Performing in our carnival parades is an amazing experience. The Notting Hill Carnival is the biggest party in the world and our largest parade. We have people from all over the world join us for this special day. The 2018 parade will be our 34th year in the carnival. This year our theme is “The beauties of the Sea”. 

There are many ways that you can get involved in one of our carnivals, these include: playing in the bateria, dancing in one of our alas, designing and building the floats, writing, singing or playing the samba de enredo, designing the costumes, helping to make the costumes, stewarding, publicity, photographing and filming the parade, plus many more!

More information on our previous parades in carnivals can be found by clicking on the links below:

2016 – Somewhere Under The Rainbow
2015 – Voodoo Samba: The Dark Cabaret
2014 – Celebrating 30 years of LSS, Ambassadors of Samba…
2013 – Children of the Sun: The Quest for El Dorado
2012 – Passing the Flame
2011 – Zé Malandro and the Forty Thieves
2010 – Gods, Myths and Monsters
2009 – A History of Samba
2008 – The Green Man
2007 – 200th anniversary of the abolition of the slave trade
2006 – All aboard the LSS: Uma Viagem Através do Mar de Londres a Brasil
2005 – United in Green & White on the Road for Peace & Hope
2004 – Feliz Aniversário Unidos de Londres é Carnaval de Notting Hill
2003 – Black Orpheus in Notting Hill
2002 – A World in the Balance
2001 – The Future is Here: Let’s shake it up!
2000 – 500 Years, Happy Birthday Brazil!
1999 – Flying Down to Rio
1998 – Burning Up!
1997 – Colours of Brazil
1996 – Sambaquarius
1995 – Star Trek – Human Aspiration & Exploration
1994 – Carnival: Passion of the World
1993 – Riches of the Amazon
1992 – LSS performed at Edinburgh Festival instead of Notting Hill Carnival
1991 – Behind the Mask
1990 – Africa, Brazil, London
1989 – Fire in the Forest
1988 – Gods of Freedom
1987 – Black Brazil – The Culture and the Liberty
1986 – Alice in Sambaland
1985 – If you’ve never heard Samba, Listen!
1984 – Homage to Mocidade and Padre Miguel

Support Us

Putting on shows and parades of the quality that we produce takes a lot of hard work, and costs a lot of money! We’re always on the look out for new sponsors and donations. If you would like to find out more about becoming a sponsor, go to our contacts page and get in touch.

We’re always looking for volunteers that are good at finding us new sponsors, or finding ways to raise money. If that’s you then please get in touch now.

If you would like to donate, no matter how big or small then please go to our donations page.

The easiest and quickest way to donate is via text (thanks to vodaphone and justtextgiving):
Just text this code: LSSY27
and the amount you wish to donate £1, £2, £3, £4, £5 or £10
to this number: 70070
You will then receive a confirmation text explaining how you can add 25% to your donation for free with Gift Aid.
This works from any mobile, using any network.
LSS will receive 100% of the donation and sending the text is free!

We’re very grateful to have received funding for our 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015 and 2016 summer of carnivals from the Arts Council’s Lottery Fund.
Lottery Funded. Supported using public funding by Arts Council England

The Performance Bateria are the group of drummers who are chosen (by invite only) to perform at most of live audience events our organisation encounters as the London School of Samba (LSS).

This group is an invite only group. At the LSS we generally look towards recruiting from developing guests and members attending our open workshops on Sundays at Waterloo Action Centre (WAC) or people we've encountered elsewhere in the world playing samba and have relocated to London. But if you are new to the LSS but have some previous samba experience you'd like to join the gigging bateria, simply come and meet us at WAC on a Sunday and either let a bateria director or the mestre de bateria know you're interested and we'll have a look at your skills there and your community spirit and let you know when we reach a decision.

Either before or after you see us at WAC, email us you intention at

In the performance bateria known as the 'gigging bateria' you will be expected to learn more about swing, groove,bossas (breaks) and their relation to various LSS acoustic sets, to learn sambas from the school of past and present as well as some chosen samba from schools from Brazil (in Portuguese) and choreography to aid the performance (something we pride ourselves on). In addition to this we encourage you to increase you general samba knowledge, keep up to date with current samba news and learn about samba's history (although that will be taught school wide) and learn portuguese (even if it's only a little bit).

If you're not initially selected it generally because we feel you have to work on technique, memory or something else there are still opportunities to perform with the samba school in front of a live audience. We hold 3 or 4 performances a year where we invite any member of the samba school to join us for these public performances at events such as the 'London Marathon' or the 'Vitality 10k' and is a great way to bring everyone in the school and other samba friends together. The aim is for each individual to be able to handle the pace of gigging bateria rehearsals and not feel overwhelmed or muddy the collective sound of the bateria. 

From no samba experience to fully fledged gigging bateria percussionist may take time, it may not, so a 'no' from entry to the group from us is not personal or a complete rejection, it's simply stating that for some reason at this time either from us, yourself or circumstances like covid numbers, that it's just not possible at this moment in time.

But don't give up, keep trying. You'll still get to play at school wide gigs and we'll eagerly await the time when the circumstances are right to welcome you in our gigging crew.