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 2019). Check out the official Notting Hill Carnival website for the full list of this year’s soundsystems and their locations.
Of course Notting Hill Carnival is also known for it’s mas bands playing the best soca on the parade route, find the full list of participants here.
Please remember, a minute’s silence will be held at 3pm on Sunday 25th and Monday 26th to honour the victims of the Grenfell fire.
Here are our tips for this year:
Nasty Love on Colville Gardens, Volcano on All Saints Road, GT Flex/Mayhem Crew (Block Party) on Middle Row, Nigerian Corner on Adela Street (this one is on carnival Monday only), Lord Gelly’s at Cambridge Gardens are some of our carnival favourites. This year you can also see Spice, Alicai Harley, Lil C and more at the RBMA stage at Emslie Horniman’s Pleasance Park on Sunday and for the soca fans Mangrove will be running road with Farmer Nappy, Swappi Nessa Preppy and more.
For more carnival tips from us and Shy One listen back below (from 1:00:00)
For more carnival tips from us and Serocee listen back below (from 00:05:00)
Jillionaire (Mazor Lazer)
Sancho Panza and Good Times and Channel One neck and neck and neck
(Sancho Panza and Good Times will not be at carnival this year)
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