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Summer Music Festivals in London

 
 
 
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Heritage Live Concerts: Kenwood House
Somerset House Summer Series
All Points East
GALA Festival
Rick Astley plays at Hampton Court Palace Festival
Greenwich Music Time
Wireless Festival
Gipsy Kings play at Kew the Music
British Summer Time Hyde Park
Grace Jones: Meltdown Festival 2020
South West Four
Kaleidoscope Festival
Mighty Hoopla
Waterworks Festival
 

 

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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All Points East

Tame Impala, Glass Animals, Kraftwerk 3D and Iggy Pop play over two May weekends.

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

Tube: Mile End Station

 

Dates: 22nd to 31st May 2020

 

London's hottest new music festival, All Points East, is back for its third year in 2020, taking place over two May weekends at Victoria Park along with four days of midweek fun. To kick things off, there's a three day music festival with appearances from headliners Tame Impala and Caribou as well as Glass Animals and Whitney. It's followed by a four-day community-focused midweek programme of comedy, food, outdoor cinema and more. Then comes a long weekend of three back to back shows with Kraftwerk 3D, Iggy Pop, Chromatics and Johnny Marr all playing on Friday 29th. Following Tame Impala on Saturday, Massive Attack performs a UK exclusive, headlining on Sunday 24th May with support from Nils Frahm, Young Fathers and Neneh Cherry.

 
 
 

GALA Festival

Disco focused festival in Peckham Rye Park on the late May Bank Holiday weekend.

Peckham Rye Park, Strakers Road, London, SE15 3UA

Tube: Denmark Hill Station

 

Dates: Saturday 23rd and Sunday 24th May 2020

 

Expanding to two days for the first time, Gala Festival kicks off the summer with a disco focused festival on the late May Bank Holiday weekend at Peckham Rye Park. Motor City Drum Ensemble, Gilles Peterson, Francois K, Move D, DJ Tennis, and Nightmares on Wax join the line-up celebrating the festival's fifth year. NYC legend Francois K headlines the main stage on Saturday while modern club hero Motor City Drum Ensemble play on Sunday. GALA has collaborated with curators including Gerd Janson, Job Jobse, Worldwide FM, Jayda G, Horse Meat Disco, Foundation FM and Bradley Zero to produce a line-up of dance floor fillers. Returning with its biggest line-up to date, the festival spans four stages, with sounds covering house and disco, jazz and afrobeats.

 
 
 

Hampton Court Palace Festival

Rick Astley, Lionel Richie and George Benson play at Henry VIII's historic palace.

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

Tube: Richmond Station

 

Dates: 4th to 19th June 2020

 

The man who gave us 'Never Gonna Give You Up' in the nineties, Rick Astley, is on the bill alongside Lionel Richie and George Benson for this year's Hampton Court Palace Festival. Enjoying a second career after early success at the age of 21, Rick Astley has emerged from the shadows of Stock, Aitken and Waterman. Lionel Richie, the superstar behind mega-hits like 'All Night Long', 'Hello' and 'Say You, Say Me', plays two nights at the summer music festival while singer-guitarist George Benson pays tribute to Fats Domino and rock guitar hero Chuck Berry. Other acts on the line-up this year include Tom Jones, Dido, Lighthouse Family and Bjorn Again. Each evening concert is set against the beautiful backdrop of Henry VIII's magnificent Tudor Hampton Court Palace. Now in its 28th year, the festival encourages a spot of picnicking, a VIP experience and the chance to hear some well known musicians in an intimate 3,000-seat open-air auditorium.

 
 
 

Mighty Hoopla

Pop stars Anastacia, Natasha Bedingfield and Atomic Kitten take to the main stage.

