Guide to what’s on in London in August 2015
With the summer holidays from school having kicked off, the season is now in full swing. The closure of schools mean there is even more going on in London this month to keep young and old occupied during the sunny days and balmy nights. Here’s a guide to what’s on in London this August.
For a guide to open-air pop-up cinemas in London, click here.
For ideas on how to entertain the children over the summer holidays, click here.
- 31 July – 21 August : Panarmonion Bar & Stage
A stage and bar will pop-up at Kings Cross for three weeks bringing free daily entertainment. The bar will serve cocktails, wine and beers, while a range of music and dance performances will grace the stage. Open Mon-Fri: 4-11pm, Sat: 12-11pm, Sun: 12-5pm. Free entry. Lewis Cubitt Square, Handyside Street, Kings Cross, N1C 4UZ. Nearest station: Kings Cross St Pancras. For more information, visit the Kings Cross website.
- 1 August : Africa Centre Summer Festival
Day of African music, fashion, dance, food, performances and film in and around Covent Garden Piazza. Free. 12-10pm. Covent Garden Piazza, WC2E. Nearest station: Covent Garden, Charing Cross or Embankment. For more information, visit the Africa Centre website.
- 1 August : RideLondon FreeCycle
Festival of cycling including an 8 mile car and lorry-free route through the capital featuring 50,000 riders. Free to register. For more information, road closures and routes, visit the Prudential RideLondon website. On Sunday 2 August, the professionals will take to the streets, starting from Horse Guards Parade, before moving on to Surrey in a 200km race.
- Now until 1 August : Shuffle Festival
Film and arts festival in Mile End, featuring live music, food and drink and film screenings, including Q&As with director Danny Boyle. Ticket prices vary, but many events are free. Various venues around Mile End, E3. Nearest tube: Mile End. For more information and tickets, visit the Shuffle Festival website.
- 2 August : Brixton Splash
Free community street festival taking over various streets in Brixton, featuring live music, poetry, art exhibitions, street theatre, crafts, children’s activities, food and sound systems. 12-7pm. Free. Nearest station: Brixton. For more information, visit the Brixton Splash website.
- Now until 2 August : Alexander McQueen – Savage Beauty
The first retrospective of the late fashion designer Alexander McQueen, from his MA graduate collection to his final, unfinished Autumn/Winter 2010 collection. Tickets: £17.60 adults, £16.50 OAPs, £9 students. Victoria & Albert Museum, Cromwell Road, Kensington, SW7 2RL. Nearest tube: South Kensington. For tickets and more information, visit the V&A website.
- Now until 2 August : Time Run
A new live quest meets immersive theatre in a new twist on the ‘escape the room’ games. For groups of three to five people, you will join Edwardian inventor Luna Fox on a journey through time. Tickets: £24 (off-peak), £29 (peak). 9-15 Helmsley Place, London Fields, E8 3SB. Nearest station: London Fields. For booking, visit the Time Run website. Read Metro Girl’s post on Time Run for more information and to see the trailer.
- 3 – 30 August : Camden Fringe
The Camden Fringe returns for its eighth year, bringing over 180 productions to 17 venues across the borough of Camden, including Camden People’s Theatre, Camden Comedy Club, Canal Café Theatre (read Metro Girl’s review on the adjoining pub The Bridge House) and the Hen And Chickens. For more information and tickets, visit the Camden Fringe website.
- 5 – 30 August : More London Free Festival – Theatre
Open-air theatre festival by the Thames, featuring shows such as Captain Show-Off! and Women Of Troy. Free. Shows on Wed-Sun, 6-10.30pm. The Scoop, Queen’s Walk, SE1 2DB. Nearest tube: London Bridge. For more information and listings, visit the More London website. While you’re there, why not eat or drink at the nearby London Riviera pop-up bar.
- Now until 8 August : Summer Screens @ Canary Wharf
Grab a blanket or a picnic and watch some of the summer’s biggest sporting events on the big screen, including Wimbledon tennis, Grand Prix, British Golf Open and live opera from the Royal Opera House. Times vary. Free. Canada Square Park, Docklands, E14. Nearest station: Canary Wharf. For more information, visit the Canary Wharf website.
