London’s Best Summer Music Festivals
You don’t need to travel far for your festival fix – London has a great lineup of summer festivals with headliners including Solange, Kylie Minogue, Chaka Khan, Celine Dion, Jamiroquai, Rag ‘n’ Bone Man and Cliff Richard
Lead image: Hampton Court Palace Festival
1 British Summer Time Festival, Hyde Park
British Summer Time returns to Hyde Park with another huge line-up from 5-14 July, and there are some whopping names on the line-up: Celine Dion, Barbra Streisand and Florence & The Machine to name a few! Since its debut in 2013, the alfresco stage has welcomed the likes of the Rolling Stones, Stevie Wonder, Taylor Swift and Massive Attack. This year it’s back with another star-studded roll call, with Celine Dion on 5 July, The Stevie Wonder Song Party on 6 July, Barbra Streisand with Bryan Ferry on 7 July, Florence & The Machine with The National and Lykke Li on 13 July, and Robbie Williams with Black Eyed Peas. Keane, Texas and Feeder on 14 July. Wowsers. Open House returns too, when the site opens up for movie nights, circus performances, street food and Wimbledon screenings from 8-11 July. Ticket prices vary.
2 OnBlackheath, Blackheath
OnBlackheath has boldly moved it’s end-of-summer soiree to peak festival season this year, but is certainly delivering with Jamiroquai, Grace Jones, The Roots, Rag ‘n’ Bone Man, UB40 (featuring Ali Campbell and Astro), Mocheeba and Aswad on the bill. Plus, Street Feast – the genius curators behind Dinerama in Dalston, Giant Robot in Canary Wharf and Lewisham Model market, will be curating the food and drink lineup, so you know the burgers will be the best in town. The Family Playground returns too with TV stars Mister Maker, Andy and the Odd Socks and even Sooty, who will be holding his very own Birthday Bake-Off. Interactive musical fun will come courtesy of Boppin’ Bunnies and The Pop Bingo Disco, along with some astonishing visual displays from The Science Museum and Samsam Bubbleman’s Giant Bubble Show. Tickets from £39.50.
3 Hampton Court Palace Festival, Hampton Court
The beautiful grounds of Hampton Court Palace will once again open up for picnics (courtesy of Fortnum & Mason, no less) and performances from 6-21 June. Dig out your hot pants, as the one and only Kylie Minogue will perform on Thursday 20 and Friday 21 June, while Michael Ball & Alfie Boe will bring the festival to a close on Saturday 22 June, followed by a spectacular fireworks finale. Other massive names include Jools Holland on Thursday 6 June, The Jacksons on Friday 7 June, Busted on 8 June, Caro Emerald on Wednesday 12 June, Nile Rodgers & Chic on Friday 14 June & Saturday 15 June, and the iconic Tears For Fears on Tuesday 18 June & Wednesday 19 June. Now in its 27th year, Hampton Court Palace Festival is a series of unique open-air concerts performed in a 3,000-seat auditorium against the backdrop of Henry VIII’s Tudor palace.
Hampton Court Palace, Surrey KT8 9AU; hamptoncourtpalacefestival.com
4 Nile Rodger’s Meltdown, Southbank Centre
Three-time Grammy Award-winning American composer, producer and guitarist will take over Southbank Centre from 3-11 August 2019 with his hand-picked line-up of music, art and free events. From co-founding disco pioneers CHIC with Bernard Edwards to his success as a songwriter and producer, Rodgers has contributed to records that have cumulatively sold more than 500 million albums and 75 million singles worldwide. The music legend will employ his unique creative vision to curate festivities across the Royal Festival Hall, the newly revamped Queen Elizabeth Hall and Purcell Room, and the rest of Southbank Centre’s 17-acre cultural quarter on the banks of the Thames. Meltdown has previously been curated by the likes of John Peel, David Bowie, Morrissey, Patti Smith, Massive Attack and, last year, The Cure frontman Robert Smith.
