August Bank Holiday in London

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South West Four

photo by Luke Dyson

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South West Four
The Monster
Notting Hill Carnival
Notting Hill Carnival
The Luna Cinema: Open Air Theatre, Regent's Park
London Bridge City: Summer by the River
Wonderfest Rooftop
John Lewis Garden Society: Roof Fest
Underbelly Festival
Fantastic Feats of Cinema: Pop Up Screens: Guildhall Yard
Wimbledon Park Food Festival
Todd Terje co-headlines One Day At The Disco


Once again the Notting Hill Carnival tops the billing in the long list of great things to do in London over the August bank holiday. But there's so much more on offer in this annual swansong of summer - including food and music festivals, outdoor cinema and giant bouncy castles.

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Underbelly Festival

A multi-arts extravaganza with comedy, circus, cabaret and more.

Underbelly Festival, Jubilee Gardens, Belvedere Road, London, SE1 8XX

Tube: Waterloo Station , Embankment Underground Station


Dates: 03rd April - 27th September 2020


The unrivalled Underbelly Festival returns to South Bank, between the Southbank Centre and London Eye, from April 2019, presenting over 70 shows for five months of comedy, cabaret and children's shows. In a temporary theatre - surrounded by street food and one of London's biggest outdoor bars - you'll find London's largest programme of affordable circus, cabaret and fringe theatre. Festival highlights this year include a month long residency by Gravity & Other Myths who bring their stripped back circus show to the South Bank. Join Bernie Dieter at the Little Death Club for some debauched kabarett, see drag extravaganza Yummy and listen to a new Podcast Live season with A Gay and A Non Gay and Hoovering Podcast on the lineup. Take the children to see stage adaptations of MONSTERSAURUS!, Shark In The Park and Elmer The Patchwork Elephant, as well as The Gruffalo, The Witch, and the Warthog with Julia Donaldson at the biggest ever Family Fest running throughout the Easter holidays.


John Lewis Garden Society: Roof Fest

One of London's largest rooftop gardens has been transformed into boho-chic festival-inspired space.

John Lewis Rooftop, 300 Oxford Street, London, W1A 1EX

Tube: Oxford Circus Station , Bond Street Station


Dates: 19th April - 29th September 2019


The rooftop of the John Lewis department store, high up above Oxford Street, has been transformed once again for summer 2019, re-launching with Roof Fest. One of London's largest roof gardens, the space has been transformed into a festival-themed party space with a boho chic d├ęcor. For intimate drinking and dining, guests can book the boho, garden or cherry blossom den or the caravan stage while wooden benches and tables and an abundance of green space are available for everyone to enjoy. Food comes courtesy of Bong Bongs (formerly BBQ Dreamz) with a range of fresh Filipino dishes like crispy fragrant pork belly, grilled aubergine satay curry and adobo glazed chicken while cocktails include chilli margaritas, espresso martinis and a negroni fizz. Live music and DJ sets will run throughout summer along with performances from comedians, drag acts, dancers, contortionists and magicians.


Wonderfest Rooftop

A festival-inspired pop-up with prosecco popsicles, street food and live music.

Fest Camden, Stables Market, Chalk Farm Road, London, NW1 8AH

Tube: Chalk Farm Station


Dates: 19th April - 28th September 2019


Taking inspiration from the likes of Woodstock and Glastonbury, FEST Camden transforms its rooftop into the Wonderfest Rooftop for a summer of festival-themed fun. With a verdant botanical canopy suspended from a wooden gazebo, an artificial grass lawn, countless colourful umbrellas and an Insta-friendly flower wall, it's a cheerful spot to spend a summer's day in London. Live acoustic performances take place throughout the day before the DJs take over in the evenings, and the Camden Rooftop Cinema Club sees films projected on a large open-air screen. Food comes in the form of a Mediterranean BBQ serving Greek souvlaki and kebabs along with superfood salads, mezze sharing plates, Wonderfest pizzas and vegan Walls ice cream while the playful booze offerings include prosecco popsicles with popping candy, espresso martinis on tap, and frozen bourbon slushies.