- 8 August : Brazil Day
With just one year to go before the Rio Olympics, a celebration of Brazil, featuring sport, music and dance from the country. 1-8pm. Free. Trafalgar Square, Westminster, WC2N. Nearest tube: Charing Cross, Piccadilly Circus or Leicester Square. For more information, visit the London.gov.uk website.
- 8 August : Holi One Colour Festival
Thousands of people wearing white come together in Wembley Park for a festival of music, dance and performance art. Inspired by the Indian Holi festival, participants will end up covered in multi-coloured powder. Tickets start from £29. Wembley Park, Engineers Way, Wembley, HA9 0TU. Nearest station: Wembley Park. For more information and booking, visit the Holi One website.
- 8 – 9 August : London Triathlon
Watch over 13,000 entrants who will be taking part in cycling, running and swimming across the Thames to raise money for charity. Free to spectate. ExCel, One Western Gateway, Royal Victoria Dock, E16 1XL. Nearest station: Canning Town. For more information, visit the London Triathlon website.
- 8 – 16 August : Gladiator Games
The Museum of London present an epic enactment of gladiatorial games on the site of the City’s Amphitheatre at Guildhall. Drinks and food will be available before the show. Shows at 12-1pm and 3-4pm on 8, 9, 15 & 16 August and 7-8pm on 10 & 14 August. Tickets: Adults £15, Children £10. Guildhall Yard (off Gresham Street), City of London, EC2V 5AE. Nearest station: St Pauls. For more information and booking, visit the Museum Of London website. To read about Metro Girl’s visit the ruins of the London Amphitheatre, click here.
- 9 August : London South Korean Festival
Family festival showcasing Korean art, fashion, music, performers, food and interactive activities. 12-8pm. Free. Trafalgar Square, Westminster, WC2N. Nearest tube: Charing Cross, Piccadilly Circus or Leicester Square. For more information, visit the London.gov.uk website.
- 11 – 15 August : Great British Beer Festival
Up to hundreds of real ales, ciders, perries and foreign beers with be available to try, while there will also be plenty of entertainment and food. Tickets start from £8 (CAMRA members), £10 (non-CAMRA members). Kensington Olympia, Hammersmith Road, W14 8UX. Nearest station: Olympia. For more information and tickets, visit the Great British Beer Festival website.
- 13 – 16 August : London Craft Beer Festival
Twenty four breweries from London, the UK , Europe and USA will be showing off over 100 beers. Also including food stalls, live music and DJs. Tickets: £30-£38.50. Oval Space, 29-32 The Oval, Hackney, E2 9DY. Nearest tube: Bethnal Green. For more information, visit the London Craft Beer Festival.
- 13 – 30 August : The Garden Gate pop-up
Returning for two weeks to the Southbank is The Garden Gate pop-up bar and restaurant. As well as food and cocktails, there is also lots of fun and games including ping pong, jenga and great views of the Thames. Oxo Tower Wharf, Bargehouse Street, South Bank, SE1 9PH. Nearest station: Waterloo or Blackfriars. For more information, visit the Oxo2 website. Read Metro Girl’s post on last year’s pop-up here.
- 14 – 16 August : Canary Wharf Jazz Festival
The annual jazz festival returns to Canada Square Park again, featuring performances from The Rawness, Sons of Kemet, Peter Edwards Trio, The Filthy Six, ESKA, Edwin Sanz ‘San Agustin’ Salsa Orchestra feat. Alex Wilson, Yazz Ahmed: Family Hafla, Dylan Howe’s Subterraneans, The Fontanelles and The Neil Cowley Trio. Fri 14: 7-10pm, Sat 15: 3.15-10pm, Sun 16: 1.30-8.15pm. Free. Canada Square Park, E14. Nearest tube: Canary Wharf. For more information and set times, visit the Canary Wharf website.
- 15 August : The Elephant And The Nun Festival
One day festival in Burgess Park, featuring world music, markets, funfair, sports, art installations, children’s art and play activities and a food village. Three performance areas with entertainment from The Movement Factory, Bouncing Cats & Boom Boom Pups, Kinetika Bloco. The Africa Live festival will also be taking place within it, featuring the best of African culture. 12-8pm. Free. Burgess Park, Camberwell, SE5 7QH. Nearest station: Elephant & Castle or Peckham Rye then a short bus ride or walk. For more information, visit the Southwark.gov.uk website.
