The best music festivals in London

Some of 2014's top festivals take place here in the capital

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Rock titans, cutting-edge DJs, R&B superstars – as usual, London’s throwing one hell of a party this summer. Forget tents and wellies: whatever you’re looking for in a music festival line-up, you can find it right here in the capital with our pick of the best festivals pitching up on your doorstep.

  1. July
  2. August

Music festivals in the capital this July

Somerset House Summer Series

  • Critics choice

What's the line-up?  Bastille, Chvrches, Clean Bandit, Franz Ferdinand, Kelis + more.

What's the crack? There’s no secret to the success of Somerset House’s annual gig series. Londoners love the venue for offering all the open-air excitement of a festival stage right in the centre of the capital, whilst artists enjoy playing to a captivated audience in a grand eighteenth-century courtyard, romantically close to the Thames. The line-up is always great – Grace Jones, Adele, Bloc Party and Amy Winehouse have all graced the stage – and this year isn’t a break from that tradition.

  1. Somerset House Strand, WC2R 1LA
  2. Thu Jul 10 – Sun Jul 20
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LeeFest

  • Critics choice

What's the line-up? Dan Le Sac Vs Scroobius Pip, Frightened Rabbit, MØ, Krafty Kuts, Young Fathers, Only Real, Blaenavon, Sivu, Childhood + more.

What's the crack? This intimate, independet festival in the quaint Surrey countryside was started by 16-year-old Lee Denny eight years ago in his back garden. The enterprising Denny has now turned it into a very respectable non-profit boutique event, attracting some great bands that lean towards indie and electro. Words-and-beats duo DLS vs SP headline this year, alongside majestic Scottish indie rockers Frightened Rabbit. Also well worth checking out: Danish pop singer MØ, Scottish trip hop trio Young Fathers and London shoegaze-pop band Childhood. A top line-up, and another masterclass in how you too could grow your own festival.

  1. Highams Hill Farm Sheepbarn Lane, CR6 9PQ
  2. Fri Jul 11 - Mon Jul 14
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BRITISH SUMMER TIME: Neil Young And Crazy Horse

  • Critics choice

What's the line-up? Neil Young and Crazy Horse, The National, Tom Odell, Half Moon Run, Caitlin Rose, Lucy Rose, Phospherescent, Ethan Johns, Flyte, The Webb Sisters, Jack Savoretti, To Kill a King.

What's the crack? After a successful first run last year featuring The Rolling Stones and Lionel Richie among others, this big summer bash is back in Hyde Park. Tonight's headliner is legendary Canadian heartland-rocker Neil Young with his long-running band Crazy Horse, performing lengthy, grungy country-rock jams and classic country-rock songs like 'Powderfinger' and 'Hey Hey, My My', all with the volume and distortion cranked up to the maximum and with Young singing like a drowning man.

  1. Hyde Park
  2. Sat Jul 12
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BRITISH SUMMER TIME: Tom Jones

What's the line-up? Tom Jones, Little Mix, Boyzone, 10cc.

What's the crack? It's not unusual for Tom Jones to play a huge open-air gig, but it is pretty rare to be able to see him for under 40 quid a ticket. The hyper-affable, mum-, aunt- and gran-friendly Welsh belter headlines the family day of the British Summer Time summer series: watch out for flying M&S underwear. Also on today's BST bill: a smorgasbord of entertainment for all ages. For teenage girls there's Little Mix; for former teenage girls there's Boyzone; for ’70s dads there's 10cc; and for the most demanding audience of all there'll be live stage shows and arts and crafts workshops by Horrible Histories, Shaun the Sheep, Go!Go!Go! and Mr Men and Little Miss.

  1. Hyde Park
  2. Sun Jul 13
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Lovebox

  • Critics choice

What's the line-up? MIA, Chase & Status, Katy B, A$AP Rocky, Bonobo, Sub Focus, The Horrors, Scuba, Crystal Fighters, Mount Kimbie, Annie Mac, Moderat, Joey Bada$$ + more.

What's the crack? Still one of the finest boutique efforts in London, catering for cool kids and party monsters, Lovebox is back for 2014. Although it's slimmed down from three to two days as part of a new vision led by the production team behind Secret Garden Party, it should still be one of the highlights of the London summer thanks to a storming, genre-blurring line-up of DJs electronic acts and live bands.

  1. Victoria Park Victoria Park Rd, E3 5SN
  2. Fri Jul 18 - Sat Jul 19
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July

London really comes to life as Lovebox, Wireless and British Summer Time kick off in the capital this month

August

Party like you're sixteen again at Reading festival or enjoy the more chilled, homely vibe of Wilderness

September

This summer's festival season concludes with the likes of Bestival and Reload Festival

See our monthly music festival calendar

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