Queen of Hoxton Rooftop: Las Mexicanas

The rooftop takes the theme Las Mexicanas for its 2019 summer residency.

The Queen Of Hoxton, 1-5 Curtain Road, London, EC2A 3JX

Tube: Liverpool Street Station


Dates: 02nd May - 04th October 2019


Tacos, tequila and giant frozen margaritas are the order of the day at the Queen of Hoxton Rooftop, which takes the theme Las Mexicanas for its summer residency. The space has been transformed once again, morphing into the secret den of the Luchadores (lady wrestlers). Taking inspiration from the colourful backstreets of San Cristobal in Mexico, the rooftop is now home to a band-stand, a wrestling ring and a backstreet bar, where guests can order a Chilli and Mango Margarita, a Watermelon Paloma or a Mezcal Cantarito to help wash down slow cooked pork and pineapple tacos, fresh nachos and chilli cheese burgers. Throughout the summer, the rooftop will also play host to a number of themed events including feminist embroidery, mezcal insect tasting and Trump pinata making.


London Bridge City: Summer by the River

A summer hub of live entertainment, food and drink.

London Bridge, 203 Tooley Street, London, SE1 2JX

Tube: London Bridge Station


Dates: 01st June - 04th September 2020


London's largest free festival, the London Bridge City's Summer by the River transforms the riverside stretch into a summer hub of live entertainment, food and drink. Bringing a touch of The Hamptons to London Bridge City, the area gets a new, stylish shoreside look. Launching on Thursday 30th May, Chaps Choir gets the festival off to a flying start with their joyful choral pop classics at The Scoop. The outdoor amphitheatre plays host to free open air cinema, big screen summer sports, live comedy and music performances. Between 7th August and 1st September, the free Open Air Theatre returns with a new family production the swashbuckling tale of 'The Sea Queen' and Shakespeare's classic romantic comedy 'Twelfth Night'. Pop-up guru Jimmy Garcia and his team run the Bar by the River and The BBQ Club while Look Mum No Hands returns for a third year in a row to transform The Pier area. Expanding to include the table tennis, the festival also stages a new pop-up area in Hay's Galleria where you can hear musicians perform live.


Fantastic Feats of Cinema: Pop Up Screens: Guildhall Yard

Enjoy open air films in the picturesque courtyard next to a fifteenth-century civic hall.

Guildhall Yard, Gresham Street, London, EC2P 2EJ

Tube: Moorgate Station , Bank Station, St. Paul's Station, Mansion House Station


Dates: 19th - 24th August 2019


Dinosaurs, sci-fi and romcom classics are shown in the open air at Guildhall Yard this summer with Jurassic Park, Back to the Future and 500 Days of Summer projected onto the big screen under the stars. Grab a deckchair and settle in for top films like Good Will Hunting, First Man and WALL-E. As well as the film there's everything you'd expect from a good outdoor cinema - food, popcorn and a fully stocked bar - and guests are also welcome to bring their own picnic. Pop Up Screens are cropping up all of the city this summer, find them in Coram's Fields, Fulham, Hammersmith, Greenwich and Hither Green plus they're popping up in Hornsey, Kingston and South Park in Parsons Green for the first time.



Francesca Forristal offers a humorous insight into the messier elements of eating disorders.

Upstairs At The Gatehouse, Hampstead Lane, Highgate Village, London, N6 4BD

Tube: Highgate Station


Dates: 20th - 24th August 2019


Musical Comedy Awards 2019 finalist Francesca Forristal has been tipped by the Evening Standard as one of the top six shows to see at this year's Camden Fringe festival. Her solo piece, performed Upstairs at the Gatehouse, uses her own experiences of anorexia, treatment and having a heart attack at 19 years old to examine the effects of eating disorders on her life. Oddball offers a humorous insight into the messier elements of eating disorders and NHS inpatient wards.


