London Jouvert 2011

London Jouvert 2011

Written by Robbie
Wednesday, 24 August 2011 13:14
The London Jouvert celebrations will take place at 6:00 a.m. from the Sainburys carpark at the top of Ladbroke Grove.  The procession will leave promptly from the Sainbury’s carpark at 6:00 a.m. promptly and snake its way down Ladbroke Grove returning at 9:00 a.m. Masqueraders please note that if you inflict an damage to people’s property, cars or persons not involved in the celebration you are liable to be arrested by one of the many Metropolitan Police who will be in attendance on the day. Please have a safe and enjoyable Jouvert and Carnival.The History of J’ouvert

For than a century J’ouvert (pronounced ‘Jouvay’ meaning ‘day break’) processions have marked the opening of the famous Trinidad Carnival. Held in the wee hours of Carnival Monday, J’ouvert evolved from 19th century Canboulay festivals, these night time celebrations saw ex-slaves gather to masquerade, sing, and dance in commemoration of their emancipation. When this tradition was incorporated into Trinidad’s pre-lent Carnival, it became an arena for African-derived percussion, sardonic costuming, and, more recently, lively steel band music with revellers jumping, dancing and shouting – fuelled by copious amounts of alcohol and the ambience of the occasion.

The 2004 Notting Hill Carnival saw the revival of London’s Jouvert when Stardust, London All Stars and Ebony steel orchestras took to the road at 6.a.m filling the air with the sweet sounds of steel. In contrast to the bright, fancy pageantry of Sunday afternoon and Monday Carnival, J’ouvert’s gruesome devils and mud-covered revellers manifest Carnival’s deepest challenge to order and authority, and fully depict the essence of the Emancipation spirit. In keeping with J’ouvert traditions of humour and macabre, numerous individuals play mud mas (covering their bodies with mud), dress in old rags, paint their faces, bodies and costumes, and cover themselves with white powder and flour. Many masquerade in satanic costumes, while others don satirical outfits and carry signs with humorous political commentary. Tubs of mud on make shift trolleys wheeled down Ladbroke Grove, with revellers stopping every so often to smear each other.

The London J’ouvert

Eight years since its revival, London Jouvert celebrations will see Ladbroke Grove invaded by revellers adorning themselves in mud, powder or brightly coloured paint depicting the celebration of emancipation. The pre-dawn tranquility will be broken by the sweet strains of steel band music in West London and see masses of people chipping down ‘the Grove’ in true Trini style.

This all steelband event provides lively steel band music which is well received by the public and is growing in popularity. The British Association of Steelbands (BAS) continue to work laboriously to ensure its growth is sustained through the inclusion of more steelbands and masqueraders and become an important ingredient of the fabric of Notting Hill Carnival. The 2011 Jouvert will also mark the 60th Anniversary of the Arrival of the Steelband in Britain. The celebration will see the bands leaving the Sainsbury’s car park at the top end of Ladbroke Grove at 6:00 a.m. promptly. CSI, Ebony, London All Stars, Metronomes, RASPO and others including the regular Rhythm section will be in attendance. 

The Future of London Jouvert

BAS is planning to host more steel bands for the 2012 Jouvert to celebrate the 2012 Olympics and the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee and Trinidad’s 40th Independence Anniversary W.  This action will ensure continuity and a well contested competition. Everyone is looking forward to an even more successful Jouvert in 2012 and BAS will continue to develop stronger operational interactions with the various Carnival authorities to continue its improvement and further expansion.


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