London Festivals

Festivals in London

Narrow the London Festivals selection below using the intiutive search box to the right. It works a treat. Bon voyage!

BFI London Film Festival

BFI London Film Festival

The BFI London Film Festival (the UK's largest public film event) rolls into the capital's cinemas each October, screening more than 300 features, documentaries and shorts from over 50 countries. The Festival showcases the very best of world cinema from both established and emerging film-makers. For film insiders and aficionados there's also an extensive programme of industry events, public forums, education events, lectures, masterclasses and Q&As with film-makers and actors.

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Europe England London Film Festivals Short Film Festivals Documentary Film Festivals October
Chelsea Flower Show

Chelsea Flower Show

For five five days each and every May since it first broke ground in 1913, the 11 acre gardens of the Royal Hospital of Chelsea in London have undergone a colourful transformation. The result, the Chelsea Flower Show — the world's most famous flower show. The Chelsea Flower Show is to floral enthusiasts, what Oktoberfest is to beer aficionados. Visitors travel from all corners of the globe to witness this floral extravaganza which features in excess of 20 show gardens (selected by a committee of horticultural experts), along with a number of small gardens and more than 100 floral exhibitors in the Great Pavilion. The event attracts the world's foremost horticulturalists and has long proved to be a barometer for gardening trends. Budding gardeners can shop to the heart's content and if you time your run right you can even pick up some of the floral arrangements themselves, which become available on the last day of the show. And when it all gets too bloomin' much, you can take time out at one of the many rest areas or designated eating areas. Be warned, this is London in May, book early, pack a brolly and expect anything.

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Europe England London Flower Shows Family Festivals May
Chestertons Polo in the Park

Chestertons Polo in the Park

Ever fancied brushing shoulders and sipping champers with the polo set but wondered just how you'd wangle that invitation? Never fear my proletariat friend for there's Polo in the Park, and for three days each June, Hurlingham Park is open to all and sundry. The event kicks off with 'Chukka Friday', featuring three afternoon polo matches. Saturday is Ladies Day with another three fixtures, whilst Sunday is Finals Day. There are bars with direct views of the polo field, a bunch of gourmet food outlets and the Luxury Shopping Village opens its doors (and its tills) for that must have polo field fashion. There's some modified rules in place to add the spectacle and to help newcomers understand the game. So get your affairs in order and make it along to Hurlingham Park for a quintessentially British summer sporting and social occasion. Bravo!

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Europe England London Sporting Events June
Crystal Palace Overground Festival

Crystal Palace Overground Festival

The Crystal Palace Overground Festival is a free, family-friendly, four-day festival taking place in the Upper Norwood Triangle and Westow Park. The festival features wonderful food from all parts of the world, vintage bargains for savvy shoppers, eclectic music, comedy and film, fun family workshops and activities in art, theatre, music and sports as well as the chance to discover the heritage of a world renowned part of London. Events take place in the week leading up to and during the main outdoor event in Westow Park.

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Europe England London Family Festivals June
DMC World DJ Championships

DMC World DJ Championships

Since 1985 the world's freshest DJs have gone head to head, stylus to stylus spinning and scratching their vinyl at the DMC World DJ Championships in London. Mixmasters from the UK, Europe and beyond battle it out in three competitions, the World DJ Championship, the Battle For World Supremacy and the World DJ Team Championship. Dress loose and get ready to jump, jump.

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Europe England London Rap and Hip Hop Festivals October
Elefest

Elefest

Elefest is a celebration of one of the best known but most misunderstood parts of London — Elephant and Castle. Elefest's programme celebrates the past, present and future of the "Picadilly of the South", mixing home-grown with national and international talent for four days each October. From pop-up cinemas and music events to night markets, photography exhibitions and skating events, Elefest's programme, like the neighbourhood, is constantly evolving year on year.

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Europe England London Community Festivals October
Great British Beer Festival

Great British Beer Festival

Styled as the biggest pub in the world, the Great British Beer Festival (GBBF) will once again welcome more than 55,000 beer lovers through her doors at London's magnificent Olympia Exhibition Centre for five days this August. With around 450 beers from British breweries, as well as another 200 foreign offerings from countries including Belgium, Germany, the Czech Republic and the US on offer, there's little wonder it's the UKs biggest beer festival. On top of the suds, the GBBF also offers entertainment ranging from live music to traditional pub games, as well as a variety of food stands for when you need a little non-liquid sustenance.

