Enjoy Homegrown Talent at London's Music Festivals

From rockers to rappers, London’s talent is taking to stages at music festivals across the city this summer.

All Points East: 24 May–2 June

In East London you can catch the 10-day All Points East in Victoria. Chill out to the London folk quartet Mumford & Sons, who are known for playing string instruments such as banjos and mandolins. Three of the band—lead singer Marcus Mumford, guitarist Winston Marshall and double bass player Ted Dwane—were all born in London.  

All Points East, Victoria Park, London, UK

You can also listen to the London grime artist Dizzee Rascal rap and beatbox, Grammy nominee Leon Bridges sing soul and indie rock band The Vaccines, while Bon Ivor headlines alongside First Aid Kit on the final day. Refresh yourself at street food stalls and pop-up bars, mostly from East London producers and breweries. 

Hampton Court Palace Festival: 6–22 June 

Now in its 27th year, Hampton Court Palace Festival brings together music royalty in a rather royal location: King Henry’s VIII’s Tudor palace. Go early to picnic on the grounds or enjoy a three-course dinner with Champagne in the palace’s state apartments, then enjoy the concerts in a 3,000-seat auditorium in the courtyard. Home-grown talent Jools Holland, who was born in Blackheath, South London, kicks things off with his Rhythm & Blues Orchestra performing hits from their latest album, "A Lovely Life to Live."

Michael Ball and Alfie Boe, London, UK

The Jacksons take to the stage with "ABC" and "I’ll Be There," followed by pop rock band Busted singing tracks from its latest album "Half Way There." The Dutch pop and jazz singer Caro Emerald performs with the Gradmono Orchestra—so you can listen to "Liquid Lunch" as you quaff Pimm’s. Tickets to Kylie and the disco band Nile Rodgers & Chic are sold out, but you can sign up to a waiting list through the website. Alternatively, why not catch the '80s band Tears for Fears, singing "Shout" and "Mad World." Musical theatre star Michael Ball and tenor Alfie Boe reunite at this year’s finale, which closes with fireworks. 

Field Day: 7–8 June 

After 12 years in east and south London, Field Day has made the jump to Meridien Water near the new Tottenham Hotspur stadium in North London. The former gasworks covers 10 acres, including four warehouses, allowing festivalgoers to party till 3 am. Grime artist Skepta, the Mercury Prize winner and Brit Award nominee, was born on an estate around the corner in Tottenham and headlines on the Saturday, along with the British electronic DJ Bonobo and West London soul duo Jungle. The Grammy Award-nominated singer-songwriter Jorja Smith headlines with her latest R&B and hip hop tracks on the Sunday, followed by DJ Diplo and the rappers Pusha-T and Octavian. No food or drink is allowed, but there are 60 stalls, including Camden Town Brewery and Bulldog London Dry Gin. 

Heritage Live: 14 June–14 July

Sheku Kanneh-Mason

Heritage Live is held in the gorgeous surroundings in Kenwood, a 17th century manor on the edge of Hampstead Heath. Madness, the reggae and pop band that formed in Camden in 1979, celebrates its 40th anniversary with fireworks and special guests. If the neoclassical villa inspires you to listen to classical music, then don’t miss The Piano Guys, who perform their signature classical pop as part of their world Limitless tour. They’re supported by another quartet, Collabro, and Kingdom Choir Voices, many of whom sang at Prince Harry and Meghan’s 2018 wedding. Relive the royal wedding by listening to another favourite of Harry and Meghan, cellist Sheku Kanneh-Mason, who performs pieces by Elgar.

Greenwich Music Time: 1–7 July   

If your trip runs into July, head south to catch Greenwich Music Time an outdoor concert series now in its fifth year. The gigs take place on the grounds of the Old Royal Naval College in Greenwich. Honorary Londoners Andy Cato and Tom Findlay—who met and formed Groove Armada in London—are headlining.

Sir Cliff Richard opens the concert series, performing family favourites and songs from his new album "Rise Up." You can also listen to musical theatre stars sing to a 32-piece orchestra in West End Proms, with classics from "Les Misérables," Wicked, "Dreamgirls" and "Hamilton." Paul Weller performs tunes that span his 40-year career, supported by the soul band Stone Foundation.

British Summer Time: 5–14 July 

Party at British Summer Time in Hyde Park, where special guests are as talented and famous as the headliners. No food or drink is allowed, but stalls will serve everything from salt beef sandwiches to paella and vegan dishes. Born in Camberwell in South London, Florence Welch from the indie rock band Florence + The Machine will sing highlights from their "High as Hope" album on the Great Oak Stage.

Barbara Streisand    

Celine Dion opens the festival, supported by Josh Groban and Claire Richards. Hot on her heels is 25-time Grammy Award winner Stevie Wonder, with special guest Lionel Richie (see what we mean about special guests?). Let’s just hope it doesn’t rain on our parade… but if it does, at least the Oscar, Grammy and Emmy Award-winner Barbra Streisand is on hand to belt out her greatest hits. Robbie Williams rounds things up, along with special guests Black Eyed Peas, Keane and Texas. 

Sarah Riches
About the author