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Notting Hill 2011 - Sunday (London)
Notting Hill 2011 - Sunday

August 28th, 2011
Chocolate Mas 2011 (London)
Chocolate Mas 2011

August 28th, 2011

Foxy Cleopatra's Guide to Notting Hill Carnival 2011

Riots or no Riots, they can't stop we Carnival!! 2011 may not have been the best year to make your Notting Hill debut based on the criminal activities of the previous month, however the carnival babies fought hard to keep this carnival and although smaller this year, a huge success. This year saw some big changes with the introduction of more rules and new fetes and festivals but fear not, Notting Hill will always be full of vibes and madness!!!! Here are Foxy Cleopatra's top tips, highs, lows and must haves for Notting Hill Carnival.

Don't be fooled by the fact this is Europe- Notting Hill Carnival is HUGE and growing year on year...

PLANNING: Usually the carnival is focused on one long weekend over the August bank holiday, with most activities beginning from the Thursday night before the long weekend. This year, and we suspect every year to come, start planning and book your ticket earlier ... as the new CALO festival takes place Friday to Sunday of the weekend before. So come for CALO, then take a few days to chill, watch some sights, eat your belly full, maybe even stop for afternoon tea or take a trip to Sherwood Forrest!

ACCOMMODATION AND TRAVEL: London is EXPENSIVE... full stop! So start saving those £££s, book your flight early, get yourself an Oyster card (magic pass for the underground trains) and a Tube map and you are good to go. Rest assured the tubes and buses will get you anywhere, drunk or sober! Avoid black cabs like the plague unless you want all your fete money to be done!! Best advice is to beg someone you know for a piece of their floor, sofa, blow up bed etc. and find a corner to keep your bags in for the duration! Not much sleep will be required for the weekend anyway!! If you are billy no mates or too stush for that, then find a hotel close to the action ... it's all about West London unless you want to spend hours trekking back and forth... plenty extra £££s will be needed though!!! Try not to leave the Tuesday straight after carnival unless you are hardcore and have red bull running through your veins... you will be mash up, give yourself a few days recovery time before facing reality again!

MAS: The carnival itself is a 2 day affair. The first of which is essentially a whole day of J'ouvert!!!! Besss... be prepared to get dutty and start looking to register with a band to play dutty mas in for Sunday and then another band to play pretty mas in on Monday. London has a huge selection of bands for both Sunday and Monday and registration usually only begins a few months before the carnival itself, with the earliest and most organised launching around April time. You can play Individual mas, pretty mas, T-shirt mas, fun mas, even fancy dress mas... yes that's right TJJ couldn't resist a little dress up this year!!! Last minute registration is never usually a problem either so don't stress yourself! Right so yuh inside, flight booked, Oyster card in pocket, small piece of a friend's living room secured.... here's the run down for 2011.

WEEKEND BEFORE: CALO Festival ... 2011 saw the debut of CALO festival on the pre Notting Hill weekend. 3 days of arts, music, costume shows and Caribbean food to get you warmed up for the carnival weekend. This year had a massive line up with performances from KES, Blaxx, 3canal, Luciano, Krosfyah, Tallpree and the main man Machel Montano HD. Definitely worth attending on Friday and Saturday evenings, give the Sunday a miss and get some well needed shut eye... you will need it for the week ahead!

Thursday: The actual carnival weekend is usually kick started with a series of After Work limes, the largest of which tends to be Poison UK's after work drinks on the Thursday night, this year and most year's taking place at the Sports Cafe in Central London. It's usually free, starts as a lime, becomes a huge party and is a good place for you to pick up last minute fete tickets and weekend T-shirts if you haven't already done so!

Friday: A change of line up for 2011, with PoisonUK heavily involved in this year's CALO festival, the usual 'concert' for the Friday night has been scrapped and replaced with Busspepper's Ah Kinda J'ouvert Business. Definitely the best year for this fete which usually happens on the Sunday night, after you are trying to recover from Chocolate Mas... always a struggle! This year saw the fete move to the City and party was jamming until 4am complete with a hot DJ line up and a surprise performance from UK soca artiste K-Marvel. Definitely a great fete to get you warmed up for Saturday onwards.

Saturday: From now on... stock up the fridge with Lucozade, Red Bull or Monster, be prepared to grab whatever food you can on the run and it's pace!!!! It's time to get dressed up and head off to Shipwrecked All Inclusive, you will need tickets in advance for the only All Inclusive event for the weekend and if you packed at least one nice outfit, now's your time to pull it out, bow tie and all... be warned Shipwrecked starts in the afternoon and you will want to be there early to begin the liver damage. If you are able to walk after the party done, you could wobble around the corner to Poison UK's International DJ Splash ... another first for 2011 with big names such as Alicia D Duchess and Private Ryan flying in from Trinidad to keep the vibes pumping until 5am!!

Sunday: It's time for Dutty Mas ... take a pick of the many Dutty Mas bands popping up all over London! This year TJJ practised some drive by wining for Notting Hill Sunday through Abir, Colours, Strawberries & Cream and Chocolate Nation, spending most of our time in Pure Lime's Chocolate Mas band. That's right.... buckets of chocolate and buckets of vibe! This year's top tip is definitely a fancy dress costume or at the very least a wig... everyone wanted to disguise their bad behaviour on the road this rounds!!! 2011 saw a very early start and we believe this may be the start of a new trend so get your ass up early after the big night before... rum for breakfast should do the trick!!

Monday: Skin freshly scrubbed, fancy dress outfit in the trash, wigs discarded... it's time to look beautiful for Notting Hill Monday parade! Again a plethora of mas bands to choose from... Phresh Juice and his teddy bear were off to TriniPosseUK for the day, Daddy Juice tried to please all his children and jumped from band to band... yes it's possible as they are generally close together. Lagniappe and PoisonUK are the popular choices, with Bacchanal Mas and Bacchanalia bringing the best of the hottest costumes to the streets of London. Make it your mission to wine on a police man or two and make the most of the early start as same police will shut the carnival down early again!!! For 2011, by 7pm the road was blocked off, the music shut down and for the first time a long walk back to the car/tube!!

Carnival Monday night and the music truck shut down... What yuh gonna do???? Jump start it, push start it.. start saving for 2012!!

Foxy Cleopatra aka Posh Juice, 'Sha-Zam!!'

Foxy Cleopatra aka Posh Juice

Posh Juice and The 2011 TJJ Notting Hill Carnival Team -- Scorn, Sweet Stamina Banana, Ali Twist, Phresh and The Carnival Ref!

Disclaimer: Professional and experienced TJJ Party Gurus have rigorously tested these Carnival grounds and are providing said recommendations based on the fundamentals that the audience is a healthy rum drinking islander. If while performing any of these actions you begin to feel any dizziness, fatigue or pain please stop and consult your physician immediately.

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