The Notting Hill Carnival originated in the mid-60s and was a focal point for communities to assemble on West London streets, which had witnessed race riots. They would Travel from far off places to participate, but this year it will be a virtual online event because of the Coronavirus pandemic. The focus will be on racial inequality. It seems there are plans for an unofficial Black Lives Matter march on Sunday. The route would be the one that the official carnival follows typically. Organizers want the people to give it a wide berth, remain indoors, and watch the virtual offering in their homes.

They can expect to get an idea of the world of today. Some of the outfits on show will revolve around current political trends.

Sky News says this will be the first time for the Notting Hill Carnival to become virtual to protect lives. This gathering is Europe's largest street party and given various restrictions associated with coronavirus, and the organizers opted for an alternative. Since it was not possible to have a physical parade, they have been busy filming various acts for streaming the event online.

In the words of an official - "We did the responsible thing, and we took the carnival off the streets this year for the reasons of safety and community, at the end of the day this pandemic has disproportionately affected black people."

The virtual carnival will be different

Coronavirus has affected people in many ways over the past few months.

Lockdown has changed the concept of living, and many have lost their loved ones. The Notting Hill Carnival wants to pass on a message that things will get better. It is not just a statement that black lives matter, but also a statement of unity. It helps to bring people together from every stratum of society irrespective of color or background.

Sky News goes on to add that the theme is "The Time for Change is Now." The costumes feature appropriate symbols, including the face of George Floyd, who lost his life to police brutality.

Organizers are upbeat about the virtual event

There will be international performers, and the organizers hope to make an impact with the new concept. Normally the attendance goes up to one million on the streets of West London. In this case, with global coverage via streaming services, there would be several times more viewers who will enjoy the program from the comfort and safety of their homes.

The virtual carnival will cover Culture, Parade, Sound Systems, and the Main Stage. Steel bands will perform with exclusive music from multiple sound systems accompanied by calypso dancers, and artists. One of them says - "[The costume] is Floyd, it's his spirit making a change to the whole world… it's true; it's sincere."

The Notting Hill Carnival goes virtual

According to The Guardian, this year will be the first time in its 54-year history that the Notting Hill Carnival would become a virtual event. Organizers had announced their decision to cancel the west London street party in May, citing the ongoing coronavirus pandemic. This year, it would be a digital festival with videos filmed all over the world, apart from London's essential venues.

Singer-songwriter Don-E has been attending the carnival since the 1980s. He was pleased to be part of the virtual event. In his words - "It's going to be a different one this year, totally unexpected. I'm just going to have to adapt this year." Virtual events have come center stage with Meghan Markle going for it in the 2020 Girl Up Leadership Summit. The politicians are also choosing virtual platforms to have their say. Coronavirus is contagious, spreads through touch, and crowded places can aggravate the situation. Hence, public gatherings are gradually being replaced by virtual events.