London festivals this year are absolutely jam-packed – our top 10 to help you pick and choose

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  • May 24, 2023
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Festival season is upon us and we really have been spoilt for choice this year.

From Mighty Hoopla to Wireless, London festivals in particular are jam-packed, so it’s understandable why you might not know where to start.

But never fear, we’ve got a run-down of 10 of the best.

Whether you want to bust a move to the pop girlies of the moment, enjoy a more relaxed, classical vibe, or explore a range of new artists and see who takes your fancy, there’s something for everyone.

When is it? June 3-4

Where is it? Brockwell Park

Mighty Hoopla is a festival fan favourite, with 30,000 excitable music lovers descending on the capital each June for two days of feel-good tunes under the summer sun.

The festival takes place at Brockwell Park and boasts 10 stages with 200 artists performing.

Mighty Hoopla is also beloved by the LGBTQ community, with freedom of expression at its heart and line-ups embracing the very best of queer culture, not to mention LGBTQ security and charity partners including Stonewall and Not A Phase.

It brands itself as ‘a party for all’ and that’s certainly what it delivers.

This year’s line-up does not disappoint, with pop powerhouses such as Kelly Rowland, Natasha Bedingfield, and Jamelia performing.

There’ll also be performances from Girls Aloud icon Nadine Coyle, 2000s favourites Liberty X, Eurovision royalty Loreen, and the Vengaboys are even driving over in their Vengabus.

Rachel Stevens was due to perform, but pulled out recently due to the loss of S Club 7 bandmate Paul Cattermole – but she has assured fans that she’ll be making a comeback, so we’re already excited for next year.

As if all of that wasn’t enough to get you buzzing, Mighty Hoopla also offers Bongo’s Bingo, roller discos, more drag acts than you can shake a stick at, oh, and Gemma Collins will be there – what’s not to love?

When is it? June 24-July 8

Where is it? Hyde Park

For a festival that started in 2013, British Summer Time Hyde Park is only going from strength to strength.

British Summer Time Hyde Park is a series of concerts held over two or three weekends each summer in, you guessed it, Hyde Park.

It’s one of the big music events everyone looks forward to, with previous years welcoming sets from major stars such as Adele, Sir Elton John, and Taylor Swift.

This year, from June 24 until July 8, some of the biggest names in pop will delight a crowd of thousands with their hits, from Pink to Gwen Stefani.

Something Hyde Park does really well, though, is supporting the legendary headliners with today’s rising stars, meaning attendees can also experience live music from Sabrina Carpenter, Gayle, and more.

There’ll also be a performance from 2022 Eurovision King Sam Ryder, K-pop princesses BLACKPINK will be flying in, and Take That will undoubtedly put on the show of all shows after their return to the stage at this year’s Coronation Concert.

But Hyde Park delivers on genre too, because country stars The Chicks are set to perform, as well as rock band Guns N’ Roses, American legend Bruce Springsteen, and Piano Man Billy Joel.

The festival offers a variety of ticket types, ranging from General Admission to VIP and Hospitality, so if you’d prefer to chill out at a bar with a drink rather than be in the thick of the crowd, that’s totally an option.

When is it? July 7-9

Where is it? Finsbury Park

Wireless Festival is London’s ultimate summer music extravaganza.

With performances across three days (Friday, Saturday, and Sunday), Wireless began as a primarily rock and pop festival.

Over the years, however, it’s focused on hip-hop and other urban music.

It celebrates homegrown talent as well as US megastars, with past line-ups including the likes of Cardi B, A$AP Rocky, and Doja Cat.

Taking place in Finsbury Park, Wireless consistently brings an epic line-up, with 2023 welcoming Travis Scott, 50 Cent, Ice Spice, and Flo.

Rap star Playboi Carti joins them, as well as Coco & Breezy, Lil Yachty, Bryson Tiller, and D-Block Europe.

Up to 50,000 fans are expected this year for what is sure to be a huge weekend for rap and R&B lovers.

When is it? June 6-17

Where is it? Tudor Courtyard, Hampton Court Palace

Hampton Court Palace Festival has been going since 1993 and has continued to welcome world-class acts to the stage across two weeks in June.

Music fans get to enjoy the rare opportunity to see their favourite performers in the flesh within the intimate setting of Base Court, set against the backdrop of Tudor history.

Headliners over the last 27 years have included Kylie Minogue, Bastille, Nile Rogers & Chic, Sir Tom Jones, and Lionel Richie.

And this year’s line-up is not to turn your nose up at either.

Soft Cell, Grace Jones, Kool & The Gang, Kaiser Chiefs, and Rick Astley will all be bringing the party with some epic throwback tunes (please belt out Never Gonna Give You Up extra loudly on our behalf) as well as some new tunes.

Oh, and Welsh legend Sir Tom is returning!

Hampton Court Palace has two stages – the Main Stage and the Garden Stage, depending on what mood you’re in.

The Main Stage has a 3,000-seated auditorium, offering an intimate concert with the biggest acts.

On the contrary, the Garden Stage allows you to listen to rising stars in an outdoor acoustic setting.

Supporting up-and-coming musicians, the festival gives slots to emerging singer-songwriters in a super chilled environment, making for a dreamy summer evening.

When is it? May 26-July 22

Where is it? Camden High Street

Camden Rocks is an independent festival showcasing hundreds of the best new and established bands across Camden Town.

What’s cool about this one is it actively encourages smaller artists to the stage, issuing call-outs urging bands to get in touch if they’re looking for gigs in Camden.

It really puts new music at the forefront, allowing fans to broaden their horizons and discover underground musicians before anyone else.

