Guide to what’s on in London in September 2015
Although summer is technically over, we all know September is usually one of the nicest and warmest months of the year. A lot of the tourists depart, so it’s not quite as busy. Although the nights are starting to get darker, they’re often still pretty balmy. Here’s a guide to what’s on in London this September.
For a guide to London’s pop-up cinemas, click here.
- 1 – 10 September : Cue For Change
Play in a pool tournament and raise money for charity. Hix City will also be hosting a pop-up restaurant serving £5 food and drink. The tournament will take place daily between 12.30-2.30pm, while the pool tables will be available to play on outside of these hours. Devonshire Square, EC2M. Nearest station: Liverpool Street, Aldgate or Aldgate East. For more information, visit the Devonshire Square website. For more information, read Metro Girl’s blog post on the tournament.
- 1 – 30 September : Totally Thames
Totally Thames is a month-long celebration of our city’s main waterway. Among the many activities taking place are the Royal Greenwich Tall Ships Festival, St Katharine Docks Classic Boat Festival (12-13 Sept), The Great River Race (12 Sept), walks, live music, theatre and many more activities. For more information, visit the Totally Thames website.
- 2 – 24 September : More London Free Film Festival
There will be free screenings of films in The Scoop, near Potter’s Field Park. Films include The Imitation Game, Paddington, Ghostbusters, Frozen, The Theory Of Everything, Moulin Rouge!, Big, Zoolander and The Sound Of Music. 7.30pm. The Scoop, Queen’s Walk, SE1 2DB. Nearest tube: London Bridge. For more information and listings, visit the More London website.
- 3 – 13 September : Peckham & Nunhead Free Film Festival
Ten day festival featuring free screenings in the Peckham and Nunhead area at various locations, including The Montpelier, Bussey Building, Old Nun’s Head and the Peckham Liberal Club. Nearest stations: Peckham Rye, Queen’s Road Peckham and Nunhead. For more information and listings, visit the PNFFF website.
- 3 – 20 September : Portobello Film Festival
Two and half week festival returns to Notting Hill with screenings and events at the KPH, Pop Up Cinema in Acklam Road and Westbourne Studios. Free. Nearest stations: Ladbroke Grove or Westbourne Park. For more information, visit the Portobello Film Festival website.
- 5 – 6 September : Grillstock BBQ & Music
A festival of music and food, featuring Fun Lovin’ Criminals, Cuban Brothers, Grandmaster Flash, Levi Roots, Razorlight, The Computers, DJ Yoda and more. Tickets start from £30. Chestnuts Field, Walthamstow, E17 4JF. Nearest station: Wood Street or Walthamstow Central. For more information and tickets, visit Grillstock’s website.
- 6 September : Angel Canal Festival
One day festival in the City Road Lock, Basin and Regents Canal towpath. Featuring a children’s fun fair, Punch & Judy, story-teller, boat trips, art projects and galleries, live music and street theatre. Free admission. 11am-5pm. For more information, visit the Angel Canal Festival website.
- 6 September : London Mela
Festival celebrating South Asian culture, featuring nine zones, five stages, outdoor arts, DJs, world food market and more. 1-9pm. Tickets: Adults £6.50, Concs & 12-16 yrs £4.50, Children under 12 £3.50. Gunnersbury Park, Popes Lane, W3 8LQ. Nearest tubes: Gunnersbury, South Ealing or Acton Town. For more information, visit the London Mela website.
- 6 September : Klezmer In The Park
JFS Klezmer Band, Don Kipper, Stewart Curtis’ K-Groove, The Turbans, She’Koyokh and Tantz will perform in Regents Park. 12-6pm. Free. The Bandstand, Regent’s Park, Chester Road, NW1 4NR. Nearest station: Camden Town or Regent’s Park. For more information, visit the Jewish Music Institute 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.
