At the beginning of June, we’re all thinking the same thing, the summer will never end. Yet, somehow, it always does! The reality is there are
. With so many great concerts and day festivals London has lined up, that’s not a lot of time! It got me thinking, if you could only go to 13 London music festivals this summer (which works out as one a week), which would you choose?
I’ve been strict on myself and only chosen festivals happening within the UK meteorological summer (1st June - 31st August 2019). I’ve ordered them by date and created a map of the list of music festivals (bottom of page). Enough small talk, let’s get down to business! Here are my top 13 festival picks of the London music festivals 2019 this summer!
1. Hampton Court Palace Festival (6th June - 21st June 2019)
Molesey, East Molesey KT8 9AU
Where to start with summer London festivals 2019? Let’s not jump straight into the grime. Why not ease our way into London summer festivals in a more civilized ‘Pimms and cucumber sandwiches’ sort of way? The venue is literally fit for a king and there are some great acts playing here: Jools Holland, The Jacksons, Nile Rogers and Tears For Fears. Tickets are selling out pretty fast too, so get them soon!
2. Community Festival (30th June 2019)
Finsbury Park, London, N4 2DE
Next, let’s see which indie artists are representing for London festivals 2019! Could there be a better indie band to do that than The Kooks this summer at Community Festival? There’ll also be a fair bit of rock with bands like The Night Café, Bloxx and The Amazons. It’s all happening in Finsbury Park, north London. Let’s hope the sun has got his hat on!
3. Wireless Festival (5th - 7th July 2019)
Finsbury Park, London, N4 2DE
You won’t have to move far to go to this one. It’s also in Finsbury Park: a great choice of venue for London music festivals. With less than a week between the two festivals, it would be worth camping but you’re not allowed to, unfortunately. There’s plenty of nearby accommodation, however: a Travelodge, Airbnb, high-end hotels like the Best Western London Highbury and some nice pubs. Speaking of pubs, you’ll want to know the best gastro pubs in London
, wherever you are!
What’s the big deal with Wireless Festival? Everything. This is the largest and greatest urban festival in the U.K. The festival lineup says it all: Calvin Harris, Chase & Status, Chance The Rapper, Skepta, Sean Paul and Post Malone to name but a few!
4. BST Hyde Park (5th - 14th July 2019)
Hyde Park, London, W2 2UH
Florence and the Machine
Barclaycard presents BST (British Summer Time) Hyde Park: surely this festival, equally as interested in British summer times, is the perfect fit for my list. Be that as it may, this festival gets in on its own merit. Firstly, it’s in Hyde Park, one of the nicest and most accessible parks in London. Secondly, the vibe here is always very cool and very relaxed. Most importantly though, they have an incredible line-up of artists spread over nine days. Celine Dion, Barbara Streisand, Florence & The Machine and Robbie Williams are the headline acts!
5. Somerset House Summer Series (11th - 21st July 2019)
Strand, London WC2R 1LA
If you want to see the venue, you can always rewatch that classic romantic comedy “Love Actually” and you’ll see it in the opening credits (and many other big Hollywood films). It’s a cool place to have a concert! It’s also very central: Somerset House used to be literally on top of the Thames! There are lots of big acts playing here (a good mix of genres from rock and pop music to electronic music) and it’s spread out over ten days. Pick the days your favourite bands are playing and get your concert tickets!
6. Lovebox Festival (12th - 13th July 2019)
Gunnersbury Park Ealing, London, W3 8LQ
Lovebox is one of the biggest London music festivals on the circuit. It’s been running since 2002 and founded by Groove Armada. I think there may be a lot of disgruntled Lovebox fans in Victoria Park this year as it’s just moved to Gunnersbury Park. The genres here are generally hip-hop, electronic and dance. Artists this year include Eli Brown, Solomun, Solange, Chance The Rapper, Cyprus Hill and Children of Zeus. Oh and “Lovebox” isn’t some magical stereo, it’s actually a military-style font. Maybe it can be both!
