In an announcement issued on 7 March, 2023, by Hackney Councillor Chris Kennedy, Cabinet Member for Culture, it was stated that a full Hackney Carnival will not return until 2024 – and then every two years after.
The pertinent details of his twenty-seven second broadcast, which was shared on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter, were as follows.
“In 2023 we’re delighted to once again be funding a whole host of organisations as they work with our population towards preparing to hit the streets again in 2024 for Hackney Carnival, and every two years after that.”
The published statement reads:
“Like everyone in Hackney, we love carnival and always look forward to a chance to celebrate together with the whole community. However, the growing audiences mean we need more infrastructure, event staff, security, and communications every year to deliver a safe and successful event.
The budget for carnival has almost doubled each year due to its increasing scale and popularity. Rising costs and challenging inflationary pressures mean it simply isn’t possible to hold a live carnival event every 12 months, so this year we look forward to working with our carnival groups and wider cultural and hospitality sectors on a reduced programme to keep Hackney’s carnival traditions alive while we prepare for a full carnival event in 2024, and then every other year after that.
This is a commitment the Council is making to ensure both residents and visitors to the borough can continue to enjoy Hackney’s culture and creativity.
Carnival is for all, and we can’t wait to join everyone in autumn 2024 for a full parade of spectacular costumes, vibrant dance routines and live music, to celebrate Hackney’s special carnival spirit in our own inimitable style.”
Given that last year’s Hackney carnival was cancelled following the death of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II, the last in-person event was September 2019. Understandably, carnivalists and fans have been very upset at the recent announcement and have been venting their feelings across social media.