Summer Music Festivals in London

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Field Day

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Field Day
Barclaycard presents British Summer Time Hyde Park
South West Four
Citadel Festival
Citadel Festival
Lovebox
Lovebox
Field Day
Field Day
Hampton Court Palace Festival
Heritage Live Concerts: Kenwood House
Catfish And The Bottlemen play new festival All Points East
Bushstock Festival
Robert Smith curates the Southbank Centre's Meltdown in 2018
Kaleidoscope Festival is new for 2018
The Flaming Lips play at the Kaleidoscope Festival
Katherine Ryan is at the Kaleidoscope Festival
Arcadia London
elrow Town
elrow Town
elrow Town
Mighty Hoopla
Somerset House Summer Series
Kew the Music
 

© Carolina Faruolo

With an abundance of capital based festivals grappling for your attention, there is no need to trek out to the countryside for your summer festival fix. So take a peek at our pick of the city's best festivals: then go forth, frolic in the fields, wear flowers in your hair, heck, you can even dance on a stranger's shoulders. Then hop on the tube and return to your sweet smelling mud-free homes. Perfect.

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Arcadia London

Rudimental, Leftfield, Seth Vath and Groove Armada plus a 50-tonne fire breathing biomechanical spider.

Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park, Olympic Park, London, E15 2EE

Tube: Hackney Wick Overground Station

 

Dates: Saturday 5th and Sunday 6th May 2018

 

Arcadia, the nomadic party organisers known for bringing some memorable sets and a giant mechanical spider to Glastonbury, come to London this May Bank Holiday weekend for a special 10th anniversary show. On Saturday 5th May Leftfield is joined at the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park by the 'godfather of techno', Sven Vath. Both are part of a strong line up which includes Eats Everything and dance duo Groove Armada, a stalwart of the scene for 20 years. Sunday sees chart topping Londoners Rudimental, who rocked the Spider in Seoul, light up the stage with euphoric dancefloor hits. They share the bill with Noisia, the trio of Royal-T, DJ Q and Flava D as well as Preditah and Bassboy delivering high energy beats, urban funk and tinges of inner city soul. Unique to the event is the Metamorphosis show, 30 minutes where the spider comes to life with pyrotechnics and aerial artists, all centred on a 50-tonne fire breathing biomechanical spider.

 
 
 

All Points East

Catfish And The Bottlemen, The xx, Lorde and Bjork appear at this new festival for 2018.

Victoria Park, Grove Road, Tower Hamlets, London, E3 5SN

Tube: Mile End Station

 

Dates: 25th May to 3rd June 2018

 

New for summer 2018, All Points East is a rocking ten day summer music festival coming to Victoria Park in May and June. To kick things off, there's a three day music festival with appearances from headliners LCD Soundsystem, The xx, Lorde and Bjork. It's followed by a four day community-focused midweek programme of comedy, food and outdoor cinema. Then comes a long weekend of three back to back headline shows with Catfish and the Bottlemen, the four-piece from Llandudno, headlining on Friday 1st June 2018, Ohio indie rockers The National play on Saturday and Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds bring the festival to a rousing close on Sunday.

 
 
 

Field Day 2018

Erykah Badu headlines the festivals as it moves south to Brockwell Park.

Brockwell Park, Norwood Road, London, SE24 0PA

Tube: Brixton Station

 

Dates: Friday 1st and Saturday 2nd June 2018

 

Grammy award winning US singer, the queen of neo soul, Erykah Badu headlines Field Day as the festival moves south for 2018, bringing subdued electro, melancholic folk, bold dance acts and a dreamy summer vibe to Brockwell Park for one weekend in June. A prominent feature on London's music festival calendar, the event relocates from Victoria Park, where it ran for 11 years building a reputation for its stand-out line-ups and innovation. This year's massive line up welcomes Four Tet, Loyle Carner, Thundercat, Madlib and Fever Ray as well as West London grime artist AJ Tracey, soulful Manchester duo Children of Zeus and Anglo-French actress and singer Charlotte Gainsbourg among many others.

 
 
 

Mighty Hoopla

R&B royalty TLC lead a line up that includes Lily Allen, Melanie C,Belinda Carlisle and B*Witched.