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Europe England London Beer Festivals August
Great Christmas Pudding Race

Great Christmas Pudding Race

Take a chilly London December day, 120 contestants donned in fancy dress, give them a pudding and send them through an obstacle course and what have you got? The Great Christmas Pudding Race in London, silly. This fun family event takes place in London's iconic Covent Garden Market early each December and is organised by CRAC on behalf of Cancer Research UK.

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Europe England London Christmas Charity Events December
Great Gorilla Run

Great Gorilla Run

London's gone ape! Join a bunch of banana-munching, furry fun-runners as they lope their way through Ol' London Town in the annual Great Gorilla Run. Since the first Great Gorilla Run in 2003, thousands of people have donned their gorilla suits and joined the eight kilometre fun run route starting at Mincing Court in the City and passing some of London's most iconic landmarks, including the Tower of London and St Paul's Cathedral. In the process you'll be helping The Gorilla Organization raise money to save the remaining 800 Mountain Gorillas living in the wild.

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Europe England London Charity Events Marathons, Triathlons and Fun Runs September
Greenwich and Docklands International Festival

Greenwich and Docklands International Festival

Join nigh on 100,000 visitors at the Greenwich and Docklands International Festival, the capital's leading festival of free outdoor performing arts, an annual nine-day celebration of extraordinary outdoor theatre, dance, and street art in London's leafy maritime borough. The Festival has a particular focus on the commissioning and development of outdoor work led by deaf and disabled artists and artists from diverse backgrounds. Why not download a programme from the GDIF website and make a day of it.

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Europe England London Performing Arts Festivals Dance Festivals June
Guy Fawkes Night

Guy Fawkes Night

The Brits love a liberal lashing of irony, and it's with that in mind that every 5th of November they go to great lengths to burn things to the ground and blast things into the stratosphere. Bonfire Night or Guy Fawkes Night has been celebrated in the UK since that near fateful day in 1605 when a number of sneaky Roman Catholic conspirators (including Guy Fawkes) attempted to blow to smithereens the Houses of Parliament in London, England in a scenario now known as the Gunpowder plot. As history spells it out, the plot was foiled, Parliament was saved and to the present day Brits spend the anniversary of the event burning effigies (otherwise known as guys in reference to our Mr. Fawkes) and setting off fireworks in a celebration of the fact that nothing was burnt or blown up all those years ago. Strange!

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Europe England London Historical Festivals Traditional Festivals November
Hyde Park Winter Wonderland

Hyde Park Winter Wonderland

Despite whether you've been bad or good, from late November through early January, Santa and his pint-sized helpers serve up lashings of Christmas fun at London's very own version of the North Pole. During Hyde Park's Winter Wonderland there's a little Christmas something for the whole family. For the youngsters there's thrilling rides, the Magical Ice Kingdom and trips to Santa Land where you may just get the opportunity to meet the jolly bearded fellow in the flesh. Grown-ups can browse the Christmas markets, enjoy the festive fare or take to the sky on the Giant Observation Wheel for a spectacular panoramic view over Winter Wonderland and beyond. Winter Wonderland is free to enter.

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Europe England London Christmas Christmas Markets December
London Art Fair

London Art Fair

Modern art aficionados rejoice! For five days in January, the London Art Fair presents over 100 rigorously selected galleries featuring works by the great names of 20th Century British art alongside exceptional contemporary work from leading international figures and emerging talent. You'll also find solo shows and curated group displays in the Art Projects section, with galleries drawn from across the world. Photo50 provides a showcase for contemporary photography, featuring 50 works selected by a distinguished panel. London Art Fair is the UK’s largest Modern British and contemporary art fair and a must-visit event for any serious collector.

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Europe England London Art Festivals January
London Coffee Festival

London Coffee Festival

Crazy for caffeine? Have we got the fest for you. Run in conjunction with London Coffee Week, the London Coffee Festival celebrates London's bustling and vibrant coffee scene. The festival features over 250 artisan coffee and gourmet food stalls, tastings and demonstrations from world-class baristas, interactive workshops, street food, coffee-based cocktails, live music, DJs and art exhibitions.

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Europe England London Coffee Festivals April
London Craft Beer Festival

London Craft Beer Festival

The annual London Craft Beer Festival prides itself on being all about the diversity in flavour of beer. Connoisseurs can expect big IPAs, rich stouts, bold reds and zesty sours from more than a dozen world class craft brewers at the three day Bethnel Green based event. Great beer demands excellent street food, another staple of the London Craft Beer Festival. Throw in some fine tunes from live bands and a bunch of DJs and if the London summer's on song, I dare you to find a better way to spend a day in the capital.

