Free music in London

Forget shelling out for pricey festivals and arena tours, some of the capital's best gigs and concerts don't cost a penny

0

Comments

Add +

From jazz to pop to metal, the capital offers free music to cater for all tastes. Check out our guide below and find great free gigs and music in London.

Kate Bush: Photographs by Gered Mankowitz and Guido Harari

  • Free

These two photographers are cheekily bringing out new Bush books and putting on an exhibition to coincide with the ‘Before the Dawn’ shows. Big draws include Mankowitz’s famous ‘pink leotard’ shots and out-takes from his shoots for the ‘Lionheart’ and ‘The Kick Inside’ sleeves. Go along and play ‘Hounds of Love’ on your phone: it’ll almost be like Kate’s singing to you. Until you get kicked out of the gallery.

  1. Snap Galleries 12 Piccadilly Arcade, SW1Y 6NH
  2. Thu Sep 18 - Thu Oct 2
More info

More London Free Festival

  • Critics choice
  • Free

Twelve years in and the More London Free Festival is again bringing an impressive line-up of events and performances to the concrete amphitheatre below the Mayor's leaning glass blob of an office on the South Bank. For 2014 the events are divided into five cultural categories, and the festival kicks off with a four-day street party (June 4-8) of Latin and Caribbean food and fun. Free Fringe runs from June 4-20 and features lighthearted shows from Pantaloons Theatre Company and The Merry Opera Company's romantic comedy 'Kiss Me, Figaro!'. From June 23-July 6 an LED screen will show full Wimbledon coverage, and music is the focus from July 9-25, with regular lunchtime and evening performances. Gods and Monsters Theatre present The Ring Cycle Plays for the theatre contingent (August 6-31). The final focus is film, and from September 3-26 there's a schedule of free screenings, from the critically acclaimed ('Philomena', 'Life of Pi') to cult classics ('The Goonies', 'Ferris Bueller's Day Off'). All events are free and no booking is required, but we recommend you arrive early and bring a cushion. For full event details visit www.morelondon.com

  1. The Scoop at More London The Queen's Walk, SE1 2DB
  2. Thu Sep 18 - Fri Sep 26
More info

ITUNES FESTIVAL: SBTRKT

  • Critics choice
  • Free

Daft Punk, Slipknot, MF Doom: the music industry has plenty of iconic masks, but one of the best belongs to London producer Aaron Jerome, aka SBTRKT. It’s not just facewear that marks out this all-capped crusader. After a stellar debut in 2011, his new album ‘Wonder Where We Land’ is out in September and features the likes of Jessie Ware, Warpaint and (on the monstrously funky single ‘New Dorp, New York’) Ezra Koenig of Vampire Weekend, plus long-term vocalist Sampha. This iTunes Festival gig should be a triumphant showcase; apply for tickets at itunes.com/festival.

  1. Roundhouse Chalk Farm Rd, NW1 8EH
  2. Fri Sep 19
More info

Rinse FM Pop-Up Radio & Store

  • Critics choice
  • Free

Get a piece of the Rinse FM action as part of the seminal electronic music station's twentieth birthday festivities. This pop-up store will host the Rinse studio for nine days, broadcasting live with special guests and events. It's open to all comers for eight hours each day, and there'll also be a shop for you to pick up some wavey Rinse merch, and some special events in the evening: keep an eye on the station website for details.

  1. Shop 7, Old Truman Brewery Dray Walk, E1 6QL
  2. Fri Sep 19 - Sun Sep 28
More info

ITUNES FESTIVAL: Rudimental + Jess Glynne

  • Critics choice
  • Free

Back in 2012, this four-strong Hackney outfit came out of nowhere grabbed the Number One spot on the singles chart with 'Feel the Love': a euphoric smasher featuring vocalist John Newman, which fused jazzy, old-school soul with dubstep. Rudimental went on to produce one of the best albums of 2013, 'Home', and blow the roof of several major London venues with their all-out, full-band, brass-heavy live incarnation. Now they return to preview new tracks from a second album and drop the hits at iTunes Festival. Rising, chart-topping house-pop vocalist Jess Glynne sings in support. To win tickets, enter at itunes.com/festival.

  1. Roundhouse Chalk Farm Rd, NW1 8EH
  2. Sat Sep 20
More info

Jubilee Courts

  • Critics choice
  • Free

Tipped by the NME and others, the Northampton newcomers (think Ian Dury fronting Joy Division) take a trip to London to play a Teen Creeps show in Stoke Newington. Entry is free if you reserve a ticket in advance.

