A guide to London’s festivals: the big ones

 A guide to London’s festivals: the big ones

If sleeping in a muddy cow field, the inevitable horror of entering the long-drop and lukewarm cider just isn’t your thing, and If you’d rather spend the night in a hotel but still long for the feelings of transcendence only experienced at music festivals then you’ve come to the right place.

Here’s the lowdown on the giants of London’s metropolitan festival scene.

British Summer Time

Ever since Pink Floyd appropriated the serenity of Her Majesty’s Hyde Park for heinous activities which ‘one does not approve of’ Hyde Park has been host to some of the biggest names in popular music.

Now under the banner of British Summer Time Hyde Park is the stage for headline shows from Robbie Williams, Florence and The Machine, Celine Dion and Barbara Streisand.

Downsides? The tickets don’t come cheap and the mark up if you want to be close to the stage is through the roof.

All Points East

All Points East Victoria Park Main Stage

If bygones aren’t your thing there’s All Points East in Victoria Park has a refreshing line-up.

Spread across two weekends there will be The Chemical Brothers, The Strokes, Christine and The Queens, Bring Me The Horizon, Mumford and Sons and Bon Iver.

I’ll let you in on a secret too; the undercard of support acts at all the shows is first-rate. Unlike at weekend festivals, if you don’t like one of the days it’s much easier to just save the money and not go. Plus you get a discount when buying tickets for multiple days.

Somerset House Summer Series

One for the music nerd, critically acclaimed artists from a range of genres play in the courtyard at one of London’s most loved art galleries.

Out of the eleven separate open-air shows, highlights include The Internet, Damon Albarn’s latest side project The Good The Bad The Queen and Parcels.

Community Festival

A ‘one-day celebration of the best in new music’, Finsbury Park has been the stage for a plethora of big shows over the years.

The line-up has a lot in common with Reading and Leeds, probably down to the fact they’re put on by the same promoter. So, if you can’t wait till Reading festival then here’s one for you.

This year Community features The Kooks, Blossoms, Don Broco and many more.


Most festivals are falling behind when it comes to giving a platform to artists from the Hip-Hop, Grime and R&B scene. However Wireless has stepped into the breach where others haven’t.

Spread across three days the line-up includes Cardi B, Travis Scott and A$AP Rocky. Oh yeah and Tim Westwood is there too baby!


Lovebox 2019 line-up poster

Feel the looovvvee at Lovebox. A real mix-bag of musical influences hip-hop, funk, house and electronic music fuse into one at Gunnersbury Park.

Always at the cutting edge of all the scenes represented at the festival, Lovebox is host to headliners Solange and Chance The Rapper this year.

Along with Four Tet, Patrick Topping and the almighty Annie Mac representing the electronic side of the festival. Both one and two-day tickets available.


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Electric energy from the bands of #Citadel18 ⚡

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Lovebox’s hipster sibling, also located in Gunnersbury Park, is back with a more alternative line-up spread across a mighty three stages (not bad for a day festival). This year we’ve got Catfish and The Bottlemen supported by Bastille. Not to mention critics choice performance from Irish post-punks Fontaines D.C.. Citadel isn’t just indie bands you’ve got yoga, comedy and SCIENCE!

Writers choice

All Points East The Chemical Brothers
Image credit: Charlie Raven

All Points East has really hit a home run this year. The line-up is leagues ahead compared to the other festivals knocking about.

The curated festival bills at APE give plenty of bang for your buck. The range of artists headlining each day are diverse but still reflect what is popular in music right now.

In other words, there is something for everyone and that something is real good.

Image credits:
British Summer Time – PRFitzrovia / ( CC BY-SA 4.0 )
Somerset House – Jan van der Crabben / ( CC BY-SA 2.0 )
Wireless – Jordan Hughes / Wireless Festival 2018
All Points East – Charlie Raven