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Hackney Carnival cancelled so council and emergency services can focus on coronavirus response

PUBLISHED: 12:15 06 April 2020 | UPDATED: 12:15 06 April 2020

Paraiso School of Samba at Hackney Carnival 2019. Picture: Andy Commons

Paraiso School of Samba at Hackney Carnival 2019. Picture: Andy Commons

andy commons

Hackney Carnival has been cancelled so the council and emergency services can focus on their response to the coronavirus pandemic.

Performers in the Hackney Carnival 2019. Picture: Andy CommonsPerformers in the Hackney Carnival 2019. Picture: Andy Commons

The parade, planned for September, will be replaced by a digital cultural programme led by the grassroots groups and organisations who take part in the carnival, who will still receive funding. Proposals are already being shaped and details and timings will soon be announced, the town hall said.

Freeing up resources spent on the significant planning, production and rehearsals for the carnival will allow the council, public bodies and emergency services to focus on the response to Covid-19.

Hackney mayor Phil Glanville said: “Hackney Carnival is a major and important event and a time we look forward to sharing and enjoying each other’s cultures in event spaces and on our streets. In the face of the coronavirus pandemic, we have to do what’s right for the safety of our community and resilience as a borough.

“While this is sad news, we will safeguard funding for some of the finest carnival groups in London and use our creative energies to produce an alternative programme that still brings us together.

Performers in the Hackney Carnival parade. Picture: Emma BartholomewPerformers in the Hackney Carnival parade. Picture: Emma Bartholomew

“We have already been in touch with the many stakeholders and groups who work hard to deliver this valuable event to explain our decision. We thank them all for their understanding – as well as their creativity, as we adapt our initial plans.

“Hackney Carnival is a celebration of the borough’s diverse community and this spirit will continue as we shape this year’s alternative programme, and as we plan for a spectacular comeback for Hackney Carnival 2021.”

Last year’s Hackney Carnival was the biggest ever, with more than 80,000 people taking part.

All partners have agreed the planning work would place carnival groups at risk at a time where community safety and health comes first.

For information about the council’s coronavirus response and to sign up for email updates visit hackney.gov.uk/coronavirus.


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