Get along to one of these brilliant music festivals in London.
Summer is festival season in London, and 2019 promises to offer a bevvy of musical highs. Field Day is moving to a warehouse-rich site in Enfield that lets them go late into the night, while dance fans will be heading to We Are FSTVL, South West Four and Eastern Electrics. Meanwhile, Kaleidoscope, Gala, and Mighty Hoopla promise laid-back daytime revelry for all to enjoy. Here’s our guide to London’s best music festivals in 2019.
1. All Points East Festival (May 24 – June 2)
After a sizzling debut last year, All Points East Festival presents two weekends of major outdoor concerts in east London’s Victoria Park. Some 60 bands are already on the line-up, including headline shows from The Chemical Brothers, Hot Chip, The Strokes, Interpol, Christine and The Queens, Metronomy, Bring Me The Horizon, Run the Jewels, Bon Iver and Mac DeMarco. Plenty more acts and shows to be announced – see the full All Points East line-up.
2. Gala Festival (May 26)
This one-dayer in south London’s Peckham Rye Park promises expertly curated house, disco and ‘good time party music.’ Last year’s debut was well received with good vibes and crisp, loud sound – the heatwave probably didn’t hurt, either. The 2019 festival features Chez Damier, Crazy P, Gerd Janson, Honey Dijon and Horse Meat Disco – see their site for more.
3. Jam on Rye Festival (May 28)
Taking place on Peckham Rye the day after GALA, street food savants KERB promise a day of exquisite eats and delightful beats for a chilled-out crowd of 4,000. 2019’s festival will feature four stages, with Kelis, Jazzie B, Omar and many more bringing all the boys and girls to the yard. Bleecker Burger, Club Mexicana and Baba G’s are among those grilling up a storm – more on their website.
4. We Are FSTVL (May 24-26)
Taking place in the far reaches of Upminster, this is about as far as you can get from London while still calling yourself a London festival. Curating 2.5 days of electronic dance music mischief, there’s a huge lineup featuring Archie Hamilton, MK, Mason Collective, Holy Goof, Dubfire, Jess Bays, Danny Howard and Chase & Status, among 70 other acts across eight stages. Hang on to your hats! More on their website.
5. Junction 2 (June 7-8)
The award-winning dance music festival returns to Boston Manor Park this summer, this time offering two consecutive days of music across five stages. Bicep, Daniel Avery, Objekt, Loco Dice and Maceo Plex all feature on the eclectic line-up – tickets are available here.
6. Hampton Court Palace Festival (June 7-21)
Set around a stately home, this is a proper posh series of outdoor gigs – VIP tickets include a three-course dinner and champagne reception within the State Apartments, for example, while there’s actually proper banked seating for the audience. 2019’s edition will feature shows from Kylie Minogue, Tears for Fears, Busted, Chic and The Jacksons. Find out more on their website.
7. Field Day Festival (June 7-8)
This veteran festival fixture is moving north to Enfield’s Meridian Park in 2019, and the new site offers not just the usual outdoor stages, but four interlinked warehouse spaces that’ll let festivities go later and louder than any of their rivals in the city. An eclectic sixty-act lineup features Skepta, Actress, George FitzGerald, Jorja Smith, Diplo, Death Grips, The Black Madonna, Erol Alkan to name but a few. Grab your tickets before it sells out!
8. Mighty Hoopla Festival (June 8)
Mighty Hoopla comes to south London’s Brockwell Park on June 8, promising a colourful and LGBT-friendly embrace of alternative club culture and general poptimism. All Saints, Bananarama, Liberty X, Samantha Mumba, Jamelia, Tove Lo are among this year’s festival performers, while Sink the Pink, Guilty Pleasures, Massaoke and The Cocoa Butter Club bring the party vibes. Definitely one to wear your loudest frock at. More on their site.
9. Cross The Tracks (June 9)
Taking over Hoopla’s Brockwell Park spot on the Sunday, this new festival promises to be a funk and soul feast for Brixton and beyond. Chaka Khan, Masego, Martha Reeves & The Vandellas, Jordan Rakei and The Comet Is Coming lead the funky charge while 40 street food traders will slay appetites in all directions. Definitely worth crossing the tracks for – get tickets here.
10. Black Deer Festival (June 21-23)
A short hop over to Tunbridge Wells will find you at this sunny weekender, celebrating the best of Americana and country music. Everyone from country music Hall of Famer Kris Kristofferson to British upstarts The Shires is slated to play, so grab a tent and your cowboy boots and head down there! Find your tickets here.
11. British Summer Time (July 5 – 14)
A summery series of major open-air concerts in Hyde Park, the programmers here tend to play it extremely grownup-friendly, with Celine Dion, Josh Groban, Florence + The Machine, The National, Robbie Williams slated to perform. Find out more on their website.
12. Wireless Festival (July 5-7)
Three days of dance and hip-hop in Finsbury Park, this massive London festival always sells out in a hot minute. Headliners for 2019 include Cardi B, Migos, Travis Scott, Future, A$AP Rocky and Rae Sremmurd. See their site for more.
13. Somerset House Summer Series (July 11 – 21)
A set of outdoor concerts set in a handsome central London courtyard, with one major artist performing each day. This year’s eleven acts are The Internet, Nao, Sons of Kemet, Jacob Banks, Rosalía, Doves, The Good The Bad & The Queen, Parcels, Cut Copy, Soulection, and Gossip – find out more here.
