De Admiral, UK Calypso Monarch Finals 2018. Photograph: Stephen Spark

Tweaks at the Tent – London calypso season trimmed


For calypso enthusiasts in the UK, the Notting Hill Carnival season doesn’t truly start until the first Friday in August. That date is, of course, the first night of the London Calypso Tent.

That much will remain the same for 2019, so you can mark Friday 2 August on your calendar right now. The venue is the same too – The Tabernacle in Powis Square, London W11. And, Soca News is assured, we’re still going to be treated to a full night’s entertainment from the nation’s favourite calypsonians. Honey-toned Helena B, impeccably attired Lord Cloak, musical craftsman Alexander D Great and many others will be trying to prize the kaiso crown from De Admiral’s head in lyrical combat on the Tabernacle stage. On one side of them will be the brass of the ABC Band; on the other the soulful voices of the glamorous Divettes.

Unfortunately, financial pressures mean that the usual five-night season has had to be cut down to four, losing the popular Last Night of the Tent, which traditionally has been held on the Friday before Carnival. The Calypso Monarch Finals will still take place on the Thursday 22 August and the three preceding Fridays in August will keep the fire of kaiso blazing in London!


For most of its 27-year life, the London Calypso Tent was run by the Association of British Calypsonians (ABC). A couple of years ago it was pointed out that some of the calypsonians were not actually British, so the name was changed to the Association of Calypsonians UK (ACUK). That, though, meant that the group seemed to be giving the cold shoulder to soca singers, which was not the intention at all. So now we must get used to a new acronym: ACASA ‑ the Association of Calypsonians and Soca Artistes.

Soca News wishes ACASA well and looks forward to publishing its activities for many years to come.

For all Tent dates please visit

See images from last year’s London Calypso Tent:
London Calypso Tent 2018 Grand Opening
London Calypso Tent Last Night Of The Tent




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