, Dominica

It's great to see people gathering to celebrate this carnival! It's an enjoyable and colourful thing to celebrate, gets better every time!
Tony, Bideford, North Devon

No thank you! Staying at home chilling out with the wife. With past experiences of travelling on bank holidays, staying local certainly does not create any stress.
Ron Milligan, Gosport, England

Over-hyped and frankly a bit repetitive. Still it keeps other attractions in London less busy this weekend!
Andrew Robertson, London

Call me a party pooper, but I spent last year wandering aimlessly, not seeing many floats and then had to walk home for 2 hours as the tubes are off and the buses rammed! No thanks!
Lesley, London





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