London’s musical history goes back hundreds of years. From George Frideric Handel to Jimi Hendrix (who’s museums you can explore in the same Mayfair house), thousands of musicians have paved the way for the city’s amazing musical history. That’s just one of the reasons why London and the surrounding green spaces have become such hot spots for music festivals over the last few decades.
Paired with the city – and the country’s – penchant for style and culture, it’s unsurprising that over the years, many music festivals have shaped the landscape of the city and the nearby areas. It’s a great way to enjoy the UK summer as well, and with efficient transport links from the city centre to almost any part of the country, guests at hotels close to Paddington Station could be in a Welsh valley, a field in Sussex or a forest near Salisbury in just a matter of hours.
When it comes to booking festivals though, it’s a good idea to get in early, and with many of the best already releasing their line ups for the year, it’s around now that early bird and cheaper tickets are released. For those who are looking for an exciting way to spend their London summer, this list of popular music festivals is worth getting to know ahead of the summer season.
British Summer Time Music Festival
A stone’s throw from London hotels near Hyde Park, the British Summertime Music Festival takes place over two raucous weekends in July. With huge names on the top of the lineup, this music festival has in the past attracted the likes of Phil Collins, The Cure and even Justin Bieber. With plenty of other British musicians and the crowning jewel of a royal park to explore, this music festival is an all-rounder who’s line ups often sell out in the blink of an eye, especially with Little Mix and Rita Ora heading the bill this year.
Proms in the Park
With Kensington Palace Gardens glittering in the background, this two-month-long festival takes place over August and September weekends and sees a menu of internationally renowned classical take to Hyde Park. With a laid back atmosphere inviting families and friends to enjoy their music with a picnic, this festival is also televised worldwide, bringing an edge of glamour to proceedings.
This is definitely one for kids with their fingers on the pulse. Based in Reading just a half-hour out of London, this festival takes place on the last weekend of August. With eclectic line ups melding indie, rock and hip hop, this festival is full to the brim with youthful fun, definitely a must for first-time festival-goers visiting London this summer.
Taking place in the idyllic Sussex village of Glyndebourne, this weekend music festival takes place from the 3rd to the 5th of July and is only an hour outside London. Overlooking the iconic Glyndebourne Opera House, Love Supreme is the definitive jazz lovers festival, bringing a soulful menu of international artists to the Sussex Downs. With this years line up including headliners such as The Isley Brothers and TLC, Love Supreme melds the golden oldies with the new kids on the block.
All Points East
All Points East is an East London music festival that takes place in the dazzling Victoria Park. Nestled on the edges of the trendy Hackney Wick area, All Points East is one of the most exciting new music festivals of the London calendar. With a dazzling variety of musicians taking to the stage, this week-long festival takes place between the 22nd and the 31st of May and will see Kelly Lee Owens, the Rolling Blackouts and Whitney take to the stage, providing the best in alternative music. What’s more, the festivals weekend line ups bookend weekday events and workshops with a focus on community and families, and are completely free to attend.
Lovebox Music Festival has always been a staple of the London calendar and takes place on the 12th to the 14th of June. The festival is one of the most popular in London due to its eclectic mix of pop and alternative, making for a great weekend out for all ages and interests. This year, Lovebox will be taking place in West London’s Gunnersbury Park in Chiswick and is easily travelled to from the West-based Park Grand London Kensington.
Whilst it might be a trek for London guests, there’s plenty of opportunities for travel to this Somerset king of music festivals. Opening its arms to over two hundred thousand guests, this music festival takes place from the 24th to the 28th of June at Worthy Farm near Shepton Mallet. This festival offers pure escapism for five days and holds much more than just music. Be warned though, this festival sells out in the blink of an eye.
Field Day is an alternative music festival that this year will take place in Tottenham on the 11th of July. with a broad variety of amazing acts, the festival spans electronic, hip hop and alternative rock, making for a tase makers delight of a festival right in the heart of East London.
We Are FSTVL
Taking place in Upminster’s DAmyns Hill Aerodrome this year, We Are FSTVL is a dance music festival that sees the best international DJ’s and electronic artists hit the stage in Greater London. Taking place on the 24th of May, this Essex Music Festival is easily reachable from special offer London hotels, taking just an hour and a half from the city centre to reach.
Taking place in mid-August, Visions Festival is one of the East London highlights. With an amazing range of venues hosting the best in international alternative and experimental acts, Visions Festival takes over pubs, clubs and warehouses in the London Fields and Hackney area, providing exciting events that include the Visions Festival dog show! For cultural connoisseurs with a taste for the left of field, this is definitely not one to miss.