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. 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. No line-up yet, but 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. Last year’s inaugural event celebrated sound system culture, reggae, afrobeat and new wave jazz; this year’s line-up is still TBA. 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. 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 and The Jacksons. Find out more on their website,
6. Field Day Festival (June 7-8)
This veteran festival fixture is moving way north to Enfield’s Meridian Park in 2019. 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. The line-up is still TBA. See more on their website.
7. 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 guilty pleasure pop. All Saints, Bananarama, Liberty X, Samantha Mumba, Jamelia, Tove Lo are among the 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.
8. Southport Weekender (June, sometime)
Billing itself as ‘the world’s friendliest party’, this Finsbury Park party offers nine stages of house, soul, R&B, garage and disco. The precise lineup and date is still TBC but this much-loved summer fixture is expected to return in full force.
9. Meltdown Festival (late June)
Not your typical cider-in-the-park festival, Meltdown is, in fact, a series of gigs at the Southbank Centre, taking place over nine days in June. Each year, a single curator devises a dream line-up – Robert Smith, M.I.A, Guy Garvey, and David Byrne were the most recent selectors – with 2019’s helmsperson yet to be revealed.
10. Somerset House Summer Series (early July)
A set of outdoor concerts set in a handsome central London courtyard, with one major artist performing each day. The exact dates and festival line-up for 2019 are still to be unveiled….
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 parent-friendly, with Florence and the Machine and Robbie ‘oh he is a real entertainer though isn’t he’ Williams taking the stage in 2019. Expect more line-up news soon – 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 sold out in a hot minute last year once the line-up dropped. Acts for 2019 are yet to be confirmed so you’re still in with a chance this year. See their site for more.
13. 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. No news on this year’s performers just yet…
14. Citadel Festival (July 14, if it happens)
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. Taking place at the same Gunnersbury Park location, great music is combined with talks, workshops, and other thoughtful stuff. Not confirmed if it’ll return for 2019 just yet.
15. Kaleidoscope Festival (late July, possibly)
A colourful, family-friendly one-dayer in the grounds of the iconic Alexandra Palace, Kaleidoscope Festival was a new arrival in 2018. Music joined comedy, poetry, theatre and even scientific experimentation for a glorious day out– hopefully it’ll be back this year.
16. 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.
17. 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, though we’re still waiting on the full line-up for this one.
18. South West Four (August 24-25)
Two days of move-inducing electronic euphoria hits Clapham Common at the end of August. No news on this year’s festival line-up but last year’s edition included Marshmello, Dizzee Rascal, Armin van Buuren, Chase & Status Live, Craig David, Sub Focus and DJ EZ. Grab tickets here.
19. 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.
Also published on Medium.