- 10 – 20 September : Spiegeltent
A Spiegeltent is popping up in Canary Wharf for 10 years with a host of entertainment for adults and children, including comedy, live music, cabaret, burlesque, circus and more. Ticket prices range from free to £16 depending on event. Canada Square Park, Canary Wharf, E14 5AH. Nearest station: Canary Wharf. For most tickets, visit SeeTickets, or for Daniel Sloss tickets, visit LiveNation. For Metro Girl’s post with more information about the Spiegeltent, click here.
- 11 September : Friday Lates @ London Transport Museum
After-hours opening at the London Transport Museum to mark the opening of their Night Shift exhibition, exploring transport after dark. Featuring talks, DJs, pub quiz, a ball pool, neon face painting, customise your Oyster card, food and drink, and a Silent Disco, and more. Open 6.45-10pm. Tickets: £12. London Transport Museum, Covent Garden Piazza, WC2E 7BB. Nearest station: Covent Garden, Embankment or Charing Cross. For more information, visit the LTM website.
- 11 – 13 September : Kings Place Festival
Music and arts festival in Kings Cross, including classical, contemporary, comedy, folk, spoken word, jazz and family. Tickets range from free to £6.50. Kings Place, 90 York Way, N1 9AG. Nearest tube: Kings Cross St Pancras. For more information, visit the Kings Place website.
- 12 September : Holi Festival of Colours
Inspired by India’s Holi Festival, a party of music, dance and coloured paint. DJs include Nervo, Booka Shade, Dubvision, Teemid, D-Sharp, Bombay Boogie Soundsystem and more. 12pm onwards. Tickets start from £29.99. Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park, Stratford, E15 2NG. Nearest tube/train: Stratford. For more information and tickets, visit the Holi Festival website.
- 12 – 13 September : St Katharine Docks Classic Boat Festival
As part of the Totally Thames celebration (see above), St Katharine Docks are hosting a weekend festival, featuring a display of 40 sail and power vessels, alongside a range of waterside attractions. 1-5pm. Free. 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 St Katharine Docks website.
- 12 – 13 September : Viet Nam Discovery Festival
Celebrate and discover Vietnam’s rich culture, cuisine and crafts. Featuring dance, water puppets show, live music, and plenty of food and drink stalls. Free. Potters Field Park (by Tower Bridge), Thames Path, SE1 2AA. Nearest station: London Bridge. For more information, visit Vietnam Discovery.
- 12 – 20 September : Colourscape Music Festival
The travelling festival combining contemporary music and art pitches up at Clapham Common for a week. Featuring colour and music workshops and weekend concerts. Clapham Common, SW4. Nearest tube: Clapham Common or Clapham South. For more information, visit the Colourscape website.
- 13 September : Tour De Britain
The Tour Of Britain cycle race comes to London – the final stage of the eight day professional cycling race. It will start at Whitehall around 11am-1pm, going along the Embankment, onto Upper and Lower Thames Streets, to Tower Hill land back again. Free for spectators. Many roads and bridges will be closed to traffic. Nearest stations: Westminster, Embankment, Temple, Tower Hill, Blackfriars or Cannon Street. For more information, visit the Tour Of Britain website.
- 13 September : London Pizza Festival
Londoners have loved pizza for decades so it’s a wonder this is the capital’s first ever festival of the dish. Taking place at Borough Market, you’ll be served six slices of pizza from six pizzerias. There will also be live music and bar. 1.30- 6.30pm. Tickets: £8 admission only. £30 full ticket includes admission, 6 quarter-pizzas and 1 can Beavertown Neck Oil craft beer or soft drink. Free for children under 12. Borough Market (enter from Stoney Street), Borough, SE1 1TL. Nearest station: London Bridge. For more information and booking, visit Eventbrite.
- 13 September : JJ’s Soulshack End Of Summer Festival
Mark the end of summer with music, circus, food and more at JJ Soulshack’s End Of Summer Festival. 5-11pm. Over 18s only. General admission tickets include entrance, 1 drink and 1 BBQ meal (veggie options available) for £20. The Islington Metal Works, 7 Torrens Street, Islington, EC1V 1NQ. Nearest station: Angel. For tickets, visit Billetto. For more information, check out JJ’s Soulshack’s Facebook page or visit their official website. For Metro Girl’s blog post on the festival, click here.