Brockwell Park, Norwood Road, London, SE24 0PA

Tube: Brixton Station

 

Dates: Sunday 3rd June 2018

 

It all began in Butlin's in Bognor Regis then Mighty Hoopla rolled into the city and after a successful London debut last year the feel good festival returns, arriving in Brockwell Park for the first time this summer. R&B royalty TLC headline this year's event, playing their first ever UK festival performance. The best-selling American girl group leads a line up that includes Lily Allen, Spice Girl Melanie C, Louise, Vengaboys, MNEK, Louisa Johnson, Belinda Carlisle, B*Witched, Nimmo and others. Alternative club nights and performance troupes Sink The Pink, Guilty Pleasures, The Glory, The Grand, Glitterbox and more transform a peaceful park in south London into a summer playground and pop studded party. Expect drag queens, dressing up and glitterbombs a-plenty.

 
 
 

Live At Chelsea

Long weekend of open air concerts at the historic home of the Chelsea Pensioners.

Royal Hospital Chelsea, Royal Hospital Road, London, SW3 4SR

Tube: Sloane Square Station

 

Dates: 14th, 15th, 16th and 17th Jun 2018

 

The Kaiser Chiefs and James Blunt play at the Royal Hospital Chelsea, the home of the Chelsea Pensioners as part of Live At Chelsea, a long weekend of open air concerts at the historic home of the red uniformed Chelsea Pensioners. The concert series returns for a fourth year in 2018, having fast become a fixed staple in London's summer calendar of outdoor music festivals. It has established a reputation for hosting high calibre artists - Rufus Wainwright, Ludovico Einaudi, Simply Red, and Belle & Sebastian have all previously played - entertaining thousands of music lovers as well as the Chelsea Pensioners themselves.

 
 
 
 

Meltdown Festival: Robert Smith

Robert Smith curates the Southbank Centre's Meltdown in 2018.

Southbank Centre, Belvedere Road, South Bank, London, SE1 8XX

Tube: Waterloo Station , Embankment Underground Station

 

Dates: 15th to 24th June 2018

 

The Cure frontman Robert Smith, "the first to lay bare the hidden fragility of the male condition" (The Guardian) curates this year's Meltdown festival. In its 25th year, the Southbank Centre festival will bring more than 30 of Smith's all time favourite artists to the ten-night summer extravaganza. When you realise he has played guitar with Siouxsie and the Banshees and performed and recorded with David Bowie, Billy Corgan, Blink 182, The Stranglers, Placebo, Crystal Castles, Earl Slick, Chris Vrenna, Junkie XL, Faithless, Korn, Blank & Jones, 65daysofstatic and Cult Hero not to mention his work with Steve Severin - creating The Glove's Blue Sunshine project - there's a whole lot of material there. Smith joins a long list of illustrious Meltdown curators including Guy Garvey, James Lavelle and Yoko Ono, Morrissey, Elvis Costello and Jarvis Cocker.

 
 
 

Heritage Live Concerts: Kenwood House

The English Heritage open-air concerts return to Kenwood House on the edge of Hampstead Heath.

Kenwood House, Hampstead Lane, Hampstead, London, NW3 7JR

Tube: Highgate Station

 

Dates: 15th to 24th June 2018

 

Returning for the first time in five years, the Heritage Live Concerts are back at Kenwood House in June 2018. Staged next to a lake and with a captivating view of the magnificent stately home on Hampstead Heath, the concerts are a welcome addition to the capital's summer music festivals. Five concerts are played over two weekends as the series begins with Hacienda Classical on Friday 15th June and Alfie Boe sings live on Saturday 16th June. Acclaimed country singer Kris Kristofferson performs a special concert on Friday 22nd June celebrating his birthday. On Saturday 23rd June The Royal Philharmonic Concert Orchestra celebrates the works of film score composer John Williams, including music from Star Wars, E.T., Harry Potter and Jurassic Park. Finally, Welsh mezzo soprano Katherine Jenkins leads the last night on Sunday 24th June which finishes with an explosive fireworks finale.

 
 
 

Hampton Court Palace Festival

Lionel Richie, Gary Barlow and The Beach Boys play at the historic palace.

Hampton Court Palace, East Molesey, Surrey, London, KT8 9AU

Tube: Richmond Station

 

Dates: 5th to 20th June 2018

 

In its 26th anniversary year, the Hampton Court Palace Festival marks the occasion with nine nights of music in the open-air court of King Henry VIII's Palace - a beautiful backdrop for a line-up of acts worthy of the venue. Lionel Richie plays his only UK gigs of 2018, opening the festival on Tuesday 5th June and Gary Barlow closes the concert series on Wednesday 20th June - a second date had to be added after his first sold out in record time. Paloma Faith, Joe Bonamassa and The Beach Boys are all on the line up which also includes festival favourite Jools Holland & his Rhythm & Blues Orchestra. Guests can bring their own hampers with champers or take advantage of the pre-ordered picnic options on offer which include a VIP package where you get great seats, a champagne reception with canapes as well as dinner with wine.