What’s more, if you’re still on a high after hours of live rock music, Camden Rocks also offers weekly rock ‘n’ roll club nights – so the buzz never dies!

Expect punk, rock, indie, dance, EDM, and much more…

The line-up for 2023 is yet to be confirmed, but past years have included Frank Turner, Deaf Havana, and Bullet for My Valentine as headliners with countless more performing across 20 stages.

When is it? 9-18 June

Where is it? Southbank Centre

Meltdown Festival has become one of the UK’s most anticipated annual music events.

A bunch of iconic artists take to the stage and, each year, Meltdown chooses an artist to curate the event.

Past festivals have been curated by Nile Rodgers, Robert Smith of The Cure, David Byrne, and Yoko Ono.

For 2023, it’s none other than Christine and the Queens.

The French musical phenomenon will invite artists who have influenced his musical identity and those who continue to shape it today.

His line-up includes Django Django, Kokoroko, Oxlade, Sigur Rós, London Contemporary Orchestra, and Warpaint.

There’ll also be a unique sensory experience and club nights to ensure the party lasts into the early hours.

But that’s not all as, in addition to ticketed shows, Meltdown offers two weekends of free outdoor gigs, performances, and activities truly bringing Christine and the Queens’ creative vision to life and celebrating his artistry.

When is it? July 14-September 9

Where is it? Royal Albert Hall

Listen, we get it, ok? Not everyone is a fan of crowded raves, deafening rock music, and having to pee in a bottle.

If classical music is more your thing, there’s still no reason for you to miss out, as the BBC Proms is back for eight weeks of extraordinary live music.

Held at the world-renowned Royal Albert Hall, the prestigious annual event proudly showcases the best of today’s composers.

This year’s line-up welcomes classical artists and ensembles from around the world, including the Budapest Festival Orchestra, the Boston Symphony Orchestra, and the Tonhalle Orchestra Zürich.

But there’ll also be a blend of modern music, with the creatives behind Horrible Histories bringing ‘Orrible Opera to the festival.

And for the very first time in its history, the Proms will both open and close with a female composer. Dalia Stasevska is conducting the First Night and Marin Alsop will lead the Last Night of the Proms.

Even if classical music isn’t totally your passion but you still fancy being part of it all, you’ll also be treated to non-classical performances from Rufus Wainwright, Self Esteem, and Jon Hopkins.

But don’t worry about missing out if you’re outside London because other performances are being held across the UK, including at Sage Gateshead and Derry’s Guildhall – so there’s something for everyone to be excited about as the Proms return once more!

When is it? July 15

Where is it? Alexandra Palace

Following its sell-out success of 2022, Kaleidoscope Festival is back!

This festival boasts an impressive roster, with acts from the fields of music, comedy, and more.

Headliners this time around are electric-pop legends Hot Chip on the Hilltop Stage – they’ll actually be making history, becoming the first band in 150 years to play all three stages at Alexandra Palace: the Theatre, Great Hall, and now the Park.

Meanwhile, George Fitzgerald, Gaz Coombes, Elvana, Girls of the Internet, and Antony Szmierek will join them.

As for the DJ Stage (Cloud 10) there certainly won’t be anyone standing still, with the line-up including Erol Alkan with a disco set, followed by Heidi, Fabio & Grooveider, Wookie, and Raw Silk, who’ll play into the early hours.

With regards to the comedy side of things, Kaleidoscope promises exciting names there too.

Taking to the Fringe Stage, Nina Conti will perform her famous ventriloquist stand-up, and Shaun Keavney will join Joe Lycett in conversation.

And if you aren’t sold already, Shaun Williams – aka Barry from EastEnders – will perform Barrioke (yes, really), a hilarious singalong guaranteed to have everyone on their feet.

Talk about variety!

When is it? August 25–27

Where is it? Damyns Hall Aerodrome

We Are FSTVL is sure to make the August bank holiday one you’ll never forget.

This year marks 10 years of the festival, so you know it’s going to be a good one as some of the most exciting dance acts put on one hell of a show.

Branded ‘We Are 10’ in honour of the anniversary, organisers promised their ‘biggest line-up to date.’

This includes The Prodigy, Example, Nathan Dawe, Joel Corry, Griff, Annie Mac, Andy C, Sonny Fodera, Purple Disco Machine, and many, many more.

Dance music fans are in safe hands with We Are FSTVL, which has won many awards in its time and firmly established itself as one of the leading electronic music festivals in Europe.

It’s got ground-breaking staging and epic visual production, with 2023 only making things even bigger, as the event doubles in size and returns to its spiritual home at Damyns Hall Aerodrome, affectionately known as The Airfield of Dreams.

When is it? June 12-14

Where is it? Gunnersbury Park

Last but never least we have Lovebox.

Lovebox actually started life as a resident club night in 2002 before the first event was held in 2003 with a capacity of 10,000.

Fast forward to 2023 and 50,000 fans descend on the Park to enjoy music of all genres.

Despite starting out as a predominantly dance festival, Lovebox has since expanded to include hip-hop, indie, rock, grime, and pop.

There are even circus acts and cabaret performers!

Previous headliners have included Charli XCX, Chance the Rapper, Solange, Skepta, Childish Gambino, Frank Ocean, and Major Lazer.

As for 2023, the line-up is still yet to be announced, but with such big names having already earned spots on the bill, you can rest assured this year will be no exception.

The festival prides itself in being ‘passionate about the music, and not the money’, as well as its ability to showcase both giants of the music industry alongside newcomers.

Lovebox is a place to sing, dance, drink, bask in the sun, and let your hair down, all while celebrating a great party atmosphere.

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