- 13 September : Hackney One Carnival
East London has got its own carnival, with music, dance and costumes. Starts with live entertainment in Hackney Town Hall Square from 12-3pm, before 750 performers will take part in the carnival procession down Dalton Lane towards Ridley Road. 12-8pm. Free. Nearest stations: Hackney Central, Dalston Kingsland or Dalston Junction. For more information, visit the Hackney council website.
- 17 September : GQ Carnaby Style Night
Get ready for London Fashion Week with 20% discounts at shops, bars, restaurants and cafes. There will also masterclasses, talks, giveaways and competitions. 5-9pm. Register on the website for your free ticket. Will take place in the Carnaby Street area, Soho. Nearest station: Oxford Circus or Piccadilly Circus. For more information and to register, visit Carnaby’s website.
- 17 – 20 September : Streatham Free Film Festival
Inaugural Streatham Free Film Festival will be taking places at venues across Streatham, including the White Lion Pub, The Hideaway, Deli Lama, The Railway, Streatham Tate Library among others. Including talks, screenings, competitions and sing-a-longs. Films include Cinema Paradiso, Frozen, Pulp Fiction, Dirty Dancing, Amy and The Grand Budapest Hotel. For more information, visit the Free Film Festivals website.
- 18 September – 18 October : Merge Festival
The annual arts, music and performance festival returns to Bankside, drawing upon the area’s heritage and contemporary culture. Events include the TV Times 60th Anniversary, ‘On Your Wavelength’ interactive installation, Bioluminescent Wishing Well by Bompas & Parr, The Riverside Stage and Caravan Theatre. For more information, visit the Merge Festival website.
- 19 September : London Fashion Weeks shows @ Devonshire Square
At London Fashion Weeks (18-22 September) kicks off in London, the capital’s Devonshire Square will be hosting four fashion shows, supporting an eclectic group of up and coming designers, featuring ready-to-wear, evening, haute couture and concept design. Shows @ 3pm, 5pm, 7pm and 9pm. Tickets start from £15. Devonshire Square, EC2M. Nearest station: Liverpool Street, Aldgate or Aldgate East. For more information, visit the Oxford Fashion Studio website.
- 19 September : Bermondsey Street Festival
Celebration of music, dance, arts, cuisine and creativity from the local area. Featuring fashion shows, dog shows, live music, stalls, food and a fete. 11am-7pm. Free. Bermondsey Square, Southwark, SE1 3UN. Nearest tube: London Bridge. For more information, visit the Bermondsey Street Festival website.
- 19 September : Japan Matsuri
A celebration of Japanese culture returns to Trafalgar Square. ‘Matsuri’ means festival or holiday so expect plenty of entertainment, food and drink and other chances to buy Japanese products. 10am-8pm. Free. Trafalgar Square, WC2N. Nearest tube: Charing Cross, Embankment, Leicester Square or Piccadilly Circus. For more information, visit the Japan Matsuri website.
- 19 September : West Dulwich Community Autumn Fair
Annual autumn fair organised by All Saints Church in West Dulwich, including music, craft stalls, charities and local groups, BBQ, tea and cakes and children’s activities. 2-5.15pm. Free. All Saints Church, Lovelace Road, West Dulwich, SE21 8JY. Nearest train station: West Dulwich or Tulse Hill. For more information tel: 07432 118859 or visit the All Saints website.
- 19 – 20 September : Open House London
This annual event is hugely popular and sees buildings that are not normally open to the public, throw open their doors for just two days. Some buildings are strictly pre-booking or ballot only and you need to apply in advance to gain entry. Be prepared to queue for the more popular buildings, such as City Hall and The Gherkin. Free. Check out the Open House London website for more information. (To read about Metro Girl’s guide to Open House London and for past reviews, click here).
