While last year may have left us without live bands, loud dance tents and lukewarm pints, summer 2021 is making up for lost time. With festival season gaining on us, we're rounding up some of the city's finest, from funk and soul day parties and sprawling cocktail pop-ups, to weekend-long carnivals fronting A-list lineups. Get ready to don your glitter and dance in a field once again, because we've picked our top 10 London music festivals in 2021.
All Points East
Sunday 27th-30th August, Victoria Park
East London's favourite festival is finally returning to Victoria Park this summer. After an extended hiatus, All Points East is back with a bang and it's bringing Field Day along for the ride too. The 2021 lineup of the three-day music event offers a stellar selection of chart-topping artists, from Foals and London Grammar to Kano and Jamie XX, as well as big names from the international electronic scene, including The Blessed Madonna, Bicep and Floating Points.
South Facing Festival
5th-29th August, Crystal Palace Park
A new London festival for summer 2021, South Facing has programmed a whole month of music events for the Crystal Palace Bowl. Kicking off in early August, the open air concert series will see the like of The Streets, Dizzee Rascal and Supergrass heading to SE19 to take their spot on the floating stage. Alongside the celebrity headliners, there'll also be a slew of cult favourites, including Sleaford Mods, The Comet Is Coming and Max Richter.
Various Dates from 17th June, Bedford Square Gardens
One of the best food and drinks festivals in London this year, Cocktails in the City is combining booze, tunes and interactive activities in one swish package. The pop-up event will be showcasing some of the finest mixology in the country, inviting 50 renowned cocktail bars to keep you in quality sips across the day. On top of the impressive drink selection, ticketholders can enjoy non-stop live music from the Piano Works players.
4th September, Brockwell Park
If you're looking for pop stars, drag acts and outrageous outfits, there's only one London summer festival you need to hit up this year. Mighty Hoopla is marking its 2021 return with a star-studded lineup that includes Cheryl, Eve, Gabrielle and actual Atomic Kitten. But this day out is about so much more than the main stage, so get exploring those tents if you want to find comedy, cabaret and quirky bingo events.
31st July, Oval Space
House music party starters Day + Night Group have launched their summer series for 2021, running a range of events across the season, from rooftop blowouts in Brixton to techno specials in Hackney Wick. The team will also be putting on a massive lunch 'til breakfast bash at Oval Space and bringing in an incredible mix of DJs for the occasion, including Ben Rau, Ray Mono and Latchmere Groove.
30th July-1st August, Peckham Rye Park
A weekend dedicated to food, booze and tunes? GALA is back for 2021 and the three-day festival is bringing some much needed hedonism to South London this summer. Mosey over to Peckham Rye Park and you'll find it transformed into a carnival of dance tents, street food vans and pop-up bars. Grab some grub and sink a few pints while you catch sets from Bradley Zero, Gilles Peterson, Jayda G and Horse Meat Disco.
10th-12th September, Crystal Palace Park
One of London's biggest summer music festivals is heading to a new home in 2021. Wireless is upping sticks from Finsbury Park and crossing the river for a weekend residency in Crystal Palace Park this September - and it's set to be a scorcher. The lineup promises huge names across the board, with headline slots from Future, Skepta and Migos, as well as performances from AJ Tracey, Megan Thee Stallion, Rick Ross and Young Thug.
7th August, Various venues around London Fields
London Fields festival Visions returns to the streets of Hackney this August for a party you won't want to miss. Taking over numerous venues across the area, the one-day extravaganza brings together an eclectic mix of established acts and the most exciting new talents on the scene. 2021 will see the event returning to form with a packed programme of gigs and secret sets, as well as everyone's favourite happening - the annual Visions Dog Show.
Cross The Tracks
5th September, Brockwell Park
After a phenomenal first year in 2019, London music festival Cross The Tracks is ready to get back to business. A celebration of jazz, funk and soul, this year's lineup is already making a splash with headline slots from Sister Sledge and Lianne La Havas, as well as appearances from Greentea Peng, Nubya Garcia and SEED Ensemble. And you won't be at a loss for activities between sets either, as this Brockwell Park party fronts a craft beer fair, a creatives market and 40 street food traders.
24th July, Alexandra Palace & Park
Set against the backdrop of the iconic Alexandra Palace, this arty offering is one for those who like their festivals chilled, interesting and family-friendly. Whether you're getting down to Groove Armada on the mainstage, getting your giggles from Phil Wang in the comedy tent or making a fool of yourself at Hip Hop Karaoke, this quirky carnival is offering something for every kind of reveller.
Want more festival inspo? Check out the best of the rest in our UK coverage here.