The Best Summer Music Festivals In London
And the god of summer said, let there be music. And wristbands. Lo, the humble music festival was born. To this day, millions of people have flocked to huge speaker stacks, food trucks and oxygen tents. Yes, festival season is well and truly upon us. But fear not, Londoners. You don't need to drive two hundred miles and sleep in a tent to get your fix of heavenly grooves. London has some of the best around, no matter your musical desires. Have a little scroll down to check out some that are right on your doorstep. Here are some of the best summer music festivals in London.
British Summer Time 5th July – 14th July, Hyde Park
If you’re looking for some of pop music’s heaviest hitters all in one place, British Summer Time in Hyde Park needs to be on your radar. Over the years they’ve played host to superstars like Phil Collins and Massive Attack, and this year it’s no different. Over ten days of (hopefully) glorious sun, you’ll be treated to performances from Stevie Wonder, Barbara Streisand, Celine Dion, Florence and the Machine, Black Eyed Peas, Lionel Ritchie...the list goes on and on. Attendees will also have their pick of fancy food and refreshing drinks from a huge range of bars and pop-up restaurants.
South West 4 24th August – 25 August, Clapham Common
SW4 is one of the biggest dance festivals right on your doorstep, so if need to throw some shapes over the bank holiday weekend, head on down to Clapham Common. Expect two days’ worth of club bangers from electronic stalwarts like Basement Jaxx, Armand van Helden, Andy C, and Pendulum, as well as the urban stylings of Tinie Tempah and Craig David.
Lovebox 12th July – 13th July, Gunnerbury Park
If you’re a London resident, you’ve probably already heard of Lovebox. It’s one of the capital’s most renowned music festivals. Even though it’s now moved to Acton, you can still expect the same mix of eclectic music, alongside sponsored tents pumping out relentless beats, and more food and drink than you could reasonably be expected to consume in a lifetime. This year, Beyonce’s sister Solange and Chance the Rapper headline, alongside hip-hop behemoths Cypress Hill, Kaytranada, and London’s own Loyle Carner.
Wireless 5th July – 7th July, Finsbury Park
Once again, Finsbury Park plays host to the UK’s biggest urban music festival. The usually quiet park will be taken over by trans-Atlantic stars like Cardi B, A$AP Rocky, and Future, and plenty more acts from both sides of the pond. Just make sure you don’t bring a drone to the festival doors, apparently they’re not too keen on them. And as usual, you’ll find plenty of places to eat and drink dotted about the arena.
Citadel 14th July, Gunnerbury Park
If you prefer your music a little more chilled out, then head west to Gunnerbury Park for Citadel. It’s on a Sunday, so expect a more laid-back experience with acts like Friendly Fires and Bastille headlining the bill. And if you want to give your ears a rest, there’s lots more to see and do. Take in a comedy show, attend a workshop, or sit down for a lovely bite to eat. It's the perfect way to end the weekend, and definitely one of the best summer music festivals in London.
Meltdown 3rd August – 11th August, Southbank Centre
Fancy something a little funkier? How does a festival curated by the great Nile Rodgers sound? That’s exactly what you’ll get at this year’s Meltdown festival. This year, the CHIC disco pioneer is pulling the strings of one of London’s more highbrow celebrations, held at the Southbank Centre. Not only will you be treated to a disco-funk masterclass courtesy of Rodger’s and CHIC, but you’ll also experience sets from Johnny Marr of the legendary Smiths, Thundercat, and LCD Soundsystem’s James Murphy. All of that is just a stone’s throw from Waterloo, so even out-of-towners will get there in a pinch. And if you fancy making the most of your day, why not try a hop-on, hop-off bus tour?
51st State 3rd August, Trent Park
House every weekend? Make it house for the first weekend of August at 51st State, Cockfosters' tribute to all things house music. This year, expect better food, drink, and sound systems to accompany the electronic delights of Kings of House, Soul Clap, Kerri Chandler, and many many more. And there you, just some of the best summer music festivals in London. Let us know if we missed any you’re looking forward to in the comments below!