The Monster

Tackle over 300 metres and 40 obstacles at the inflatable party playground.

Alexandra Palace, Alexandra Palace Way, Wood Green, London, N22 7AY

Tube: Bounds Green Station


Dates: 23rd - 28th August 2019


This August Bank Holiday they're bringing The Monster back and this time you can also enjoy drag queen karaoke, boozy bingo, mega beer pong and the wheel of glitter at the party playground for adults. Arriving at Alexandra Palace for six days including the Bank Holiday, the popular inflatable assault course proves that bouncy castles aren't just for kids. The Monster is over 300 metres long with 40 obstacles including an 18 metre mega slide, the exterminator and the house of hell. Added to that there's street food, cocktails, craft beers, DJs, giant adult ball pits and other crazy, fun activities plus this year there will also be special summer holiday sessions for kids and families when the experience will include the ultimate NERF battle. Teams of four to six people are tasked with taking on the Monster inflatable obstacle course with the NERF blasters. Plus there's a themed zone for trick shots and challenges as well as an inflatable sports arena where kids can play with the latest NERF sports kit including footballs, howlers and basket balls and hoops.


Notting Hill Carnival

Two-day festival of Caribbean culture is Europe's biggest street party.

Notting Hill, , London, W11 3AG

Tube: Holland Park Station


Dates: 25th - 26th August 2019


Held since 1966, the Notting Hill Carnival was originally a local affair for west London's homesick Caribbean community, this has evolved into Europe's biggest street party. Carnival sets London on fire in a blaze of Caribbean spirit as extravagantly costumed dancers, calypso and soca musicians, giant sound-systems and steel bands are joined by over a million revellers of all ages. Sunday is officially children's day, but there are loads of kids on both days enjoying the bright colours of the floats and the dancers' feathered costumes. Adults can shake their booty at dozens of stages and there are tunes for all tastes at over 30 static sound systems, from house to hip-hop. It's a huge area and can get very crowded, so be prepared for an exhausting day out, but for anyone who loves a party, carnival remains the absolute highlight of the London summer. Photo by (c) David Godfrey - - All rights reserved


Hampton Court Palace Food Festival

Sample a great selection of food and get cooking tips from top chefs.

Hampton Court Palace, East Molesey, Surrey, London, KT8 9AU

Tube: Richmond Station


Dates: 24th - 26th August 2019


Taking place over the August Bank Holiday weekend, the Hampton Court Palace Food Festivalcomes to Hampton Court Palace giving visitors a great selection of food to sample and expert tips from well-known cooks and chefs. Top chefs including Michel Roux Jr and Bake Off champion Nadiya Hussain are joined by nutritionist Rhiannon Lambert and TV presenter Chris Bavin as four of the food experts and celebrity speakers in the kitchen. The festival also offers tastings and masterclasses, pop-up restaurants, book signing opportunities and over 100 producers of speciality foods. Feast on street food, enjoy afternoon tea, sip on cocktails, quaff Champagne from pop-up bars and leave time to visit Hampton Court Palace - all tickets include free entry into the beautiful home of King Henry VIII.


South West Four

Craig David and Chase and Status headline the two-day electronic music extravaganza.

Clapham Common, Windmill Drive, London, SW4 9DE

Tube: Clapham South Station


Dates: 29th - 30th August 2020


A firm favourite on the London festival calendar after 15 successful years, South West Four is back on Clapham Common for two days of dance music and big names over the late August Bank Holiday weekend. Martin Garrix, Craig David and Chase and Status headline the two-day electronic music extravaganza. On Saturday Martin Garrix and Tinie Tempah are the main stage headliners while Craig David presents TS5 Takeover at the indoor tent. They're supported by a strong lineup of Basement Jaxx (doing a DJ set), UK House star James Hype, highly popular songstress Mabel, and Heldeep Records head honcho Oliver Heldens. South London rap star Yungen, and Sigma, returning after mesmerising 30,000 fans at the festival last year, also put in an appearance. Sunday sees Plan B on the main stage outside while Ms Dynamite sings live and Chase & Status presents RTRN II JUNGLE indoors. Expect many stars of the global dance scene, filling Clapham Common with revellers united in the knowledge that they don't have to get up for work the next day. The festival finishes around 11pm but there are after-parties for those keen on all-night revelry.