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Europe England London Craft Beer Festivals Beer Festivals August
London Design Festival

London Design Festival

Designophiles from the UK and beyond descend upon the capital for eight days in September for the annual London Design Festival. Conceived by Sir John Sorrell and Ben Evans and building on London's existing design activity, their concept was to create an annual event that would promote the city's creativity, drawing in the country's greatest thinkers, practitioners, retailers and educators to a deliver an unmissable celebration of design. The festival programme is made up of over 300 events and exhibitions staged by hundreds of partner organisations across the design spectrum and from around the world.

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Europe England London Design Festivals Art Festivals September
London Drinker Beer and Cider Festival

London Drinker Beer and Cider Festival

Can't decide between beer and cider? It doesn't matter at the annual London Drinker Beer and Cider Festival. Held over three days each March in the Camden Centre (not far from King's Cross, St. Pancras tube station) the Campaign For Real Ale's (CAMRA) London gig has been attracting a wide cross-section of the capital's beer and cider loving community for over three decades. With over 150 real ales, ciders, perries and imported beers on offer and some good ol' fashioned home-cooked dishes to boot, it's not hard to see why.

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Europe England London Beer Festivals March
London Festival of Architecture

London Festival of Architecture

The London Festival of Architecture is a month-long city-wide celebration of architectural experimentation, thinking, learning and practice featuring debates, exhibitions, film screenings, walks, cycle rides, open studios and family events which focus on the importance of architecture and design in London today. There's an active programme of architectural installations and interventions designed to provoke questions about the future life of the city and to promote positive change to the city's public realm. The festival also has a global focus with the International Architectural Showcase, organised by the British Council, highlighting innovative work from architecture practices around the world.

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Europe England London Design Festivals June
London Jazz Festival

London Jazz Festival

London's annual celebration of jazz continues to grow and grow, enabled by a strong network of relationships with artists, venues, producers and sponsors. The London Jazz Festival programme features international and home-grown stars from across the generations and a number of themes can be found running through the Festival. Premieres, commissions, collaborations and family-friendly work are in abundance and around a quarter of the 250-plus events are free. There is much to explore and looking beyond the concert halls and clubs you will find a series of talks, masterclasses and workshops offering an open door into the music and its history.

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Europe England London Jazz Festivals November
London Marathon

London Marathon

As one of the six World Marathon Majors, the London Marathon has been attracting a world-class field of distance athletes for over three decades. On a spring day each April, up to 30,000 amateurs and pros push off from three points in and around Greenwich and pound out the largely flat course around the River Thames and past many of the city's landmarks before finishing in The Mall alongside St. James's Palace. If the weather's on song, London celebrates its Marathon like few other cities. Thousands of fancy dressed competitors add to the on-course entertainment. The participants are a generous bunch too, their fundraising efforts for the 2009 event raised over £47.2 million for charity and in the process landed the London Marathon in the Guinness Book of World Records for the largest annual fund raising event in the world.

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Europe England London Marathons, Triathlons and Fun Runs April
Lovebox Festival

Lovebox Festival

The Lovebox Festival is the brainchild of London-based electronic music duo, Groove Armada. The event kicked off in 2003 to celebrate the anniversary of the Lovebox club nights that were then being hosted at Brick Lane's, 93 Feet East. More than a decade on and the Lovebox Festival has carved out a comfortable niche amongst festival-goers as a wonderfully creative urban fest with a real rural feel. Despite its strong and ongoing ties with electronica, Lovebox has expanded its musical parameters to include a variety of genres from indie, rock, and pop through to world music. The two-day festival also includes circus performers, cabaret and fringe acts.

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Europe England London Electronic Dance Music Festivals Indie Rock Festivals July
Notting Hill Carnival

Notting Hill Carnival

For a little over 360 days a year the trendy West London suburb of Notting Hill is a tranquil leafy locale ruled by the latte and boutique beer set. But all that changes on the August bank holiday weekend as the Notting Hill Carnival — one of Europe's largest street parties — swings and sways its way into W11. The sharp blast from ten thousand whistles and the heavy thud of hardcore bass can be heard from as far away as Hyde Park. As well as a couple of larger stages — featuring international headline acts — and a plethora of smaller ones, impromptu performers roam the streets while many locals clear the floorboards at home and pump up the volume to cater for friends or those from the outside masses who like what they hear. Even the food sellers join in the aural assault, and there's certainly enough of them. Blackened corn on the cob is the festival staple with jerk chicken a delicious, close run second. It's usually the spectacle, energy and colour of Monday's festival parade that most visitors to Notting Hill Carnival are there to see. Dozens of floats ranging in size from the modest to the mobile party make there way along Ladbroke and Westbourne Groves. Calypso tunes blast out from speakers the size of small sedans. Colourful costumed dancers strut their stuff in time to their own floats beat. Swaying onlookers crowd ten and fifteen deep, whistles blowing and dancing in the streets.

