As you may know I go to Uni in Nottingham and live there most of the time but this year was the first time I have experienced Nottingham Caribbean Carnival so I thought I would share it with you.
The Caribbean Carnival in Nottingham began in 1970. A group of West Indians, mainly from the island of St Kitts, held a carnival parade in the Meadows and this became a major annual event for Nottingham’s black community. However, the struggle to secure funding for the Carnival meant that a number of years were missed in the 1980s and 1990s.
The Nottingham Caribbean Carnival was on for two days, being at 12 noon on the Saturday and ending the following day in the evening. The first day comprised lots of live acts and rides on the Forest Fields recreation ground, it's almost like a smaller festival with a big stage where you watch live music acts while having a few drinks laying on the grass. We were really lucky both days as the weather was lovely, the first day there was a little rain and you definitely needed a jacket towards the end of the day as it got quite chilly. There was plenty of food stalls and rides which weren't overly expensive (I got some chips which were £1.50 which I didn't think was too bad) we sat watching the live music acts for hours and hours with a couple of Bulmers and Red bull (which the stage was sponsored by.) The atmosphere was really nice and there were some people taking Polaroids pictures and taking some surveys which were didn't mind at all.
A group of us went and the girls and I heading home earlier than the boys because we needed to get ready and we obviously take a longer than the boys, we ended up actually falling asleep on the sofa for an hour or so because we were so knackered.
Anyway, later that night there were loads of events on for carnival after parties and we ended up going to one at Bodega hosted by Detonate where one of the boys were djing, the tickets were £8 per person which is a lot more than I am willing to pay to get in some where normally but as our friend was djing we had to be there to support him. There were all sorts of different djs on that night as well and it was such a fun night, as usual the night ended with a gross take away and passing out a bit drunk in bed!
The following day as we all slowly emerged from our pits there was constant loud Caribbean music on, which was quite annoying to begin with when we were trying to sleep our hangovers off but we got into it quite quickly. We were all staying at my boyfriends house which is located right in the middle of town and where the carnival parade started which was really handy because we all sat on the balcony and watched all of the parade walk past for about hour which was really interesting and fun to see.
This was one of the most fun and interesting weekends I've had, I really enjoyed the Caribbean experience and was all completely free (apart from the after party obviously) you obviously do still end up spending money on food and such like but all in all it was a really cheap weekend and I'll definitely be doing it next year! So if you're in the Nottingham this time next year I'd definitely recommend checking it out!