- 15 August : Spotlight Festival @ Seven Dials
One day festival at Seven Dials near Covent Garden will see the area go traffic free. Six live bands, dance and comedy performances, street food, pop up lawn with deckchairs and games, in-store discounts, drinks, DJs and promotions. Featuring music from Hackney Colliery Band, Mi’das, Wolffe, Leah Mason and the West End show Beautiful, dance by PDK, comedy by Kerry Godliman and performances by Circus. 12-7pm. Free. Seven Dials, WC2. Nearest tube: Covent Garden, Holborn or Leicester Square. For more information, visit the Seven Dials website.
- 15 – 16 August : Chingford Big Weekender
ABC, Boney M, Baby D, N -Trance and Gwen Dickey are headlining this two day festival in Chingford. Also features a fun fair, food and drink including a Pimm’s bar, climbing walls and crafts. Sat: 1-8pm, Sun 1-6pm. Free entry. Ridgeway Park, off Peel Close, Chingford, E4 6XU. Nearest station: Chingford (25 min walk). For more information, visit the Waltham Forest.gov.uk website.
- 17 – 30 August : David Byrne’s Meltdown
This year’s Meltdown Festival on the Southbank has been curated by David Byrne. Features performances, talks, and screenings. Including performances by Estrella Morente, Sinkane, Psapp, Gaby Moreno, There Will Be Blood Live, Benjamin Clementine and John Luther Adams, among others. Ticket prices vary. Southbank Centre, Belvedere Road, SE1 8XX. Nearest tube: Waterloo. For more information and tickets, visit the Southbank Centre website.
- Now until 23 August : Camden Beach
The ‘beach’ returns to Camden again this year, with 150 tonnes of sand, deckchairs, ping pong, bars and restaurants. Located in the grounds of the Roundhouse. Open Mon & Tues 5-11pm, Wed-Sun 12-11pm. Free. Chalk Farm Road, Camden, NW1 8EH. Nearest tube: Chalk Farm. For more information, visit the Roundhouse website.
- 27 – 31 August : Film4 FrightFest
Five day film festival featuring scary thrillers, fantasy and horror films. Ticket prices vary. Vue West End, 3 Cranbourn Street, Leicester Square, WC2H 7AL. Nearest station: Piccadilly Circus or Leicester Square. For more information, visit the FrightFest website.
- 29 – 31 August : BBC Good Food Festival
Food festival in the grounds of Hampton Court Palace. Featuring celebrity chefs and cooks, such as Paul Hollywood, Michel Roux Jnr, John Whaite, Hemsley + Hemsley, Mich Turner, Jo Wheatley and Lawrence Keogh. Tickets to the palace include free entry to the festival – Adults £17.50, Children £8.75. Hampton Court Palace, East Molesey, Surrey, KT8 9AU. Tube: Richmond. For more information, visit the BBC Good Food Festival website.
- 30 August : The Clipper 2015-16 Round the World Yacht Race Start
Watch the start of the world’s longest ocean race as St Katharine Docks hosts the departure ceremony and parade of the 12 70ft yachts taking party. Watch the crew prepare for the race of their lives before they set off along the Thames supported by a flotilla in a ceremonial parade. There will also be free entertainment throughout the day from 11am-6pm. From 22 – 29 August, the race village will be open for boat tours, paddle-boarding, model yacht racing and the chance to meet crewmembers. St Katharine Docks, 50 St. Katharine’s Way, Tower Bridge, E1W 1LA. Nearest station: Tower Hill or Tower Gateway (DLR). For more information, visit the Clipper website. For more information about the launch and week of activites in the run-up, read Metro Girl’s post here.
- Now until 30 August : Wildlife Photographer Of The Year exhibition
An exhibition of the annual Wildlife Photographer Of The Year – the 50th year of the competition. Although entrance to the museum is free, this exhibition is ticketed. Open 10am-5.50pm. Adults: £12.60, Children & Concessions: £6.30. Natural History Museum, Cromwell Road, South Kensington, SW7 5BD. Nearest tube: South Kensington. For more information and booking, visit the NHM website.
- 30 – 31 August : Notting Hill Carnival
Long-running institution returns to the streets of West London. Plenty of soundstages will be dotted around featuring a wide range of music. Then of course there’s the carnival itself. Free. Sunday is more geared towards children, while Monday is the adults’ day. Check TFL website for transport information because many stations nearby will be closed. For more information, check out the Notting Hill Carnival website.
