On Monday 27th August, we had the pleasure of joining the official carnival parade on the Mangrove x Red Bull Music float – celebrating Mangrove’s 40 year anniversary at Notting Hill Carnival. Carnival represents everything that we stand for at Trippin. An inclusive celebration of black culture and heritage, it’s a melting pot of identity and vibes all round that has marked itself as the highlight of London’s calendar.
We arrived at carnival early to catch the float set off from The Tabernacle. Whilst most were still sleeping or nursing the aftermath of the day before, The Tabernacle was buzzing with Ladbroke Grove locals. Feathers, sequins, jewels and a lot of glowing skin were on display to this years tribal themed mas band.
We’re here to link up with our friends The Heatwave, who are scheduled to spin on the float later on in the day. There’s last minute face painting and a rush for queues to the toilet before we hear a call for everyone to assemble on the float.
The Mangrove Float is named after the iconic carribean restaurant The Mangrove; a historic meeting place for the local black community, activists and intellecutals. Based off All Saints Road, the restaurant was constantly raided for drug possession, despite little evidence. It soon became a national symbol of police resistance after residents began to protest against the racial tensions, the most well know of the protesters, The Mangrove 9.
The Mangrove 9 were a group of activists tried for rioting at the protests. Eventually cleared of all charges, their trial was the first to draw light on institutionalised racism within the Metropolitan police, inspiring many other activists to take on the establishment.
These are a few of the many reasons why the Mangrove float has a special significance on the carnival parade.
The security team hold ropes to secure the 600 deep mas band dancers away from the huge crowds. There’s rum and Red Bull in continuous flow and I think we heard that tune play at least 3 times too. Everyone has come to join alongside the float as the Heatwave’s set starts at 2 minutes past 3, straight after the 72 second silence for Grenfell Victims (RIP).
You can’t miss the bright yellow and purple float as it makes its way slowly down Ladbroke Grove, on it’s 3.5 mile journey around carnival. Overlooking a sea of heads, Gabriel & Benji (from the Heatwave) wheel up yet another banger, just as yellow smoke cans blast into the air.
Photos: Sam Blenkinsopp and Kesang Ball
Line up: The Heatwave, Patrice Roberts, Iwer George, Voice, Hollywood Sachy, Trevlyn The Voice, Soca Johnny, Survival #, DJ Kieron UK, DJ Remstar, Mangrove Riddim Section
Notable attendees: Jourdan Dunn, Daniel Kaluuya, Richard Blackwood, Jordan Stephens, Emeli Sandé, Kurupt FM + the Trippin crew ;)
Massive shout out to Red Bull Music, Mangrove and The Heatwave for the best carnival to date.
We’ve restocked a few sizes of our carnival t-shirts – grab one here before they go for good.