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Europe England London Carnival and Mardi Gras Street Parades Street Parties August
Raw Power

Raw Power

If your taste in music falls a pole apart from the poppy mainstream, perhaps you're looking for some Raw Power? Some of the very best in psych heaviness, space rock, synth craziness and left field electronica as they tear up the Dome and the Boston Arms in Tufnell Park over three days in August.

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Europe England London Heavy Metal Festivals August
South West Four

South West Four

Join dozens of the world's premier DJs, live acts, la crème de la crème of the underground and tens of thousands of dance devotees as they descend en masse on Clapham Common for the South West Four Weekender. For lovers of house, electro, techno and trance, SW4s programme is hard to fault, especially when the weather's on song and the tunes are pumping. So dress light and head south west my dancing friend.

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Europe England London Electronic Dance Music Festivals August
St. Patrick's Day (London)

St. Patrick's Day (London)

Everyone's Irish for a day at London's celebration of Saint Patrick's Day. Don your emerald green and head to London central to join the craic for Ireland's big national day. Begin at Picadilly and take in the start of the St. Patrick's Day Parade with it's spectacular floats and colourful marching bands. Then make your way to a packed Trafalgar Square for an Irish-inspired programme of song, dance and comedy. When formal festivities die down, head for one of the myriad Irish pubs that dot Covent Garden and London's West End for a pint of the good stuff.

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Europe England London National Festivals Street Parades March
Taste of London

Taste of London

For five days each June, London's Regent Park transforms into a gourmet's Eden. Taste of London is the ultimate alfresco feast with incredible restaurants, delicious dishes, exquisite wines and a stellar line-up of live entertainment to make it the social event of the summer. Pick up a taste ticket which lasts for a four hour session of sampling tapas size dishes from 40 of London's hottest restaurants in the one stunning location. Skip brekky and be sure to don those comfy trousers.

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Europe England London Food Festivals June
The Championships Wimbledon

The Championships Wimbledon

For two weeks each June and July, the sporting world turns its attention to the leafy London 'burb of Wimbledon for the Championships — the oldest and most prestigious tennis tournament in the world. Our advice? Get along to the opening week and mix your time between the show courts and the outside courts where you can get much closer to the action, and if you're lucky, catch some big names ripping up the grass while you're at it. No visit to the action in SW19 would be complete without a little strawberries and cream and a splash of Pimms, both Wimbledon institutions.

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Europe England London Sporting Events June
Totally Thames

Totally Thames

The annual Mayor's Thames Festival is London's only river-focused multi-arts festival and the largest of its kind in the world. Spanning the month of September, the Thames Festival promotes activities that reach up to the source of the Thames and down to its mouth. Since its launch in 1997 with a spectacular wire walk across the Thames, it has been key to attracting millions of people to the central London stretch of the river between Westminster and Tower Bridges with its eclectic mix of art, music and river-focused events and activities. Today the festival extends its reach to include the 42-mile London stretch of the river and the 17 boroughs it runs through, making it the biggest season of river-focused events in the world. The programme includes a range of inspiring art commissions, bespoke environmental activities, river races and rallies, cruises, walks, talks and live performances.

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Europe England London Nautical Events Family Festivals September
Wireless Festival

Wireless Festival

Wireless is the premier multi-day festival set in North London's Finsbury Park. Over three stages, Wireless delivers the biggest and best of today's dance, pop, r 'n' b and rock acts mixed with some hip, young newcomers. The now legendary dance day has seen some incredible performances in the past from Daft Punk, Fatboy Slim, Basement Jaxx, Underworld, Deadmau5, Dizzee Rascal, Klaxons, 2manydjs and LCD Soundsystem. Past years have included headliners of world-renown such as Jay-Z, Justin Timberlake P!nk, Depeche Mode, Kasabian, Morrissey, Kanye West, Massive Attack, White Stripes and The Strokes. Coupled with the amazing music, Wireless hosts an array of festival activity — a massive beer garden, food stalls, chill out areas and interactive games.

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Europe England London Popular Music Festivals Electronic Dance Music Festivals July

London Festivals on the Map