With our expansive parks, raging roster of musical acts and penchant for getting tipsy in the middle of the day, it's no wonder that the city embraces the warmer weather in the only way it knows how, by snagging a spot by the main stage and slurping a Stella on what used to be grass. From craft beer and independent music festivals, to weekend long raves and multi-venue extravaganzas, here are our recommendations for the top 10 summer festivals in London.
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Brockwell Park: June 1st-2nd
The former indie darling of the London summer festival scene, Field Day has continually outdone itself over the past decade. Embracing everything from folk, pop and post-punk to grime, techno and jazz, this year will be the first the festival will spend outside of Hackney as it makes the move south to the sunny inclines of Brockwell Park. Alongside a stellar line up featuring Erykah Badu, Four Tet, Loyle Carner and Charlotte Gainsbourg, Field Day will be bringing its trademark 'village mentality' complete with village green, sack racing, human pyramids and tasty street food.
South West Four
Clapham Common: August 25th-26th
One of the highlights of the August bank holiday weekend, this iconic London festival is known for uniting music fans from around the world with the biggest House, Techno and EDM artists in the business. Turning Clapham Common into a 48-hour rave destination every year, this sprawling music event offers the ultimate bank holiday blow out for lovers of letting loose and dancing their socks off in some summer sunshine.
Across Various Hackney Venues: August 4th
Taking over Hackney's top venues, Visions ploughs the depths of the alternative music scene to showcase some of the best rising stars and under-the-radar talent in the industry. If catching sets from the brightest and most diverse new artists in indie, post-punk, neo-soul and alternative pop wasn't enough, Visions also run a dog show in aid of All Dogs Matter where the prizes up for grabs include Cutest Pup, Waggiest Tail and Best Fancy Dress.
Across Various Streets in Notting Hill & South Kensington: August 26th-27th
Soundsystems, parades, feathers, feathers and more feathers. If you're looking for London's most colourful cavort (and one that originates way back to 1964), Notting Hill Carnival is the place to find it. Set across two storming summer days in a nod to Afro-Caribbean culture, Notting Hill Carnival takes to the streets to tempt Red Stripe-swilling crowds with jerk chicken, street food stands and sound stages blasting out some of the best reggae in the business. And if you're looking to do Carnival properly, you'd better start sussing out the best after parties now.
Various Venues in Camden: June 2nd
One day, 200 bands - think you're up to the challenge? One of the original multi-venue festivals, Camden Rocks offers over twenty different places to catch some of best punk, prog, alternative and grunge bands. This year you can see Maxïmo Park taking over the headline slot, alongside performances from Public Image Ltd, British Sea Power and loads of up-and-coming acts just waiting to become you new favourite band.
London Pride Festival
Across Various London Venues and Streets: June 9th-July 7th
The LGBTQ+ community comes out in full force at one of the friendliest, fun and most colourful festivals in the city. Not only a testament to sexual equality and gender rights, the annual Pride festival turns London into a party palace of parades, picnics live music events, drag nights, diverse names, faces and more. Taking place across an entire month, the festival culminates in the iconic Pride parade that sees central London overrun by a see of rainbow flags and smiling faces.
Finsbury Park: July 6th-8th July
One of London's most vital festivals, Wireless has always had its finger on the pulse. From having New Order, Kasabian, Basement Jaxx and Keane headlining in its inaugural year, it now fronts the cream of the crop when it comes to grime, R&B, rap and hip hop, domestic and international. Where past line-ups have included Jay Z, Drake and Skepta, this year brings Stormzy, J. Cole, DJ Khaled, Post Malone, Wiley and Rick Ross.
Oval Space: June 1st-2nd
Bringing a taste of Brussels to the East End, this Belgian Beer Festival brings twenty craft brewers to Oval Space so you can sample over seventy different beers. The festival has worked hard to rustle up some very tasty grub too, so prepare for Belgian Fries with mayonnaise and lots of cheese-based fare. Finally, if you've sunk a few ales and feel like shaking a tail feather, there'll also be live music from experimental electro-swing outfit, Boogie Belgique.
Brockwell Park: July 13th-14th
One of the coolest and most colourful summer festivals in London, Lovebox can also lay claim to being one of the oldest. Having set up shop in 2005, its comparative maturity has not seen it lose touch with who is coming up trumps in the music stakes. Regularly securing some of the most exciting international artists, past line-ups have seen Snoop Dogg, Blondie, Kelis, LCD Soundsystem and Stormzy take to the stage, because when Lovebox calls, even Frank Ocean turns up.
Alexandra Palace: July 21st
A new addition to the UK festival scene, the inaugural Kaleidoscope Festival will be starting as it means to go on, with a massive party at Ally Pally. A celebration of music and the arts, they're set to see The Flaming Lips, Mystery Jets, John Cooper Clarke and Katherine Ryan grave the stage, and you can catch DJ sets and parties from the likes of Norman Jay MBE and Hip Hop Karaoke.