From May until August there are three big intercultural carnivals in the northwest of Europe: the Karnaval Der Kulturen in Berlin, the Summercarnival Rotterdam and the Notting Hill Carnival in London. The carnivals have their specificities: origin and program and therefore a different (temporary and permanent) impact on the urban surrounding.


Karnaval Der Kulturen

Karnaval Der Kulturen, originating from the city of Berlin to celebrate its growing international population, stretches the definition of the word carnival.

At Karnaval der Kulturen the main activity is the four days during street festival in the park (Blucherplatz), situated in Kreuzberg, near the metro stations: Hallesches Tor and Mehringdamm.

The whole richness of the different cultures can be experienced by live music, parties, exotic food, shopping for trinkets at the market streets and music, dance and acrobatics workshops. The parade is at one of these four days. It is a mixture of carnival groups from different countries and street performers. The parade ends near the park of the street festival.

In the former Heilig-Kreuz-Kirche, that is now cultural centre, also a part of the music program takes place. Other than the church, no permanent locations are used. Because of the temporary market, the local shops don’t really take part at the festival.

_visitors parade and street festival: 1 35o ooo _ width parade streets: between 3o and 5o metres.




Summercarnival originates form the small Antillean community in Rotterdam and grew steadily over the years to become one of the biggest festivals of Rotterdam. Now the festival is organised by a co-operation of a group of the Antillean community and the festival organisation Ducos Productions, who also organise other intercultural festivals.

The Summercarnival has a strong connection with the original concept of the Antillean Carnival and the parade is the main activity. Preliminary to the parade there is a carnival queen selection and the Battle of the Drums, the day before the carnival. The Battle of the Drums gathers people for four directions around the city centre and brings them, mainly along shoppingstreets, to the stage at the Coolsingel. The parade of the Summercarnival is located in the city centre and ends at the city hall of Rotterdam, located at the Coolsingel.

In the neighbourhood of the Coolsingel there are the main shopping streets and at the Coolsingel there are permanent food pavilions. Temporary market stalls with food, drinks and trinkets are added for the festival.

This festival has no permanent cultural location.

_visitors street festival: 9oo ooo _ width parade streets: between 15 and 5o metres.



Notting Hill Carnival

Notting Hill Carnival originates in 1964 and started as a local festival, set up by the Afro-Caribbean communities of the Notting Hill area. It has now become a full-blooded Caribbean carnival.

The festival exists of 2 parades, a smaller one on Sunday (mostly visited by families with young children) and the main one on Monday. Next to the parades there are 40 static sound systems in the area where the parades are held.

The festival still takes place in Notting Hill area and different from the other parades in Berlin and Rotterdam, that are more linear, the Notting Hill carnival makes a round, creating an inside urban space. In this space the static sound systems, permanent and temporary shops and food places create a Caribbean atmosphere. This atmosphere can be experienced all the year round in the Tabernacle, a permanent multi-venue arts and entertainment centre in Notting Hill. The Tabernacle underpins an accent on local African Caribbean culture and maintains perennial activities in carnival arts.

_visitors parade and street festival: 8oo ooo _ width parade streets: between 15 and 25 metres.

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