 
 
 

Bushstock Festival

One-day festival at venues in and around 'The Bush'.

Bush Hall, 310 Uxbridge Road, London, W12 7LJ

Tube: Shepherd's Bush Market Station (Hammersmith and City Line)

 

Dates: Saturday 23rd June 2018

 

English folk rock duo Aquilo (like "Justin Timberlake trying to out-falsetto Jeff Buckley" - Rolling Stone) headlines this year's Bushstock festival, back for its eighth year in 2018. A one-day west London festival played at venues across 'The Bush', more than forty bands play at the annual event which is the brainchild of Communion record company. With bands like Billie Marten, Flyte, Freya Ridings, Haus, Maisie Peters, Matt Woods, Stereo Honey and The Beach lined up to play, it's the perfect chance to enjoy something a little less mainstream, somewhat folksy and a little bit raw.

 
 
 

Somerset House Summer Series

British band Metronomy, hip hop pioneers De La Soul and rising star Jorja Smith perform live.

Somerset House, Strand, Covent Garden, London, WC2R 1LA

Tube: Temple Station

 

Dates: 5th to 15th July 2018

 

British band Metronomy, hip hop pioneers De La Soul and Don Letts, celebrating British bass culture, come to the courtyard of Somerset House for this year's Summer Series - one of the best Summer Music Festivals in London. Australia's festival favourites Flight Facilities are followed by David Rodigan who joins forces with The Outlook Orchestra to present a night of reggae. Philadelphia's finest, The Roots, come before rising stars Jorja Smith and winner of the BBC Sound of 2018, Sigrid ('the new Lorde' - The Guardian). That's all before Ireland's queen of the avant-garde, Roisin Murphy, closes the series. In addition to eleven nights of live music there's The Influence Project, a photography exhibition that digs deep into the roots and influence of modern R&B, Funk, Soul and Afrobeat.

 
 
 
 

British Summer Time Hyde Park

Roger Waters, Eric Clapton, Michael Buble and Bruno Mars headline in 2018.

Hyde Park, Rangers Lodge, Hyde Park, London, W2 2UH

Tube: Knightsbridge Station

 

Dates: 6th to 14th July 2018

 

Roger Waters, Eric Clapton, Michael Buble and Bruno Mars play live in Hyde Park as British Summer Time returns for a sixth year in 2018 with another impressive line-up of big names in rock and pop. Playing Hyde Park on Saturday 14th July 2018, Brit and Grammy Award winner Bruno Mars will be joined by special guest, Khalid, who at the age of 19 won 2017's MTV VMA award for Best New Artist. Between two weekends of live music there's free entertainment in Hyde Park with open-air movie nights and tennis screenings, street food stalls and daytime DJs. Free sports sessions and after school multi-sports for kids are also part of the mid-week entertainment. Look out for more acts to be announced.

 
 
 

Kew the Music

Head to the beautiful botanic gardens at Kew to hear the Gipsy Kings, The Human League and Jools Holland.

Kew Gardens (Royal Botanic Gardens), Kew, Richmond, London, TW9 3AB

Tube: Kew Gardens Station

 

Dates: 10th to 15th Jul 2018

 

Gipsy Kings, The Human League and Jools Holland play live at this year's Kew the Music, a week-long festival of summer picnic concerts set within the stunning grounds of the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew. On Wednesday 11th July The Gipsy Kings featuring Nicolas Reyes and Tonnino Baliardo play hits from their eponymous album which featured the global smash hits Bamboleo, Un Amor and Djoba Djoba. Electro-pioneers The Human League play their heady cocktail of pop, dance, glamour and electronics on Friday 13th July and Jools Holland and his Rhythm & Blues Orchestra wrap things up on Sunday, with help from regular guest vocalists Ruby Turner and Louise Marshall.

 
 
 

Lovebox

Lovebox moves to its new home in Gunnersbury Park in July 2018.

