London’s Best Summer Festivals

Soak up the sun at one of London’s fabulous festivals, many of which are free. There are hundreds to choose from, but here are five of our favourites:

More London Free Festival

more london free festival

When: 3 Jun-24 Sep

Set in the alfresco 1000-seater riverside setting of The Scoop near Tower Bridge, this summer-long free festival packs in music, theatre, dance, comedy and film screenings.

Highlights include free sport on big screens in July, including tennis from Wimbledon and cycling from Tour de France.

Movie fans should look up the festival’s September programme, which features The Imitation Game, Still Alice, and The Theory of Everything. Enjoy free theatre in August, including family favourite Captain Showoff! And Greek tragedy Hecuba and the Trojan Women.

There’s no need to book in advance, but arrive early to guarantee a seat.

Festival of Love

festival of love

When: 6 Jun-27 Sep

Feel the love at Southbank Centre’s feel-good and free-to-enter summer festival, which features an abundance of installations, exhibitions and pop-ups.

Stand-outs include sexy Soho neon signs by the late Chris Bracey, which have featured in movies and music videos; and Shilo Shuv Suleman’s Pulse and Bloom: giant lotus flowers that pulse LED lights when touched by two people.

Also take a peek at actor Jim Broadbent’s strange yet fascinating wooden carvings of people, and join poetry events in the majestic Arcadia pavilion, from creating origami love notes to mapping your memories of love.

Grillstock Festival

Grillstock Bristol Credit Paul Box (94)

When: 5-6 Sep

Billed as a rowdy weekend of “meat, music and mayhem”, this BBQ and music festival is being headlined by US legends Fun Lovin’ Criminals, the legendary DJ Grandmaster Flash, and The Cuban Bros.

Festival-goers can munch on pit-smoked meaty treats washed down with craft beer. And thrown into the mix is competitive cooking and not-for-the-faint-hearted chilli eating competitions.

Tickets cost from £30 for a day ticket.

British Summer Time in Hyde Park


When: 18-28 Jun

Pop princesses Kylie Minogue and Taylor Swift are headlining this popular music festival in Hyde Park. Other big names on the bill include The Who, The Strokes and Blur. During midweek between the weekend music events, the park is playing host to an international food market, free films, theatre, and trapeze lessons for daring types.

Over five themed film nights (19-25 June), movie fans will be treated to 80s blockbusters, chick flicks, classic films, and musicals you can sing along to, so grab a picnic and secure your free spot!

Don’t miss the park’s Better View platform, which is 100ft-high and provides a free bird’s eye view of London’s most famous park.

Pride Festival

pride festival

When: 27 June

Join the revellers for this fabulous celebration of the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community.

More than 250 groups of dancers and performers will be providing the entertainment on the colourful Pride Parade which begins at Baker Street at 1pm before tracing a route to Whitehall via Oxford Street, Regent Street, Piccadilly Circus, Lower Regent Street, Pall Mall and Trafalgar Square, which will be abuzz with live performances – from Blue and Rebecca Ferguson – and impassioned speeches.

Soho will be at the centre of the action as night falls with after-parties taking place in pubs, bars and clubs. 








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