Over the years we have asked some of our favourite djs, producers and carnival goers to share their Notting Hill Carnival tips with us. Here are some tips from HDD friends and family on the best sound systems to visit (now updated for 2018). Check Time Out London’s soundsystem map to help you find your way. Plus this year the official organisers of Notting Hill Carnival have an app and loads of useful info on their website.
A minute’s silence will be help at 3pm on Sunday 26th and Monday 27th to honour the victims of the Grenfell fire.
Hipsters Don’t Dance
Nasty Love on Colville Gardens, Volcano on All Saints Road, GT Flex/Mayhem Crew on Middle Row/Conlan St, Nigerian Corner on Adela Street (this one is on carnival Monday only), Toddla T and SSP Sound system on Alderson Street are some of our carnival favourites, but this year look out for Hoodcelebrityy, Alicai Harley, Maleek Berry and loads more at the RBMA stage at Emslie Horniman’s Pleasance Park on Sunday and for the soca fans Mangrove will be running road with Iwer George, Patrice Roberts, Voice and more.
For more carnival tips from us and Shy One listen back below
For more carnival tips from us and Serocee listen back below
Jillionaire (Mazor Lazer)
Sancho Panza and Good Times and Channel One neck and neck and neck
Lord Gelly’s at carnival
For the sound: usually the truck with the void soundsystem. and of course checkin Aba shanti and Channel One… for the music: we usually switch between the parade and the sounds. so wherever we like it we stay…
Channel one, Its a good place to escape from the general carnival madness and listen to a beautifully tuned system playing sweet music. Mainly though Carnival for me is about the road. I’ll happily spend all day following the trucks.
I’m a bit of a roamer at carnival so I guess the best area for me would be around Colville Gardens and Talbot Road for Gaz’s Rockin’ Blues, Oi You, Rampage and Pineapple Tribe soundsystems.
I like to do it old school and get my one foot skank on, so i’m well into the roots vibe: channel one, king tubby’s. but it’s also one of the only times i get to hear unadulterated soca, the ones on All Saint’s rd are super soca, and disya generation is always good fun.
Lukey ( Stooki Sound )
Channel One Soundsystem
Fav Soundsystem is a real tough one, but for me it’s got to be Channel One – always vibes!
My favourite carnival system is Nasty Love on Colville Gardens; always seems to be the best for up to the time dancehall. Always end up at channel one for a bit as well tho.
Too many to choose from, Lord Gelly’s, Good Times, Saxon and of course Rampage
Seb Wheeler (Tropical Waste)
I always go to King Tubby’s soundsystem. They start the day with my favourite new school roots stuff then move through dancehall, bashment and funky. Really fun atmosphere and they play everything I’m into! Lloyd Ambassador sound just up the road from Tubby’s also blew me away last year. They had this haggard looking old rig, but rinsed it in a very large way. Loudest sound at carnival hands down, playing heavy, pounding dub. Very vital!
For a long time it’s been Talbot Road – good mix of sounds, people and food. If you start at the Chepstow end and work your way in, you get rare groove with Fun Bunch, roots and dub with ear splitting hi-hats at Jah Observer, good old fashioned ska, rocksteady and rhythm n blues at Gaz’s, hiphop and bashment from Disya and Rampage. Sunday’s good for breaking off from big crowds and wandering round the whole place. If you head up towards Westbourne Park Tube, you can’t beat a bit of Sir Lloyd on Tavistock Rd and you’re spitting distance from Channel One.
When I was younger we’d go back to mate’s houses round the neighbourhood, my friend Jim’s mum used to lay on a spread of sandwiches, better than any fancy after party – big up Jim’s mum.
Don’t really have a favourite soundsystem but I started out more on a Rampage ting though you’re more likely to find me at Good Times (if it’s there) Channel One
Friday night I go and watch Mangrove steel pan band warm up on All Saints Road. Saturday I get down to Panorama, the steel band competition. Sunday and Monday I like to spend the morning on the corner of Cornwall Crescent on Ladbroke Grove. It’s on the main Carnival route and I watch all the soca trucks passing. Usually in the afternoon I make my way over to King Tubby’s sound system on Westbourne Park Road, their one drop selection always seems to be on point. I definitely pop over to Nasty Love mixing lab on Powis square because they play the most up to date dancehall and it’s a good indication of what’s hot, nearby Lord Gelly’z and Volcano Sound also provide to that effect. Obviously wandering isn’t a luxury but sometimes the best moments are somewhere completely new, so do explore just AVOID RAMPAGE BY ALL MEANS