Wimbledon Park Food Festival

Around 50 stalls pitch up to sell a wide variety of food and drink.

Wimbledon Park, Wimbledon Park, London, SW19 7HX

Tube: Wimbledon Park Station


Dates: 24th - 26th August 2019


The Wimbledon Park Food Festival returns for its sixth year this August Bank holiday, bringing 50 stalls of food and drink to the south London venue. This year's line-up includes MasterChef Champions Angellica Bell, Dhruv Baker and Kenny Tutt with demonstrations from Leighs Cookery School, Howard Jones from Lucknam Park and a host of other experts who will be on hand to answer questions and provide some valuable cooking tips. Visitors will be able to feast on everything from artisan bread, pastries and crepes to smoked BBQ pulled pork, cheese and charcuterie. There will also be local and international beers, ales, cider, gin and wine to sample and gates stay open late, until 9pm on Sunday.


One Day At The Disco

Todd Terje and 2ManyDJs play the one day disco festival enclosed by the Lee Valley river.

Three Mills Island, Three Mill Lane, London, E3 3DU

Tube: Bromley-by-Bow Underground Station


Dates: 24th August 2019


A massive ten hours of disco and house are certainly one way to put the fun into the August bank holiday. Boogie on down to One Day At The Disco at Three Mills Island and you'll be strutting your stuff to music from Norwegian DJ Todd Terje, DJ duo 2ManyDJs, also known as the Belgian groove-gurus Soulwax, Chicago house legend Derrick Carter and platinum-selling recording artist, label boss, festival promoter, and cultural champion Kevin Saunderson, also known as Inner City. There will also be classic house and obscure disco beats by Detroit Swindle, disco, house and boogie from CC:Disco!, New Yorker Mister Saturday Night, Colleen 'Cosmo' Murphy as well as East London clubbing favourite Chaka Khan't.


Hidden Brunch

Free-flowing booze and music across three floors.

McQueen, 59-61 Tabernacle Street, London, EC2A 4AA

Tube: Old Street Station


Dates: 25th August 2019


Providing Londoners with an August bank holiday to remember, Love Parties Group - famed for creating epic brunch concepts across the UAE - is bringing its Hidden Brunch to the capital. Taking place at McQueen in Shoreditch, the one-day event will combine party tunes with free-flowing booze for the ultimate bottomless brunch experience. A set food tasting menu will be served alongside either unlimited prosecco or prosecco, house spirits, beer and wine, depending on which package you choose, for a period of two hours, and the likes of CJ Sax Live, Billy Cocks, Sam Lashmar and Nana B will provide soulful, deep, commercial and house music across three rooms. An After Party will keep the occasion going until the early hours.


The Luna Cinema: Open Air Theatre, Regent's Park

The perfect family film, Mary Poppins Returns comes to Regent's Park and you can sing along.

Open Air Theatre, Regent's Park, Inner Circle, Regent's Park, London, NW1 4NR

Tube: Regent's Park Station


Dates: 25th August 2019


The Luna Cinema returns to the Open Air Theatre in Regent's Park with three evenings of outdoor cinema. First up is Mary Poppins Returns, the sequel to the 1964 original in which the magical nanny endears herself to a whole new generation of children. It's the perfect family film and you can sing-along to this one on a summer's evening 'underneath the lovely London sky' plus there are reduced price tickets available for under 16s. In September, the hit musical movie A Star is Born, starring Lady Gaga and Bradley Cooper, is up on the big screen. It's followed by Monty Python's Life of Brian which is back with a cast which includes original Pythons John Cleese, Michael Palin and Eric Idle. If this doesn't make you look on the bright side of life nothing will.

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