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You may have to PAY to party at Notting Hill Carnival for the first time ever

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Chris Sayer
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If you’re a hard-partying Londoner, chances are the first thing you’ll do when you get your new 2016 diary is circle the August Bank Holiday with a thick red pen.

With buckets of booze, incredible BBQ, colourful costumes, ear-splittingly loud music and dancing policemen taking to the streets, if you like to rave, then the annual Notting Hill Carnival, Europe’s biggest street festival, is the can’t-miss-by-any-means event of the year.

But the fifty-one year-old street party could be about to change. Big time.

Revellers looking to attend future Carnivals could be asked to buy their way to the fun for the first time ever, with a proposed shift in dates also on the cards.

Conservative MP for Kensington, Victoria Borwick, is behind the proposals that would see the event ticketed in a bid to help with the £7 million pricetag it costs to run the two-day knees-up. She's also pushing forward an idea to move the days to Saturday and Sunday, rather than Sunday and Monday, which would claw back some of the costs incurred by police overtime pay.

Unsurprisingly, devout Carnival lovers have been quick to call out the proposals via Twitter:

The event, which has been marred by crime and violence in the past, consistently has a heavy police presence, with more than 6,000 officers in attendance this year.

“We’re trying to open negotiations with the organisers. We know that the police are talking to the council but we also need to get the Carnival community on board,” Borwick said. “They don’t really want to see any changes but we’ve got to be realistic, this is not the Carnival we had ten or even five years ago. We want it to be a fun family occasion, celebrating the music and the culture, not somewhere people tell terrible stories about crime.”

The outcome of the proposed changes are expected in February 2016. In the meantime, we want to hear what you think - tweet us @shortlist with your opinions.

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Chris Sayer

Chris Sayer is a freelance journalist and editor based in London. Chris has interviewed some of the biggest names in entertainment and travelled the world doing an all manner of adventures for lots of brilliant magazines. He writes for Shortlist about booze but would probably prefer we let him write about fishing instead. Follow Chris on Twitter: @ChrisSayer00

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