5 Live at Chelsea Show, The Royal Hospital
Live at Chelsea returns from 13-16 June to celebrate its fifth year in the grounds of the Royal Hospital Chelsea. Headliners Tom Jones, Toto (with special guests The Darkness) and Gipsy Kings featuring Nicolas Reyes and Tonino Ballardo will bring the iconic home of the Chelsea Pensioners, who offer the audience a warm welcome into the immaculate grounds, to life this summer. Toto will headline on Thursday 13 June, while Gipsy Kings featuring Nicolas Reyes and Tonino Ballardo will headline on Friday 14 June and Tom Jones on Saturday 15 June and Sunday 16 June. Every year, a portion of the ticket sales from the event is donated towards the care of the Chelsea Pensioners, as well as the maintenance of the Grade I listed site which provides care and comradeship to ex-military personnel. Tickets from £45.
6 Greenwich Music Time, Old Royal Naval College
Greenwich Music Time returns to the glorious maritime setting of the Old Royal Naval College for five days this July to celebrate its 5th anniversary. Cliff Richard will open the event on Monday 1 July, with Paul Weller bringing it to a close on Sunday 7 July. In between there’s a night of West End Proms on Thursday 4 July (where some of the world’s most talented musical theatre stars will unite for an evening of live music with a 32-piece orchestra), electronic duo Groove Armada on Friday 5 July and Whitney: Queen of the Night (a celebration of the music and life of one of Whitney Houston) on Saturday 6 July. It’s a mixed bag for sure! Tickets range from £20 to £247 for a ticket-and-hotel package.
7 Tom Kerridge’s Pub in the Park, Chiswick
Pub in the Park, launched by Michelin-starred chef Tom Kerridge in 2017, is to land in London for the first time this summer, bringing with it big names like Gabrielle, Clean Bandit, Texas and Scouting for Girls. The event, which combines great food, chef demos, shopping and – since a proper pub wouldn’t be complete without it – live music, will take place in the grounds of Chiswick House. Also on the line-up are Toploader, Sophie Ellis-Bextor, Stereo MCs, Soul II Soul Sound System and Natalie Williams and the Soul Family. Pop up pubs at Chiswick House will include London favourites such as Jason Atherton’s Berners Tavern, as well as Tom Kerridge’s two Michelin-starred Marlow pub, The Hand & Flowers, and Heston Blumenthal’s The Hinds Head from Bray. London restaurants like Claude Bosi’s Oyster Bar at Bibendum, Jose Pizarro, Rick Stein (Barnes) and Angela Hartnett’s Café Murano will also host pop-ups. Tickets are £30 for adults and £20 for under 16s.
Chiswick House & Gardens, Burlington Lane, Chiswick W4 2RP; pubintheparkuk.com
8 All Points East, Victoria Park
24-26 May & 31 May-2 June
All Points East takes place over two weekends in Victoria Park. Run by AEG Presents, the event features some of the most exciting names in music. Taking to the stage on weekend one are The Chemical Brothers, Hot Chip, Primal Scream (24 May), The Strokes, Interpol, Johnny Mar (25 May), Christine and the Queens, James Blake and Metronomy (26 May). On weekend two, it’s Bring Me the Horizon, Architects, Nothing But Thieves (31 May), Mumford & Sons, Dizzee Rascal, The Vaccines (1 June), Bon Iver, Mad Demarco and First Aid Kit (2 June). Plus, on Bank Holiday Monday (27 May), the JägerHaus, located between the north and east stages, presents Soho Radio Live during All Points East’s free midweek In The Neighbourhood programme. Florian Beuren, Jägermeister’s UK Brand Ambassador, will also lead cocktail ‘meisterclasses’ at 1pm, 2.30pm and 4pm. Single day and weekend tickets available (ticket prices vary).
9 Community Festival, Finsbury Park
After two hugely successful years, Community Festival returns to Finsbury Park with The Kooks, Blossoms, The Amazons, Kate Nash, Gerry Cinnamon, Don Broco, Sea Girls, The Hunna and taking to the stage. Marking itself out in the calendar for an entire generation of indie fans, Community Festival hosts an unmissable festival line up of the biggest and best loved British guitar bands going, following in the footsteps of legends like Oasis, The Stone Roses and The Sex Pistols to play the iconic park. Headlining its third year is indie royalty The Kooks, playing their biggest show yet. With huge hits in their arsenal like Naive and She Moves In Her Own Way, a festival sing-along is certainly on the cards. Tickets £40.