  1. The Nest Stoke Newington Road, Dalston, N16 7XJ
  2. Sat Sep 20
Buy tickets

ITUNES FESTIVAL: Ryan Adams + First Aid Kit

  • Critics choice
  • Free

Once the boy wonder of country-rock, now 39 but no less prolific and volatile, Adams returns to London to play songs from his self-titled new album, and a few from 'Ashes and Fire' (recorded with legendary Led Zep and Who producer Glyn Johns) alongside the old favourites. This free iTunes Festival show, with support from David Cameron-tipped Swedish folk sisters First Aid Kit, is intimate gig for the man who sold out the Albert Hall only last year. To win tickets, enter at itunes.com/festival.

  1. Roundhouse Chalk Farm Rd, NW1 8EH
  2. Sun Sep 21
More info

The Lost Brothers

  • Critics choice
  • Free

Folkish and agreeably mournful, finger-picked songcraft from this close-harmonising duo, who describe themselves as a 'cosmic Everley Brothers' or 'Velvet and Garfunkel'.

  1. Rough Trade East Brick Lane, E1 6QL
  2. Mon Sep 22
More info

ITUNES FESTIVAL: Jessie J + James Bay

  • Critics choice
  • Free

Talent show judge, motormouth, songwriter and all-round vocal acrobat Jessica Cornish – aka Jessie J – arrives in London with a bang to perform her high-energy dance pop and soulful, electronic R&B as part of the iTunes Festival. She is, undeniably, a top performer with a huge pair of lungs and the confidence to match, and will no doubt be performing songs from second album 'Alive', released in October of last year. Supporting Double J is James Bay, a young, acoustic guitar-toting, hat-loving troubadour. Bay sings slow and steady folk numbers like Damien Rice and is a hot tip at the moment. Having sold out his smaller shows, he's on course to make a good impression at this big show. To win free tickets to the iTunes Festival, enter at itunes.com/festival.

  1. Roundhouse Chalk Farm Rd, NW1 8EH
  2. Mon Sep 22
More info

Rob Lynch

  • Free
  1. The Monarch Chalk Farm Road, Camden, NW1 8BG
  2. Mon Sep 22
More info
See more free gigs in London

Want more gigs? Check out our full gig guide

Whether you're keeping an eye out for gigs by your favourite band, or looking for some live-music inspiration, our gig guide will tell you who's playing.

See our London gig guide

Users say

9 comments
B M
B M

Brick Lane is always a good shout for free music events in London.. I know of one taking place at Cafe 1001 on Saturday 24th May- look up Alfalfa, it's an underground electronica show. 

Mac
Mac

Who compiles this list? A simple click shows that the Escapists on Saturday costs £8.50. Isn't this meant to be a free gig list...?

Exclusive 22nd January 2014 Live performance from
Exclusive 22nd January 2014 Live performance from

Exclusive 22nd January 2014 Live performance from the band 'Radfax' New Cross Inn 323 New Cross Road, London, SE14 6AS Free Entry Starts at 7pm Happy hour! 50% off all spirits and selected draughts (7-8pm) Early bird special: 20% off all spirits and selected draughts before 8pm Radfax on stage 10:30pm

Thomas Lennon
Thomas Lennon

pins & needles in my left hand writing this message. so I cant make it very enjoyable to read. however I did find it enjoyable to read your reviews on free gigs . Thank you . .. oh its gone now.

AMBA MAMBULA LUATHY
AMBA MAMBULA LUATHY

Hello!!! Dear, I say think you for live this page the news for free music from London. Can you help me again to send the ticket or book one place for me same time to you calendare. Please is for help to live together complety course inportance.

Rarrah
Rarrah

Crowdsource.net has a better list!

cecilia
cecilia

i'm poor...:-) but i want to live this city...so everithing will be free,will be mine!:-)

More for music-lovers in London

Must-visit music venues

We asked you to name the best live music venues in London. Here's what you said

Discover London's best music venues

Stock up on records

Expand your music collection and take a trip to our favourite music shops in the city

Find London's best music shops

Go east for good music

Discover six of the best places for live music, drinks and clubbing in east London

See the best music venues in east London

Gig venues by genre

Rock? Jazz? Rap? Folk? Metal? Whatever you're into, find the perfect place to see it

Find London music venues by genre

Read more Time Out music features