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.

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. Tue Sep 2 - Thu Oct 2
More info

Barrio Big Band

  • Free

Joe Chiari leads the band as they play a range of funky, big band and Motown hits along with modern day tunes and classics.

  1. Barrio Central 6 Poland Street, W1F 8PS
  2. Tue Sep 2 - Wed Sep 3
More info

ITUNES FESTIVAL: Beck + Jenny Lewis

  • Critics choice
  • Free

A giant of alt rock, twisted hip hop and anti-folk since the early ’90s, Bek David Campbell comes to London to play from his enormous discography at the iTunes Festival. Recent career moves have included releasing a play-it-yourself album of sheet music, writing songs for a fictional band called 'Sex Bob-omb' and remixing Philip Glass, but Beck made a stunning return to more traditional ways this year with his first recorded album since 2008: 'Morning Phase'. Two (!) more records are still due this year, so you can look forward to plenty of newies at this gig, where former Rilo Kiley singer Jenny Lewis plays second fiddle on the line-up. To win tickets, enter at itunes.com/festival.

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

ITUNES FESTIVAL: David Guetta + Clean Bandit

  • Critics choice
  • Free

Electro-house hit machine Guetta returns to the iTunes Festival, armed with a sackful of chart-topping AutoTune anthems. There'll be mass sing-alongs, maniacal screaming, manufactured euphoria and plenty of heart signs in the air from the glossy-haired superstar DJ – plus, to his credit, a hot-damn impressive stage show with intergalactic dancers and an explosion of LED lights across his four decks ’n’ FX set-up. It's pure cheese – but, as you'd hope from a Frenchman, pretty tasty cheese. Support comes from classical/electronic chartbusters Clean Bandit, plus Robin Schulz. To win tickets, enter at itunes.com/festival.

  1. Roundhouse Chalk Farm Rd, NW1 8EH
  2. Wed Sep 3
More info

Barrio Big Band

  • Free

Joe Chiari leads the band as they play a range of funky, big band and Motown hits along with modern day tunes and classics.

  1. Barrio Central 6 Poland Street, W1F 8PS
  2. Wed Sep 3 - Thu Sep 4
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. Wed Sep 3 - Fri Sep 26
More info

Hyperdub Tenth Anniversary

  • Critics choice
  • Free

Celebrate a decade of the seminal London electronic label with label founder Kode9 (performing a DJ set), icy R&B singer Jessy Lanza and Rinse FM's house/grime guru Scratcha DVA.

  1. Rough Trade East Brick Lane, E1 6QL
  2. Thu Sep 4
Buy tickets

ITUNES FESTIVAL: 5 Seconds Of Summer + Charlie Simpson

  • Free

A young boy band who formed in Sydney in 2012, 5SOS toured with One Direction for six months but (unlike the 1D boys) play their own instruments and write their own songs: think Busted, but from Down Under. This slot at the iTunes Festival (ahead of a Wembley Arena gig in 2015) hints at bigger things to come. At the opposite end of the boyband career trajectory, former Busted singer Charlie Simpson plays a support set. To win tickets, enter at itunes.com/festival.

  1. Roundhouse Chalk Farm Rd, NW1 8EH
  2. Thu Sep 4
More info

ITUNES FESTIVAL: Kasabian

  • Critics choice
  • Free

Kasabian – Leicester's enormously popular, Glastonbury-headlining, swaggering good-time rockers – show everyone what they're made of, playing their debut album in full plus a greatest-hits set as part of the iTunes Festival. Their baggy revivalism has a fixation on the Mondays, Primal Scream and Oasis, but with more epic, experimental, psych-rock flavourings and (just occasionally) some interesting electronic excursions. As ever, massive chant-along choruses, sweaty jumping about and spilt beer should be the order of the night – and despite the naysayers, everyone present will have a reet good time. To win tickets, visit itunes.com/festival.

  1. Roundhouse Chalk Farm Rd, NW1 8EH
  2. Fri Sep 5
More info

ITUNES FESTIVAL: Tony Bennett + Imelda May

  • Critics choice
  • Free

The veteran jazz-pop crooner, who has sung with everyone from Sinatra to Gaga, heads to north London's Roundhouse to perform at the iTunes Festival, finishing a short run of rare London shows. He may be an octogenarian, but Bennett's pipes are still in cracking shape, and his gigs are whistle-stop tours of jazz standards and showtunes: Bennett rarely spends more than two or three minutes on each song and leaves little time for any schmaltz. Dublin singer Imelda May, who has made serious inroads into the charts with her Jools- and Parky-authorised swing and jump blues, plays a support set. To win free tickets, enter at itunes.com/festival.

  1. Roundhouse Chalk Farm Rd, NW1 8EH
  2. Sat Sep 6
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!:-)

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