10 Kew the Music, Royal Botanic Gardens
Kew the Music, which takes place in the glorious grounds of Royal Botanic Gardens, has an incredible line-up including soul-queen Beverley Knight, Billy Ocean, Jess Glynne and Garbage. Jools Holland and his Rhythm & Blues Orchestra will also be playing, as will 90s/00s legend Craig David and 80s icon Rick Astley. Beverley Knight and Billy Ocean will both play full headline sets on 9 July, followed by the spellbinding Jess Glynne on 10 July, Jools Holland and his Rhythm & Blues Orchestra on 11 July, Craig David on 12 July, Garbage on 13 July and, finally, Rick Astley on 14 July. Kew the Music won the prestigious Tony Kane Cultural Experience of the Year at the Time & Leisure Food & Culture 2018 Awards. BBQ and VIP Hospitality dining experiences are available. Tickets from £45.
11 Mighty Hoopla, Brockwell Park
Mighty Hoopla is not your average festival – it’s a colourful pop extravaganza! Chaka Khan, Bananrama, Ultra Nate, All Saints, Jamelia, Kate Nash, Liberty X and Artful Dodger will be rocking the south London park, and even Gok Wan will take a turn on the decks. In between artists there’ll be some lighthearted musical fun with Bongo’s Bingo, Massaoke, Guilty Pleasures, Ultimate Power, plus 90s dance cardio with Frame. Look out for Gals Aloud too, the fabulously funny drag sensation, featuring six of the UK’s fiercest drag queens, who will pay homage to Girls Aloud (the highs and the lows). Tickets from £50.
12 Citadel, Gunnersbury Park
Catfish and the Bottlement headline Citadel 2019, the one-day family-friendly festival in Gunnersbury Park. Bastille, Friendly Fires, Bear’s Den, Matt Corby, DMAs and Tinariwen will also be taking to the stage, alongside street arts, spoken word, comedy, Sunday Papers Live, a mass yoga stretch, street food and prosecco on tap. Wellbeing takes centre stage too, with Guerilla Science’s Space Yoga with the UK Space Agency, a cosmic yoga class that mimics the effects of microgravity on the body and mind. There’ll be plenty of family fun too, including The Roald Dahl Museum and Story Centre. Tickets from £39.50.
13 Summer Series, Somerset House
Somerset House Summer Series returns for 11 nights of open-air gigs celebrating established and up-and-coming artists in an iconic central London setting. Things kick off with the sweet, sultry sound of The Internet on 11 July, followed by leftfield soul-pop by Nao on 12 July, Sons of Kemet on 13 July, Jacob Banks on 14 July, Latino pop queen Rosalia on 15 July, Mercury Prize nominated Doves on 16 July, The Good, The Bad & The Queen on 17 July, Parcels on 18 July, Cut Copy on 19 July and Soulection on 20 July. Garage punk outfit Gossip will be bringing the festivities to an end with a dynamic closing set. Tickets from £31.25-£48.75.
14 Lovebox, Gunnersbury Park
Lovebox’s two day music festival returns to Gunnersbury Park in west London after setting up a new home there last summer. Queen Bey’s younger and no-less-talented sis Solange will be headlining the Main Stage on Friday night, with Chicago’s Chance The Rapper taking the top spot on the Main Stage on Saturday. Cyprus Hill will be performing their Black Sunday album on Friday, and there’ll also be special appearances from the likes of Giggs, Four Tet, Annie Mac, Loyle Carner, Action Bronson and Kaytranada. The festival also has plenty of street food and cocktail bars, as well as fun and games, karaoke and body decorating stations to enjoy between sets. Tickets are on sale now, priced £64.50-£69.50 for a day ticket and £115 for a weekend ticket. VIP options available. Tickets from £62.50.
15 Art’s House & One Day at the Disco, Three Mills Island
10 & 24 August
East London’s Three Mills Island, the picturesque canal-side destination between Bow and Stratford, will host two exciting festivals this summer Art’s House on 10 August and One Day At The Disco on 24 August. Art’s House, now in its second year, returns for an all-day party sound-tracked by two of London’s most iconic DJs: Artwork and DJ Harvey. Expect cold craft beers, street food and a great back-to-back set from two of the dance scene’s most respected pancake turners. Then, on 24 August, brand new festival One Day At The Disco will be headlined by 2ManyDJs and a soon-to-be-announced special guest playing back to back. The line-up also includes Derrick Carter Does Disco, Inner City Live, Detroit Swindle, CC:Disco! and Chaka Khan’t.
Three Mills Island E3 3DU; onedayatthedisco.co.uk; artshousefestival.co.uk