- Now until 31 August : Festival Of Love
The Festival Of Love returns to the Southbank Centre for the second year in a row, featuring love-themed music, exhibitions, performances, activities and other events. Highlights include the Big Wedding Weekend and exhibition of neon artist Chris Bracey’s work in ‘Love And Liquid’. Southbank Centre, Belvedere Road, SE1 8XX. Nearest tube: Waterloo or Embankment. For more information, visit the Southbank Centre website.
- Now until 6 September : Carsten Höller: Decision
Belgium-born artist Carsten Höller’s exhibition explores perception and decision making, prompting an interactive experience for guests. You will then get the chance to exit the exhibition down a slide! Tickets: Adults £13.50-£15, Student £11. Hayward Gallery, Belvedere Road, SE1 8XX. Nearest tube: Waterloo. For information and tickets, visit the Southbank Centre website. For Metro Girl’s review of the exhibition, click here.
- Now until 6 September : Light Echoes
A light installation using lasers by LA digital artists Aaron Koblin and Ben Tricklebank. Free. The Curve, Barbican Centre, Silk Street, EC2Y 8DS. Nearest tube: Barbican or Moorgate. For more information, visit the Barbican website.
- Now until 13 September : The Secret Garden pop-up restaurant and bar
Pop-up supremo Jimmy Garcia returns to Clapham with his culinary creations and cocktails in a new venue. Using ingredients from the finest garden produce, the SG will offer tasting menus, Sunday roasts and table BBQs. The Secret Garden, 409 Clapham Road, Clapham North, SW9 9BT. Nearest station: Clapham North. For booking, visit Jimmy’s Pop Up website. Read Metro Girl’s review on The Secret Garden here.
- Now until 27 September : London Wonderground
The London Wonderground Festival returns to the Southbank for a fourth year – an entertainment extravaganza in Jubilee Gardens, near the foot of the London Eye and by the Southbank Centre. It includes cabaret, children’s show, comedy, burlesque and alfresco drinking. Headlining this year’s Wonderground is cabaret-meets-circus show Scotch & Soda – read Metro Girl’s review here. Open daily until 11pm. Free to get in, but tickets required for shows. Nearest station: Waterloo, Embankment or Westminster. For more information, visit the Wonderground website.
- Now until 8 October : Victorian London In Photographs
Exhibition of archive shots of Victorian London on show at the London Metropolitan Archives. Opening times: Mon and Sat 9.30am-4.45pm, Tues-Thurs 9.30am-7.30pm, Closed Fridays and Sundays. Free entry. London Metropolitan Archives, 40 Northampton Road, Clerkenwell, EC1R 0HB. Nearest station: Farringdon. For more information, visit the City Of London website.
- Now until 18 October : Serpentine Pavilion
Visit the temporary structure in the grounds of the Serpentine Gallery in Kensington Gardens. This year’s Pavilion is designed by Spanish architects Selgascano. Free to visit, but also contains a café inside. Kensington W2 3XA. Nearest tube: Lancaster Gate, Knightsbridge or South Kensington. For more information, visit the Serpentine Gallery website. For Metro Girl’s post on this year’s Pavilion, click here.
- Now until 18 October : Audrey Hepburn – Portrait Of An Icon
Exhibition of photographs of the late, great Audrey Hepburn. Featuring images by Cecil Beaton, Richard Avedon and Irving Penn, plus family snaps and behind-the-scenes. Tickets: £9-£10. National Portrait Gallery, St. Martin’s Place, WC2H 0HE. Nearest station: Charing Cross, Embankment or Leicester Square. For more information and tickets, visit the National Portrait Gallery website.
- Now until January 2016 : Alcoholic Architecture
Food wizards Bompas & Parr have created a unique experience allowing people to walk through clouds of alcohol, inhaling cocktails. Tickets for hourly slots: £10 off peak (Mon, Tues and Wed all day, Thurs & Fri before 5pm), £12.50 peak (Thurs post-5pm, Fri post-4pm and Sat all day). One Cathedral Street, Borough Market, Borough, SE1 9DE. Nearest station: London Bridge. For more information and booking, visit Bompas And Parr’s official website. For Metro Girl’s post on Alcoholic Architecture, click here.
For the September guide, check back on 31 August.