Brockwell Park, Norwood Road, London, SE24 0PA

Tube: Brixton Station

 

Dates: Saturday 6th June 2020

 

It all began in Butlins in Bognor Regis, then in 2017 feel good festival Mighty Hoopla rolled into the city and now it returns to Brockwell Park on Saturday 6th June 2020. Pop stars Anastacia, Natasha Bedingfield and Atomic Kitten take to the main stage, playing big pop anthems with setlists full of singalong hits including I'm Outta Love, These Words and Eternal Flame. Gabrielle takes to the mic to perform a selection of her huge chart-toppers and pop icon Jimmy Somerville delivers his distinctive falsetto with a big band and string backup. Also joining the line-up are Allie X, '90s legend Betty Boo, London Gay Men's Chorus, and dance music phenomenon Sonique. Celebrating alternative club culture, Sink The Pink, Guilty Pleasures and The Grand will be bringing flamboyantly fabulous pageants, DJ sets and dance moves while Maxwell's House of Cabaret bandstand returns to the fabulous festival of revelry, inclusivity and biodegradable glitter.

 
 
 

Meltdown Festival 2020

Grace Jones invites Solange Knowles and Barry White to this year's Meltdown festival.

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

Tube: Waterloo Station , Embankment Underground Station

 

Dates: 12th to 21st June 2020

 

Solange Knowles, queer-feminist Peaches and soul icon Barry White are just three of the acts Grace Jones has invited to the Southbank Centre as she curates this year's Meltdown festival which returns for its 27th year. Reggae great Jimmy Cliff, the musician who penned 'I Can See Clearly Now', Lee Scratch Perry, who returns after curating Meltdown in 2003, and Graces Jones herself perform - as the curator closes the festival with "an extraordinary new show unlike any other she has performed before". Look out for The Love Unlimited Synth Orchestra, Skunk Anansie, Baaba Maal, Oumou Sangare, Meshell Ndegeocello, Lee Fields and the Expressions, Ladysmith Black Mambazo and more also at the fantastic festival of contemporary music and culture. As curator, Grace Jones joins a long list of illustrious Meltdown maestros including Nile Rogers, David Bowie, James Lavelle and Yoko Ono, Morrissey, Elvis Costello and Jarvis Cocker.

 
 
 
 

Heritage Live Concerts: Kenwood House

Noel Gallagher's High Flying Birds are at the picnic concerts on the edge of Hampstead Heath.

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

Tube: Highgate Station

 

Dates: Sunday 21st June 2020

 

Returning to Kenwood House, the Heritage Live Concerts are back at the English Heritage owned stately home on Hampstead Heath for one weekend only in June. The first of this year's lineup to be announced is Noel Gallagher's High Flying Birds who play on Sunday 21st June. The concerts offer a chance to see live music in an intimate open air setting. You can bring in your own picnic as long as it fits in one standard sized bag, bottled water but no alcohol or soft drinks - they are plenty available to buy at the bars which are open throughout. Come with a picnic blanket or small folding camping chair (if you're happy to sit at the back) or hire a deckchair for a fiver on the night. Staged next to the lake and with a captivating view of the magnificent Kenwood House, the concerts are a welcome addition to the capital's summer music festivals.

 
 
 

British Summer Time Hyde Park

Head to Hyde Park to see big gigs by Little Mix, Pearl Jam and Taylor Swift.

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

Tube: Knightsbridge Station

 

Dates: 3rd to 12th July 2020

 

Little Mix, Kendrick Lamar, Pearl Jam and Taylor Swift play live in Hyde Park as the ten day British Summer Time music festival returns for its eighth year in 2020 with another impressive line-up of big names in rock and pop. Playing Hyde Park on Saturday 4th July, British girl group Little Mix are joined by special guests Rita Ora, Kesha and Zara Larsson. Kendrick Lamar gets support from James Blake, Brittany Howard. Pearl Jam plays a sold out concert with Pixies and White Reaper as special guests while Sunday 11th July sees Taylor Swift rock the park. Between two weekends of live music there's Open House, free midweek entertainment with open-air movie nights and tennis screenings, street food stalls and daytime DJs.

 
 
 

Wireless Festival 2020

London's major festival of hip-hop, grime and rap.