7. Citadel Festival (14th July 2019)
Gunnersbury Park, London W5 4NX
Catfish and the Bottlemen
Citadel takes place the Sunday after Lovebox (also in west London). It’s much more relaxed and you might be grateful for the break after the craziness of Lovebox. There’s some great music on including Catfish and the Bottlemen, Rag n’ Bone Man, Friendly Fires and Bear’s Den. You’ll also find comedy, theatre and debates. Citadel is a more diverse festival and family friendly too. Bring the kids!
8. The BBC Proms (19th July - 14th September 2019)
Kensington Gore, Kensington, London SW7 2AP
The famous “night at the Proms”, running since 1941 is almost upon us. It actually lasts just under two months so classical music lovers will have plenty of opportunities to spend the evening listening to world-class musicians in The Royal Albert Hall. It’s possible to get tickets on the door but it’s safer to book in advance. Don’t just rely on the BBC coverage and your surround sound system at home. Experience it for real!
9. Eastern Electrics Festival (3rd - 4th August 2019)
Morden Hall 21, Morden Hall Road, Morden SM4 5JD
15 years ago, London music festivals centred around house and techno music were comparatively small events. Now these genres, particularly in England, have literally become ‘all the rave’. London’s festival scene wouldn’t be the same without a bit of house and techno! Artists playing this year include Groove Armada, Seth Troxler, Skream, The Martinez Brothers, Shy FX, Doorly, Artful Dodger, Breach and many more (these aren’t even a third of the headline acts!). Get some EDM (Electronic Dance Music) at Morden Park this summer!
10. Meltdown Festival (3rd - 11th August 2019)
Southbank Centre, Belvedere Road, SE1 8XX
Located in the artsy Southbank Centre, this year’s Meltdown Festival will be curated by the trendiest man alive: Nile Rogers! He plans for the music to be as varied as his own (Chic fans will know, Nile Rogers spans at least ten genres). The festival takes place over nine days. Take a trip to the south side of the river! And, yes, Nile will be playing too! London summer festivals don’t get much more “Chic” than this!
11. Art’s House: A Lovely London Festival (10th August 2019)
Three Mills Island, Three Mill Lane, London E3 3DU
The best festivals in London don’t get much better than Art’s House. This year’s Art’s House festival will (musically) revolve around the London-born punk and disco DJ: DJ Harvey
. It’ll be taking place on Three Mills Island (between Bow and Stratford) in east London. Art’s House has always been about more than music. It has a cool vibe (‘chilled out cool’, not ‘pretentious cool’), dancers, street-food, craft beer, cocktails, and even living room furniture. Look for the sofa which was used when this festival was just a house party. If you like Art’s House, you’ll love all the other unusual things to do in London
12. South West Four - 24th - 25th August 2019
Windmill Dr, London SW4 9DE
Another south London festival, held in Clapham Common, South West Four is one of the biggest electronic dance music events of the year. It hosts artists from all EDM genres. Some of the big names playing this year are Chase & Status, Wiley, Tinie Tempah, Plan B, Martin Garrix, Andy C and Craig David
. In case you’re not from London, the festival is called “South West Four” because “SW4” is the area code for the venue. You’ll have had three weeks to recover from Eastern Electrics: no excuses! Don’t blame flight prices either, you`ve just got to know the cheap flight hacks
13. Notting Hill Carnival - 24th -26th August 2019
Notting Hill, W11 2PA
Saving the best till last? Well, it’s certainly the biggest London music festival. In fact, it’s the biggest street festival in Europe! There’s no entry fee and artists (dancers, musicians and more), as well as parades, fill the streets of this gentrified neighbourhood. As the carnival draws so many people, be careful not to lose each other. Also, plan where you want to go at least half an hour ahead. If you think you’ll need the loo in half an hour: don’t wait! Prepare for the crowds and you’ll have a fantastic weekend. I hope the apocalypse looks like Notting Hill Carnival!
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