For many, the thought of flower crowns, mud creeping into unimaginable places and scalps inch-thick with dry shampoo is dreamy, but for others? The thought is simply hive-inducing. So if you fall into the latter category, don't worry; you can still get your kicks with this handy list. From boozy fiestas celebrating craft beer to K-Pop gigs and a whole week devoted to cocktails, here are the best alternative festivals in London.
13th to 23rd October 2022, cocktail bars across London
A 10-day stint at a festival requires serious graft, or so you thought. London Cocktail Week is a fabulous celebration of creative concoctions organised by DrinkUp, the same folks who brought us Wine Week and Beer Week. Cop yourself a ticket, and you’ll dive into the city’s bustling, boozy scene, with £7 signature sips to try from 300 of the world’s best bars.
26th to 28th August, Ballie Ballerson Shoreditch
Coming at you with three whole days of fun, Ballie’s Bank Holiday Festival in Shoreditch is set to be totally mega. You can expect vibrant decor, the ever-famous, adult-sized ball pit and quirky cocktails galore, with a daily changing playlist of tunes - think Brazilian funk, house, RnB, hip hop, bashment, soca and so much more. If that wasn’t enough? There will also be wild bottomless brunches ripe for the picking.
28th August 2022, Barnet Playing Fields
Make sure to keep the 28th of August free, as The K-Pop Festival is heading to Barnet Playing Fields. It will be championing Korean culture with a lush lineup of performers, including Rocking Doll, Woo, Kaachi, Seeon and many, many more. So, get your dancing shoes, as you’re in for an absolute sonic sensation. Plus, if you get hungry, there will be lots of exciting food and drink to get stuck into.
12th to 13th August, Tobacco Dock
Ah, the golden nectar. London Craft Beer Festival is turning 10 this year, and to celebrate? It's going all out like never before. Popping up at Tobacco Dock, this will see you sipping unlimited (yes, you read that right) beer from over 100 world-class breweries. Plus, to line your stomach, there will be scrumptious bites from the likes of Napoli Gang, Tendril and more. As for the music, while the sets are yet to be confirmed, previous years have seen big names like Hot Chip and Craig Charles gracing the stage.
3rd to 4th September 2022, Norbury Park
Celebrating mouthwatering cuisines from all over the globe, The World Food Festival aims to introduce everyone to grub they may never have tasted before. Not only will there be street food vendors rustling up all kinds of tasty bites at this London festival, but also cooking demonstrations, eating competitions and shopping stalls. On top of that, live tribute bands Take On Take That and West Zone will be bringing the entertainment by the bucketload.
26th to 29th August 2022, The Four Thieves
If you’re looking for something a little low-key, this free Four Thieves Beer Festival 2022 is a celebration of all things hoppy in Battersea. The much-loved pub will be pouring a seriously fab range of brews (with plenty of cans and bottles too), as well as offering tasting flights and food pairings. Even better? There will be beer-themed pizza specials, a BBQ in the garden and, on Saturday, a bottomless brunch with Boogaloo Stu.
11th to 13th August and 8th to 10th September 2022, Bedford Square Gardens
Instead of mud-wrestling at a raucous festival, you can look smugly on from a stunning Georgian garden, safe in the knowledge that you won’t need a tetanus injection later on. Taking place in Bloomsbury’s Bedford Square Gardens, Cocktails In The City is going to be one of the best festivals in London for summer 2022, bringing some of the capital's top bars and mixologists together to shake up a load of signature sips. There will also be masterclasses, live music, street food and a silent disco.
27th August 2022, Barnet Playing Fields
Be transported back to the 90s when garage first reared its party-loving head, as Sun In The City will be setting up shop for nine hours of non-stop fun on Barnet Playing Fields. Some of the biggest DJs, MCs and live artists (So Solid Crew, DJ Luck and MC Neat, plus Heartless Crew) are gearing up for this event, where they will be thumping out house, garage, old skool hip hop, jungle and DnB.
18th September 2022, Burgess Park
From queer nightlife icons Pxssy Palace comes Overlo Festival, where they will be turning Camberwell’s Burgess Park into a beautifully inclusive space that’s celebrating women who are intersex, trans or non-binary. Look forward to banging sound systems blasting out DJ tunes and cracking live performances, as well as workshops, discussions and plenty of vogueing. And on the lineup? Alewya, Crystallmess and many more fabulous artists, making this one of the best music festivals in London for 2022.
5th to 7th October 2022, Old Billingsgate
London Bierfest 2022 is taking over Old Billingsgate in the City for three days of merriment. A Bavarian-style beer festival with plenty to give, this offers unlimited steins of ABK beer and gratifying German grub. Chow down on anything from banging bratwurst and frankfurters to sauerkraut balls and loaded potato skins. And throughout the event, Oompah bands, amazing aerialist performers and dazzling fire artists will be your entertainment.