It's almost time for the return of Europe's biggest Street Party, you ready? That's right folks, the Notting Hill Carnival is back in town, and it's all set to knock the socks off around one million revellers from all over the globe with its famous sound systems. Most of the sound systems are free to enjoy; so check out our run down of the best, head over to this beautiful part of West London and take a look for yourself! Still up for partying once the music ends? We've got that covered too - our afterparty guide is designed to help you find the liveliest celebrations in town.
On the corner of Leamington Road Villas and Westbourne Park Road, W11 1HS
Draped in flags and pouring out great reggae tracks, Channel One is undoubtedly one of the most popular sound systems that makes up the carnival route. With over 3 decades of carnival partying under their belt, the team of Mikey Dread, Jah T and Ras Kayleb have become something of local celebrities in these parts, throwing amazing carnival parties, year after year. Surrounded by an interwoven network of stacked speakers and amplifiers, the decks are completely under their control and will throw thudding bass and quavering notes into the light, West London air.
Canal Way, W10 5AA
Having pleased the crowds at the Notting Hill Carnival since 1979, the Mastermind Roadshow returns to their usual spot on canal way at the top of Ladbroke Grove. With a passion for showcasing the UK most promising up-and-coming Hip Hop and RnB performers, their talented team have developed a knack for plucking out diamonds in the rough. This year, of course, is no different. The likes of Soul II Soul, Tim Westwood and Ms. Dynamite have all worked and performed with this particular sound system, so it's probably safe to assume they know what they're doing.
People's Sound System
Outside 11 All Saints Road, W11 1HH
Things will have a slightly different feel at the People's Sound System at this year's carnival. Of course still bursting with character and an insatiable appetite for life, this year's proceedings will pay tribute to Daddy Zego, the local businessman who created this annual stage, lived in Notting Hill for the last 50 years and sadly passed this year. But hoping to build on this father's work and cementing his legacy, Dexter Zego now takes control of things. The stage is located at 11 All Saints Road, and sits fittingly just a few feet away from Daddy Zego's famous record shop. Dedicated to celebrating all things Jamaican, the line-up of performers and DJs will be showing off their talents, playing a host of different, soulful tracks.
Latin Rave Street Jam
318 Portobello Road, W10 5RU
For a second year in a row, the Latin Rave Street Jam sound system takes on the entire burden of showcasing the best of South America, being the only stage solely dedicated to Latin culture. Founded by DJ Silvester in the wonderful eighties, the stage has come to epitomise everything that the street festival stands for; people from a huge range of different cultures, coming together to celebrate all the wonders of Latin music. Grab your partner, grab a drinks and show off all your best, saucy Salsa moves.
East side of Powis Square, W11 2BN
Relatively young when it comes to sound sytems at the Notting Hill Carnival, Disco Hustlers first appeared on the scene in 2009. Since then, it has continued to please Powis Square's audience year after year, playing the most loved and renowned disco tracks of all down. As the brainchild of DJ Giovanni and Mister Hustler, it's fair to assume the team behind this spot know how to whip crowds into an feverish frenzy. Shimmying and shivering with electric movement, the entire square is usually abuzz when their lining of DJs take control of the reins.
23 All Saints Road, W11 1HE
Come rain or shine, you're guaranteed to see a huge crowd in front of the Rapattack sound system. The urban pioneers behind this Hip Hop and Rap obsessed area have established something of a reputation for intoxicating crowds with all the biggest underground tracks and stunning DJ line ups. Master MC and Mellow Milt founded this sound system back in 1984, and have since diversified their line-up, bringing both renowned acts and some of London's most promising young stars.
Gaz's Rockin' Blues
103 Talbot Road, W11 2AT
Gaz's Rockin' Blues has its roots firmly cemented in carnival, being based in the 35 year-old Globe nightclub. The sound system is the creationof Gaz Mayall, who wonderfully celebrates the life of his blues legend of a father, John Mayall, in the only way he know how. Head here and feast your eyes on a stunning display of artistry, as their live musicians use an array of quirky instruments to fill the West London air with the melodic sounds of soulful blues and blissful rock'n'roll. Enhancing the vibrant, laid-back atmosphere that we've come to associate with carnival, this spot perfectly marries bright colour and joyous sounds into one.
4Play Sound System
On West Row near Kensal Road Junction, W10 5AX
The team at the 4Play Sound System are regulars at carnival and have been playing a great mix of urban music since 1994. The group is made up of 5 members, all of whom have a grown up throwing parties and DJing at sold out events. Inspired by the music their parents listened to, they play a party mix of different musical genres in an attempt to keep up with ever-changing trends. From Jazz Funk and Old Skool, to Funky House and Reggae, these pioneers have learnt a trick or two over the years and definitely know what it takes to throw a great street rave.
With over 20 years of experience, you definitely won't be disappointed at this buzzing stage.