London News & Search
Notting Hill Carnival has opened with a moving rendition of “Bridge Over Troubled Water” in memory of the Grenfell Tower blaze victims.
The two-day west London festival began on Sunday morning with prayers from multi-faith leaders and a chance for people to pay tribute to the dozens who died in the tragedy.
The powerful song was performed in blazing sunshine on Sunday morning by a singer dressed in “green for Grenfell” – one of the themes suggested for revellers attending this year’s event.
Crowds were moved into silence and many stood with their heads bowed, while others remarked on the “beautiful” and “poetic” rendition.
Multi-faith prayers were also held and Mayor of London Sadiq Khan was pictured at the short service, also wearing green.
The 2017 carnival will be partly defined by the June 14 fire, which ripped through the 24-storey building overnight and revellers are being urged to dress in “green for Grenfell”.
Organisers and community leaders hope the 2017 Notting Hill Carnival will provide a “healing opportunity” for survivors of the blaze, with a minute’s silence to be held at 3pm on both days in tribute.
Performers passing the burnt-out tower have been encouraged to lower their music volume and walk respectfully instead of dancing while hundreds of hand-drawn tributes, flowers and candles laid in the wake of the Grenfell Tower fire will be protected by fencing.
A “ring of care” will be formed around the tower by police officers to protect the Lancaster West estate from the hundreds of thousands of passing carnival-goers.
Security at the carnival is also on high alert this year after a wave of terror attacks across the UK and Europe, including the Barcelona attack earlier this month.
Concrete blocks, steel barriers and weapons checks will be rolled out as part of the intense security operation.
The Met will also be cracking down on acid attacks with checks for corrosive substances and officers stationed around the perimeter of the carnival zone.
Last week it was also announced plain-clothed soldiers carrying hidden guns are set to go undercover at the carnival.
London News & Search