Gunnersbury Park, Popes Lane, London, W3 8LQ

Tube: Acton Town Station

 

Dates: Friday 13th and Saturday 14th July 2018

 

Legendary rap group Wu-Tang Clan, Childish Gambino, N.E.R.D and Skepta lead the line up at Lovebox which comes to Gunnersbury Park in July 2018. After thirteen years at Victoria Park, Lovebox moves to its new West London home in Gunnersbury Park for its 16th year. Jools Butterfield, founder of the festival, says: "Nothing stays the same forever, and after thirteen very happy years in East London, it's time to open a new, ever more colourful chapter in our history." With high calibre headliners and a laid back party atmosphere, the love Londoners have for Lovebox continues to burn bright. The day after Lovebox, on 13th and 14th July, Citadel opens its doors on Sunday 15th July 2018.

 
 
 

Citadel Festival

Modern electronic music and Sunday Papers Live at the festival which moves to Gunnersbury Park.

Gunnersbury Park, Popes Lane, London, W3 8LQ

Tube: Acton Town Station

 

Dates: Sunday 15th July 2018

 

Australian psych-rockers Tame Impala headline Citadel festival with CHVRCHES and The Horrors also on the excellent line up as the laid back one-day festival moves to a new West London location this July: Gunnersbury Park. As well as music on the main stage there's a good choice of alternative entertainment from dance and drawing to screen printing and children's workshops, fashion and beauty stalls, fitness activities like disco dodgeball, and Sunday Papers Live with invited speakers creating a forum for debate.

 
 
 

Kaleidoscope Festival

The Flaming Lips, Katherine Ryan and Chickenshed Theatre make this a festival for fun-seekers of all ages.

Alexandra Palace, Alexandra Palace Way, Wood Green, London, N22 7AY

Tube: Bounds Green Station

 

Dates: Saturday 21st July 2018

 

This summer, Alexandra Palace presents brand new music and arts festival, Kaleidoscope. Billed as the first festival of its kinds at the north London venue, with far reaching views of the city, there's live music from The Flaming Lips, The Go! Team, Ghostpoet, Mystery Jets, alongside DJ sets from the likes of The 2 Bears, Norman Jay MBE, Don Letts and others. It's not just about the music. Katherine Ryan and Mark Watson cover off comedy, there's poetry from Dr. John Cooper Clarke and Bang Said The Gun, inspiring insights from LDN Talks and musical satire from Johnny & The Baptist. Also on the bill are immersive experts RIFT - find them in the rarely opened Victorian basements - and the death-defying Gorilla Circus while demos from the Science Museum and performances from Flying Seagull Project and Chickenshed Theatre make this a festival for fun-seekers of all ages. Food stalls include a lovingly curated vegan corner and there's a wellbeing space for the more mindfully inclined.

 
 
 
 

elrow Town

Top DJs play to a pack-out crowd from a multi-story tower-block stage.

Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park, Olympic Park, London, E15 2EE

Tube: Hackney Wick Overground Station

 

Dates: Saturday 18th August 2018

 

After a successful debut last August - when 25,000 people flocked to London's Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park for a first class rave - elrow Town returns on Saturday 18th August 2018 and this time they promise even more mayhem. Expect top DJs playing to a pack-out crowd from a colossal multi-story tower-block stage, while giant puppets, enormous inflatables and a twenty-foot high mechanical camel dazzle partygoers beneath a monsoon of streamers and confetti. Club night organisers elrow are also responsible for creating Monegros Festival and legendary Club Florida 135 in Fraga, Spain, and they have teamed up with Amnesia in Ibiza, adding circus and herds of unicorns to the club's Saturday nights.

 
 
 

South West Four

Dizzee Rascal, Marshmello and Chase and Status play live at the South London open air dance festival.

Clapham Common, Windmill Drive, London, SW4 9DE

Tube: Clapham South Station

 

Dates: Saturday 25th and Sunday 26th August 2018

 

Now a firm favourite on the London festival calendar after 15 successful years, South West Four is back for two days of dance music and big names over the Bank Holiday weekend, on Saturday 25th and Sunday 26th August. Dizzee Rascal, Dutch DJ Armin van Buuren and masked superstar Marshmello play the main stage on Saturday. The anonymous American brings his 'Melloville' concept to London for the first time and he's joined by his 'Twinbow' collaborator Slushii. On Sunday Chase & Status, Craig David and grime star Lethal Bizzle top a line-up filled with many stars of the dance scene. Filling Clapham Common with revellers united in the knowledge that they don't have to get up for work the next day, the festival finishes around 11pm but there are after-parties for those keen on all-night revelry.

 
 
 
 
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