Finsbury Park, Endymion Road, London, N4 1EE

Tube: Manor House Station

 

Dates: 3rd, 4th and 5th July 2020

 

Since its first outing back in 2005 Wireless has firmly established itself as one of London's major large scale hip-hop, grime and rap music events, attracting crowds of over 20,000 for each of the three days. In 2020 the music festival returns to Finsbury Park for a seventh year with hip-hop legends A$AP Rocky in the Friday headline slot, Skepta as top of the bill on Saturday and Robert 'Meek Mill' Williams closing the festival as the Sunday headliner. Atlanta-raised rapper Lil Baby, Londoners D-Block Europe, 'futuristic trap' by Lil Uzi Vert and the first ever Quality Control performance in Europe are also part of the huge lineup which includes AJ Tracey whose 2019 performance was a real crowd pleaser. New licensing rules brought in last year mean performers mustn't swear on stage which means Stormzy "would have to change at least 17 of the 21 songs performed during his set in 2018" - says BBC Radio 1 Newsbeat.

 
 
 

Greenwich Music Time

Sarah Brightman and Lewis Capaldi appear in the grounds of the Old Royal Naval College.

Old Royal Naval College, King William Walk, London, SE10 9LW

Tube: New Cross Station (East London line closed. Bus service operates)

 

Dates: 6th to 12th Jul 2020

 

Set within the grounds of the Old Royal Naval College, Greenwich Music Time is a week-long series of al fresco concerts. In its seventh year the festival welcomes Sarah Brightman, Lea Salonga and John Barrowman, Lewis Capaldi, Ms. Lauryn Hill and McFly to the magnificent surroundings of Sir Christopher Wren's twin-domed riverside masterpiece. Between them, they cover everything from West End ballads to R'n'B, show tunes to pure pop. All concerts are held in a purpose build outdoor arena, overlooking the Thames and lit by the big city lights of Canary Wharf making this one of London's best loved summer music festivals.

 
 
 

Kew the Music

Hear the Gipsy Kings, Bananarama and James Blunt at the beautiful botanic gardens at Kew.

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

Tube: Kew Gardens Station

 

Dates: 7th to 12th Jul 2020

 

Bananarama, James Blunt and Jack Savoretti, Will Young and James Morrison, DJ Spoony and the Gipsy Kings play at Kew the Music in 2020, a week of summer picnic concerts set within the stunning grounds of the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew. 1980's pop group Bananarama, with support from Gabrielle and Rebecca Ferguson, kicks off the series on Tuesday 7th July. British singer-songwriter James Blunt plays well loved songs like You're Beautiful and Goodbye My Lover. Will Young and James Morrison both play headline sets on the same night. The godfather of garage DJ Spoony plays classics like '21 Seconds' before the Gipsy Kings bring the series to a close. Perfect for a picnic, opt for the VIP package and you'll get ready-made hampers to collect on the night.

 
 
 
 

Somerset House Summer Series

Eleven nights of live music in one of London's most spectacular settings.

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

Tube: Temple Station

 

Dates: 9th to 19th July 2020

 

An annual highlight in July, the Somerset House Summer Series invites a handful of big name bands to play live in the grand 18th-century courtyard of Somerset House. One of the best Summer Music Festivals in London, last year's event saw the likes of Grammy-nominated five-piece The Internet, Brit Award-nominee Nao, and Mercury Prize-nominated Sons of Kemet perform before garage punk band Gossip closed the festival with the ultimate party night. Expect eleven nights of live music in one of London's most spectacular settings.

 
 
 

Lovebox

Lovebox returns to Gunnersbury Park and invites Tyler, the Creator to the party.

