Should Carnival Be Ticketed Or Is This 'White-Washing' Black Culture?

27 August 2017, 09:18 | Updated: 27 August 2017, 09:38

Would Ticketing The Notting Hill Carnival Be A "White Washing" Of Black Culture? One Caller Thinks So

With two million revellers about to hit the streets for the Notting Hill Carnival, LBC's Clare Foges asked if it should be a ticketed event for safety.

She was met with a passionate young caller who said turning Carnival into a ticketed event would be a “white-washing” of the traditionally black celebration.

Kingsley, from Ilford in Essex, said it would be a “white-washing” of the annual street party when he dialled in last night.

“I feel like what you’re implying here would actually be the white- washing of our carnival,” said the animated caller.

“The minute you ticket it and move it, you change it from a carnival into a festival. So it becomes something different.

“(You) are being completely ignorant to the under class,” he added, “At these festivals, the reason why you see not a lot of black youth or people from the under class (sic) is because the tickets are very expensive and it’s not as accessible.”

When asked by Clare if the term “under class” was a rude way to refer to people, he was adamant and proud.

“I’m part of the under class,” he said. “We are the people that have been marginalised in society. We haven’t always got the finances. The minute you ticket it you’re not going to have no say(sic) in how much it could go up over the years and the youth could be ostracised. And you have many ticketed events - you have football events where hooligans still manage to fight. I’ve been to all of these festivals, there’s people taking drugs at all of them, there’s many things (going on) even at these ticketed events.

Using crime statistics from last year’s festival, Clare asked if it was fair to point out the specific violence that Notting Hill seems to attract. “But are there such violent acts? Are there murders?” She asked as she quoted MET commander Dave Musker who recently said, “I cannot remember a single murder at Glastonbury.”

Kingsley insisted such figures were polarised by a media bias. “These things happen in all places, in all cultures and in all parts of society - even with these football hooligans - and it’s just not promoted as much in the media as it is when it’s a black event. It’s racism,” he said. “I have been to every carnival since I was a little child and it is the only two days that we have in this country to be proud of our culture as black people. Deface racism and prejudice every day. Two days where we can enjoy our culture, where we can be happy and be free and you want to take away those two days!”

Listen to the call above and have your say.

Dancers at Notting Hill
Dancers at Notting Hill. Picture: PA/AP