- 19 – 20 September : Tequila & Mezcal Fest
A weekend celebration of Tequila and Mezcal, including Mexican food, live Mariachi bands, Mexican art and artisan products on sale. Old Spitalfields Market, Spitalfields, E1 6EW. Nearest station: Liverpool Street or Shoreditch High Stret. For more information and booking, visit the Tequila Fest website.
- 19 – 27 September : London Design Festival
Festival celebrating innovation and creativity at various events in the capital, including exhibitions, talks and the chance to buy. Among the 300 events on in town. To find out more, visit the Design Festival website. To find out about the TFL-themed café and wooden tube station art installation at DesignJunction, click here.
- 21 September – 18 October : Louis Vuitton Series 3
Find out the inspiration behind the fashion brand’s autumn/winter collection in an ‘experimental’ exhibition, making an immersive fashion experience. Open Tue-Sun 11am-6pm. Free. 180 The Strand, WC2R 1EA. Nearest station: Temple. For more information, visit the Louis Vuitton website.
- 22 September : BP Big Screens presents Romeo & Juliet (ballet)
Royal Opera House productions will be broadcast live on big screens in Trafalgar Square, Walthamstow Town Square , Woolwich’s General Gordon Square and Canary Wharf. 7.30pm onwards. Free. For more information, visit the Royal Opera House website.
- 22 – 27 September : LAPADA Art & Antiques Fair
Five day fair in Mayfair with the opportunity to buy fine art and antiques, including furniture, jewellery, carpets, tapestries, antiquities, clocks, ceramics and silver. Tickets: £15. Berkeley Square, Mayfair, W1. Nearest tube: Green Park or Bond Street. For more information, visit the LAPADA London website.
- 23 September – 4 October : Raindance Film Festival
UK’s largest independent film festival returns to the capital. Featuring over 100 movies and 150 short films screened in the Piccadilly Circus area. For more information and tickets, visit the Raindance website.
- 24 – 27 September : Radio Times Festival
The inaugural Radio Times Festival is a celebration of TV, radio and books, featuring some of the biggest names in broadcasting. Among the activities will be talks, panel discussions, exhibits and children’s workshops. Stars including Sir David Attenborough, Strictly pro Robin Windsor, Andrew Marr, Jon Snow, Sir Bruce Forsyth, Doctor Who Peter Capaldi, Paul Hollywood, Russell T Davies, Melvyn Bragg, Emilia Fox, Lynda La Plante, David Walliams and many more. Tickets prices vary. Hampton Court Palace, East Molesey, Surrey, KT8 9AU. Nearest station: Hampton Court (from Waterloo). For more information and booking, visit the Radio Times Festival website.
- 24 – 27 September : London Fashion Weekend
London Fashion Weekend follows London Fashion Week, giving access to everyone who loves fashion (who has tickets!). Featuring fashion shows, makeovers and opportunities to shop at discount prices. Strongly recommended to buy tickets in advance, which are available for different prices and packages. Saatchi Gallery, Duke Of York’s HQ, King’s Road, Chelsea, SW3 4RY. Nearest tube: Sloane Square. For more information, visit the London Fashion Weekend website.
- 25 – 27 September : Elefest
Festival in one of London’s most misunderstood areas, featuring open studios, art displays, theatre, music, guided walks, film screenings and more. Events taking place in and around Longwave Bar, Unit 1 Artworks, Elephant Road, Elephant & Castle, SE17 1AY. Nearest station: Elephant & Castle. For more information, visit the Elefest website.
- 27 September : Pearly Kings & Queens’ Harvest Festival
Pearly Kings and Queens are an iconic part of London culture, who aren’t seen around the capital as much as they used to. Unsurprisingly, they are likely to be the main attraction at the festival at Guildhall, which also includes traditional entertainment, a parade and a Harvest Festival service. Starts at Guildhall Yard at 1pm, before the service at St-Mary-Le-Bow Church at 3pm. Nearest tube (to Guildhall): St Paul’s or Bank. Find out more information on the Pearly Society website.