Gunnersbury Park, Popes Lane, London, W3 8LQ

Tube: Acton Town Station

 

Dates: 12th, 13th and 14th July 2020

 

After two successful years in its new home, Lovebox returns to Gunnersbury Park in July 2020 for its 18th year adding an extra day to the urban music festival. American rapper, record producer, director, fashion designer and Tyler, the Creator who has remodelled himself as "a blond-wigged, Warhol-esque funk and soul singer" (The Guardian) headlines the final night of the festival. Khalid fills the top slot on the Friday night of the festival before Disclosure play their only UK festival of 2020 as headliners on the Saturday night. There's strong support from Hot Chip, Jorja Smith, Little Simz and Mabel all playing on Friday. Anderson .Paak and his live band, The Free Nationals, play on the Saturday along with Peggy Gou. There's no slacking off on Sunday. The last day welcomes performances from Charli XCX and FKA Twigs as well as Tyler Okonma. With its high calibre headliners and a laid-back party atmosphere, Lovebox is reliably one of the best summer music festivals in London.

 
 
 

Kaleidoscope Festival

Groove Armada play a huge live set at this fun-filled festival with far reaching views.

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

Tube: Bounds Green Station

 

Dates: Saturday 25th July 2020

 

After a year off Kaleidoscope returns to Alexandra Palace bringing a one-day festival of music and arts to the north London venue which offers far reaching views of the city from its well positioned hilltop location. There'll be huge live performances by Groove Armada, hip hop rockers Fun Lovin' Criminals and House Gospel Choir as well as mesmerising DJ sets by Norman Jay. Words and comedy comes from Trainspotting author Irvine Welsh, radio presenter Lauren Laverne, comedian Reginald D Hunter, podcaster Ed Gamble, panellists Phil Wang and Sophie Duker and more. Immersive experts RIFT take up residence in Ally Pally's Victorian basements deep below the palace itself. As well as live music, DJ sets, comedy and immersive theatre, there'll be family entertainment from the Chicken Shed, food and drink from local traders and cabaret by The Glory ft. Jonny Woo and John Sizzle.

 
 
 

Waterworks Festival

Brand new electronic dance festival blends DJ sets and live acts.

WaterWorks Nature Reserve, Lammas Road, London, E10 7QB

Tube: Leyton Station

 

Dates: Saturday 22nd August 2020

 

A blend of DJ sets and live acts, Waterworks is a brand new electronic dance festival for London, making its debut in 2020. Boasting some of the most well known names in electronic music, DJs on the line-up include - in no particular order - Andrew Weatherall, Ben UFO and Shanti Celeste. Younger artists like Sicaria Sound and Sherelle bring their youthful energy alongside techno DJ Call Super, aka Joe Seaton, Eris Drew and FAUZIA. Man of the moment Novelist gives us gritty lyricism, there's a lesson in bass music courtesy of L U C Y and the unmistakeable drum and bass sounds of the legendary DJ Storm. Objekt, Krywald & Farrer, Body Hammer, Call Super, Saoirse and Craig Richards also unleash genre-spanning sets throughout the event. The whole thing has been put together by the founders of Percolate and Love International who were taken in by the open air site, next to the Nature Reserve, and the wildflower meadows that contrast with the industrial landscape just beyond. Being in the middle of a field, the organisers promise the volume will be at the level "proper dance music deserves".

 
 
 

South West Four

Two days of top class dance music over the late August Bank Holiday weekend.

Clapham Common, Windmill Drive, London, SW4 9DE

Tube: Clapham South Station

 

Dates: Saturday 29th and Sunday 30th August 2020

 

A firm favourite on the London festival calendar after 16 successful years, South West Four is back on Clapham Common for two days of dance music and big names over the late August Bank Holiday weekend. Electronic dance trio Major Lazer and East London grime artist Kano headline on Saturday while The Streets and rappers Krept X Konan take the main spots on Sunday. Kelis kicks off the weekend celebrating 20 years of Kaleidoscope on Saturday when Rudimental and their label Major Toms host the indoor main stage. Expect sets from producer Jonas Blue, Australians Anna Lunoe b2b Nina Las Vegas and Dutch master of live instrumental-led feel-good house Bakermat. Starting things off on the outdoor stage on Sunday is Stefflon Don, followed by UK female rapper Ms Banks and Steel Banglez. Many stars of the global dance scene take part, 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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