Notting Hill Carnival urged to become ticket-only event

In all of its 50-year history, Notting Hill Carnival has been a free event, but that soon may change. The Evening Standard reports that the world-famous carnival could be a ticketed event in the near future, which would mean carnival-goers will have to pay to go for the first time ever.

A report from by Kensington and Chelsea council suggested introducing paid-for tickets to attract corporate sponsorships and selling off stall pitches at market rates to pay for security, stewards and a professional company to oversee future events and prevent a repeat of last year’s “near catastrophe”.

Last year’s 50th-anniversary event was marred by more than 450 arrests, the most in almost a decade, with four revellers suffering near-fatal stabbings.

The report calls for improved planning, better health and safety, tighter accounting and a communications team to counter the “current negative narrative” attached to the carnival, which is run by a trust chaired by Pepe Francis and staffed by mostly volunteers. It says organisers need to cut their reliance on public cash to fund security and policing, which cost £8million last year.

No word yet on if the proposed changes will come into play in 2017.