14. Lovebox Festival (July 12-13)
Formerly taking place in east London’s Victoria Park, the two-day Lovebox music festival is returning to west London’s Gunnersbury Park in 2019 after a successful new edition last year. The line-up is especially vibey this time around with Chance the Rapper, Solange, Giggs, J Hus, 2 Chainz, Cypress Hill, Four Tet, Brockhampton, Loyle Carner and Action Bronson set to get the crowd bouncing. More on their website.
15. OnBlackheath (July 13-14)
A family-friendly two-dayer in south-east London, look for Jamiroquai, The Roots, James Morrison, Jacob Collider, Grace Jones, Rag’n’Bone Man to light up the night (and the day!) at this festival. Full information here.
16. Citadel Festival (July 14)
After two days of hedonistic good times, the Lovebox team usually take things in a more relaxed direction on Sunday, under a more grown-up ‘Citadel’ banner. Catfish and the Bottlemen, Bastille, Friendly Fires and Bear’s Den head up the music side, but Roundhouse will present spoken word, the Science Museum will be conducting some experiments, and a mass yoga sesh will get everyone nice and limber, too. Find out more on their site.
17. Standon Calling (July 25-28)
Hop on a short train to the charming town of Standon, where the likes of Wolf Alice, Rag’N’Bone Man, Nile Rodgers & Chic, Echo & The Bunnymen, and Kate Nash will be waiting for you. Also featuring live comedy, a costume parade, hot tubs, and what’s billed as “a legendary dog show”, it’s one we’re rather excited for. Standon Calling to the faraway towns… Tickets available here.
18. 51st State (August 3)
Finally, a reason to discover what’s actually at Cockfosters! The answer, it turns out, is the massive country estate of Trent Park, and for one day in August, it’ll be home to house, disco, garage & soul across six stages, although the lineup is still TBC.
19. Eastern Electrics Festival (August 3-4)
An intense two-day techno and bass sesh, Eastern Electrics summons London’s dance-heads to the very end of the Northern Line for a marvellously messy time in Morden Park. Eight stages of raving action await, with Marc Kinchen, Claptone, Hannah Wants, Big Narstie, Nadia Rose, and Mat Jam Lamont amongst the acts.
20. Meltdown Festival (August 3 – 11)
Not your typical cider-in-the-park festival, Meltdown is, in fact, a series of gigs at the Southbank Centre, taking place over ten days in August. Each year, a single curator devises a dream line-up, and this year Nile Rodgers is at the helm, with Thundercat, Kokoroko, Durand Jones & the Indications and Alfa Mist among performers already on the line-up.
21. Art’s House (August 10)
Well isle be! Head east-east to Three Mills Island for a day packed of dancing, street food, and al fresco boozing at this little charmer of a festival. They’ll be announcing the lineup on the day, so you’re going to have to live a little and throw yourself into the unknown – how exciting! Get yourself a ticket here.
22. Elrow Town (August 17)
Unique amongst London music festivals in that they have an excitable chicken for a mascot, Elrow Town always does things a little differently. Like 51st State, they’re making Trent Park their 2019 home, and inviting the likes of Jamie Jones and Alan Fitzpatrick – plus sandy beaches, pirates, sea creatures, and hippy communes – to come party with them. Brilliantly, wackily offbeat. Tickets available here.
23. South West Four (August 24-25)
Two days of move-inducing electronic euphoria hits Clapham Common at the end of August. Look out for Martin Garrix, Craig David, Sigala, Disciples, Pendulum, Andy C, Chase & Status DJ, Wiley, Noisia and Skepsis plus many more. Grab your tickets here.
24. One Day at the Disco Festival (August 24)
Three Mills Island hosts its second festival of the summer with One Day At The Disco, which does exactly what you expect. On the bill so farL: 2manydjs B2B A Very Special Guest, Derrick Carter Does Disco, Inner City Live, Detroit Swindle, Mister Saturday Night, CC:Disco!, Colleen ‘Cosmo’ Murphy and Chaka Khan’t. Get tickets here.
25. Notting Hill Carnival (August 25-26)
A London institution, and one of the world’s biggest street parties, this free two-day celebration of Caribbean culture in the capital features a brilliant parade, and dozens of sound-system stages throughout the Notting Hill neighbourhood. It’s noisy, busy, colourful and a one-of-a-kind experience… and there sure as hell aren’t VIP, queue-jump, use-the-posh-loo wristbands sponsored by a credit card company.
26. 80s In The Park (August 26)
The era of Madonna, Blondie, and a whole host of other things from the Bowling For Soup song, the 80s were a glorious time for music. Come celebrate it at this short but sweet one-day festival, where outlandish throwback costumes aren’t just welcomed, they’re encouraged. (Given that it’s in August, you may want to skip the legwarmers.) Tickets can be found here.
27. Southport Weekender (August 31)
Billing itself as ‘the world’s friendliest party’, this legendary festival (which moves date and location this year, taking over Crystal Palace Park) will lovingly curate legends of house, soul, R&B, garage and disco. Naughty by Nature, Shalamar, Ten City, Danny Tenaglia, David Morales and Kenny Dope all take the stage. Find out more on their site.
28. ABODE in the Park (September 22)
Bringing up the rear of London’s music festivals – and generally raging against the dying of the light – is ABODE in the Park. Although it will basically be autumn by now, twenty-five of London’s top DJs will party all day long in Finsbury Park, keeping those summer vibes in session for one last blowout. Grab your tickets here.
Also published on Medium.