A one-minute silence will now be held on both days of Notting Hill Carnival, organiser LNHCET has agreed.
The silence is a mark of respect and remembrance for the more than 80 local people who lost their lives in the fire at Grenfell Tower in June. Sound systems, both mobile and static, have been asked to switch off their music at 3pm on Sunday 27 and on Monday 28 August.
Residents’ group Grenfell United has also asked for silence either side of the Westway flyover at Ladbroke Grove, with sound systems switched off. The streets from Ladbroke Crescent to Cambridge Gardens are meant to be a “reflection zone”, with revellers passing along respectfully while in sight of the tower.
No mas bands or steel bands will be allowed to set off from near the tower itself and the area near Latimer Road is effectively out of bounds to carnivalgoers. People have been warned not to take photographs of the tower or to try to approach it.
On Friday, Grenfell United asked carnivalgoers to show solidarity with victims and their families by wearing green and urged mas bands to make green the predominant colour of their costumes.
While most carnivalgoers will be sympathetic towards Grenfell United’s aims, there is scepticism that people will remain silent in the middle of Ladbroke Grove. After 6pm this area underneath the busy A40 road and Tube line becomes the most congested part of the Carnival Zone and is always noisy. Some simple accessorising of costumes for example, with green ribbon – is possible, but band leaders say it is unrealistic to expect them to introduce major changes to costume designs just a few days before Carnival.