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

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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.

Christmas in Trafalgar Square

  • Free

A huge Christmas tree will herald the arrival of the festive season (someone ought to tell the supermarkets they started early) when it is lit by the Mayor of Oslo, the Mayor of Westminster and the Norwegian Ambassador at 6pm on December 4 in London's living room, Trafalgar Square. Carols from the Salvation Army and St Martin-in-the-Fields choir will add to the atmosphere. On December 7 a torch-lit procession will surround the choir and clergy of St Martin-in-the-Fields church as they bless a specially commissioned crib (5.30pm). The crib itself features figures inspired by London's diverse population, and will remain on display throughout December. Carols will be sung beneath the Christmas tree for four hours every day from Dec 8 until Dec 23, with more than 50 carol groups taking part. Performances take place from 4pm-8pm on weekdays and 2pm-6pm on weekends. The tree itself is a kind of charity: it's an annual gift from the Norwegians to the British. During WWII, German troops besieged Norway and in 1940 the neutral country was forced to surrender to the Nazis. Its royal family, government and defence chiefs fled to London, where they established a government-in-exile. For almost five years they were given refuge here while Norwegian soldiers fought alongside the Allies. London came to represent hope and freedom for millions in occupied Norway, for whom British radio broadcasts provided news and information vital to the resistance. That's why the people of Oslo still eac

  1. Trafalgar Square
  2. Thu Dec 18 - Tue Dec 23
More info

Chris Stein/Negative: Me, Blondie and The Advent of Punk

  • Free

To mark Blondie's 40th anniversary, Somerset House present this mega show of previously unpublished photographs by Chris Stein, co-founder of the band. As well as featuring images of the chart-topping group in their early days and backstage on tour, Stein has selected other favourites from his archive including sultry snaps of David Bowie, The Ramones, Andy Warhol and other big names from the glittering, new wave world.  

  1. Somerset House Strand, WC2R 1LA
  2. Thu Dec 18 - Sun Jan 25
More info

Nick Berkeley: The Wild Ones

  • Free

In 1993 Suede played the Brixton Academy. The concert was filmed and later a video ‘Love and Poison’ was released. The multimedia artist Nick Berkeley has manipulated stills from the film to create a series of limited edition prints, which have been co-signed by lead singer Brett Anderson.

  1. The Strand Gallery 32 John Adam St, WC2N 6BP
  2. Thu Dec 18 - Sun Jan 4
More info

Allsortz

  • Free
  1. Rich Mix 35-47 Bethnal Green Rd, E1 6LA
  2. Thu Dec 18
More info

Mark Harrison

  • Free

Beardy bluesman and player of a highly distinctive 1934 National Trojan guitar plays at this weekly showcase of London's acoustic blues, gospel and bluegrass musicians.

  1. Artsdepot Nether Street, Tally Ho Corner, N12 0GA
  2. Fri Dec 19
More info

The Bluematics

  • Free

Chicago blues and '60s R&B.

  1. Ain't Nothing But Blues Bar Kingly Street, W1B 5PZ
  2. Fri Dec 19
More info

Pink Teens

  • Free

Formerly Temple Songs, this Manchester four-piece have recently renamed themselves (presumably because everyone was getting them mixed up with Temples) and have moved away from ’60s-saluting psych-pop towards lo-fi indie clangour.

  1. The Finsbury Green Lanes, N4 1BY
  2. Sat Dec 20
More info

Dino Baptiste

  • Free

Boogie woogie keysman follows in the finger-steps of childhood idols Little Richard, Jerry Lee Lewis and Ray Charles.

  1. Ain't Nothing But Blues Bar Kingly Street, W1B 5PZ
  2. Sun Dec 21
More info

Eric Ranzoni

  • Free

Top Italian blues man pays homage to Muddy Waters et al.

  1. Boisdale Canary Wharf Cabot Hall, E14 4QT
  2. Mon Dec 22 - Tue Dec 23
More info

The Big Beer Band

  • Free

Seventeen-piece swing band.

  1. Grape & Grain Anerley Hill, Crystal Palace, SE19 2AA
  2. Mon Dec 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

10 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!:-)

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