- 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 and a funfair. Open daily until 11pm. Free to get in, but tickets required for shows. Jubilee Gardens, Belvedere Road, SE1 8RT. Nearest station: Waterloo, Embankment or Westminster. For more information, visit the Wonderground website.
- Now until 27 September : Heartbeat art installation @ Covent Garden Market
French artist Charles Pétillon’s first public art installation features 100,000 white balloons suspended from the roof of the historic Covent Garden market hall. Free. Covent Garden Piazza, Covent Garden, WC2E 8RD. Nearest station: Covent Garden. For more information, visit the Covent Garden website. For Metro Girl’s gallery of my visit to the exhibition, click here.
- 29 September – 1 October : St Martin’s Courtyard Film Festival
Three day free film festival in St Martin’s Courtyard. Films include Shaun Of The Dead, Atonement and Billy Elliott. Enter the online ballot to receive a free ticket at the St Martin’s Courtyard website. St Martin’s Courtyard, off Long Acre, WC2. Nearest tube: Leicester Square or Covent Garden. To sign up for tickets, visit the St Martin’s Courtyard 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.
And some of London’s pop-ups…
- 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.
- 16 – 27 September : Slap Ya Papa presents The Bayou Banquet
New Orleans comes to London with a pop-up supper club, live music, DJs, market and auctions. Meals range from £20-40. Slap Ya Papa presents The Bayou Banquet, The Vaults, Launcelot Street (off Lower Marsh), Waterloo, SE1 7AD. Nearest station: Waterloo. For booking, visit The Vaults website. For Metro Girl’s blog post with more information, click here.
- 17 – 30 September : London In The Sky
Enjoy fine dining or champagne while suspended 25 metres (82 foot) above the ground at the Southbank. Breakfast: £50 per head, Lunch: £125 per head, Dinner: £200 per head and Taittinger In The Sky flights at £75 per head. 99A Upper Ground, South Bank, SE1 9PP. Nearest station: Waterloo. For more information and booking, visit the Events In The Sky website. For Metro Girl’s blog post on London In The Sky, click here.
- Now until 3 October : Cuisson Presents POP-Down-Dining and Desserts
Turning pop-ups upside down, diners can enjoy a creative and high-quality menu at an affordable price compared to other supper clubs. Takes place on Thursday, Friday and Saturday from 7.30pm onwards. Tickets: £39 for 4 courses at the restaurant, £25 for three dessert courses (available to purchase in advance through Grubclub). Borough Barista, 15 Charles II Street, St James, SW1Y 4RW. Nearest station: Green Park. For more information, visit the GrubClub website. For Metro Girl’s blog post on POP-Down, click here
- Now until 11 October : Storeys pop-up rooftop bar
A new pop-up rooftop bar in West London serving street food, cocktails and other drinks, with music, DJs, yoga and other entertainment. Storeys, Multi Storey Car Park, Television Centre, Wood Lane, White City, W12 7RJ. Nearest station: Wood Lane. For more information, visit the Storeys website. For Metro Girl’s blog post on Storeys, click here.
- Now until 31 October : London Riviera
Enjoy some alfresco pop-up bar and café serving cocktails, brunch, Mediterrean street food and entertainment. Open daily 8am-10pm. Queen’s Walk, More London (next to City Hall), SE1 2DB. Nearest station: London Bridge or Tower Hill. For more information, visit the London Riviera website. Read Metro Girl’s blog post about my visit to London Riviera.
- Now until 21 November : The Owls Are Not What They Seem
A pop-up Twin Peaks immersive experience, featuring a three-course meal and entertainment. In a secret London location. Tickets: £65. Bar-only: £5. For more information and tickets, visit NotWhatTheySeem.com. For Metro Girl’s blog post on TOANWTS, click here.