DANCE ALL WEEKEND HERE: South West Four Festival
SW4 will once again be touching down on Clapham Common for the August bank holiday weekend. London’s biggest dance music festival (the weekend celebrates all things EDM, house, techno, drum and bass, and grime), the event is famed for its diverse line-up. 2019 is no different, with artists including Chase & Status, Plan B, Andy C, Example and Wiley all taking to the stage over the two days. Line-up highlights include Craig David Presents TS5, Wiley and Tinie Tempah.
Clapham Common, SW4 9DE; 24th-25th August
GET FEASTING HERE: Wimbledon Park Food & Drink Festival
Wimbledon Park Food & Drink Festival is back for a sixth year. With over 45 stalls offering a wide range of food and drink including artisan bread and pastries, cheeses and charcuterie and hot food from all corners of the world, visitors will enjoy a taste adventure. The Festival Kitchen will have a full programme of renowned chefs and food experts giving cookery demonstrations, talks and tastings, and there also be plenty of kids’ activities throughout the day. This year will see a later end time of 7pm on Saturday and 8pm on Sunday, allowing a live DJ and beers, ales, cider, gin and prosecco to sample to create even more of a party atmosphere.
Wimbledon Park Bowling Green, Revelstoke Road, Wimbledon, SW18 5NW; 24th-26th August
CELEBRATE CARIBBEAN CULTURE HERE: Notting Hill Carnival
One of the world's largest street carnivals, close to one 1m people attend this celebration of Caribbean heritage on every year. Celebrations include costume-clad Caribbeans dancing to traditional reggae, meringue, calypso, rumba and zouk music, and street vendors selling foods like seasoned jerk chicken, callaloo and traditional goat stew. All day and into the night on Sunday visitors can catch live music on stages in Emslie Horniman’s Pleasance Park and Powis Square and sample incredible foods from vendors while listening to all kinds of Caribbean inspired music from 38 static sound systems. As always, the highlight of the weekend will be on Monday with a culmination of dancing, street performances, steel drum music groups, and the Notting Hill Grand Finale Parade. All along the route you’ll find food, drink and plenty of entertainment.
Various locations in Notting Hill, 25th-26th August
WATCH THE PROMS HERE: Royal Albert Hall
The world’s best-loved classical music festival will be in full swing by the time the bank holiday rolls around – and it’s the perfect place to start if you fancy a taste of the genre. Friday sees Prom 47 – where The Leipzig Gewandhaus Orchestra will return to the Proms for the first time under new music director Andris Nelsons. Prom 48 on Saturday will see Rachmaninov’s mighty Symphony No. 2 sit at the centre of a concert given by Cristian Măcelaru and the BBC Symphony Orchestra. Prom 49 on the Sunday will celebrate the rich musical landscape of nature in a Prom inspired by the bestselling book The Lost Words, which revives disappearing words that describe the natural world.
Kensington Gore, South Kensington, SW7 2AP; 23rd-25th August
TAKE THE CHILDREN HERE: National Theatre
Mr Gum is a complete horror who hates children, animals and fun of any kind – so when a big bear called Padlock strolls into town, trouble can’t be far off. Can nine-year-old Polly and her band of misfit friends help Padlock escape the villain’s evil clutches? Or will Mr Gum and his gruesome butcher sidekick prevail? Based on the anarchic, award-winning children’s books, Mr Gum and the Dancing Bear, this musical promises to be an all-singing, all-dancing extravaganza for children and adults alike. Full of outlandish characters and joyful, utterly idiotic songs, this production is definitely not your average family fare.
Upper Ground, South Bank, SE1 9PX; 23rd-24th August
GET INTERACTIVE HERE: Serpentine Gallery
‘The Deep Listener’ by Danish artist Jakob Kudsk Steensen is an audio-visual ecological expedition through Kensington Gardens and Hyde Park, a journey to both see and hear five of London’s species: London plane trees, bats, parakeets, azure blue damselflies and reedbeds. Designed as an augmented reality and spatial audio work downloadable as an app for mobile devices, it is both a site-specific public artwork and a digital archive of these species, using tools and platforms from a range of fields including video games, computer generated images and film. The audio and visuals within the project are drawn directly from organic source material gathered from a period of embedded research within Kensington Gardens and Hyde Park. These organic materials are then transformed through digital processes to be re-embedded within the same context. Great for kids.
Kensington Gardens, W2 3XA; 23rd-26th August
SEE A HIT EXHIBITION HERE: Kiss My Genders
Kiss My Genders is a group exhibition celebrating more than 30 international artists whose work explores and engages with gender identity. The exhibition has received multiple five-star reviews, including one from the Guardian praising that “it touches, in profound ways, on what it is to be human”. Spanning the past 50 years, Kiss My Genders brings together over 100 artworks by artists from around the world who employ a wide range of approaches to articulate and engage with gender fluidity, as well as with non-binary, trans and intersex identities. A must-see.
Belvedere Road, South Bank, SE1 8XX; until 8th September
PARTY THREE NIGHTS RUNNING HERE: Cargo
Cargo’s buzzing, atmospheric location in a disused railway yard is back with one of the most fun series of bank holiday parties this weekend, all in celebration of no work on Monday. Open until 6am, resident DJs will be spinning the best tunes in hip-hop, RnB and commercial music. Across Friday, Saturday and Sunday nights, expect tiki cocktails, confetti cannons and a cutting-edge sound system, plus access to the expansive outdoor terrace – perfect for afternoon drinks.
83 Rivington Street, Shoreditch, EC2A 3AY; 23rd-25th August
CELEBRATE TWO MUSICAL LEGENDS HERE: Blues Kitchen Brixton
This weekend, Blues Kitchen Brixton will be on hand with southern American food, cocktails and live music till late. On Bank Holiday Sunday, the venue’s house band and resident DJs will be playing vintage party tunes all night. The club will also be celebrating two of the most inspirational women of soul – Aretha Franklin & Diana Ross – for the early set. Next up, guests can dance along to the sound of Stevie Wonder, Fleetwood Mac and The Rolling Stones.
40 Acre Lane, Brixton, SW2 5SP; 25th August
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