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 23 - Thu Oct 2
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. Tue Sep 23 - Sun Sep 28
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 23 - Wed Nov 26
More info

Hexis

  • Free

The five-piece from Copenhagen performs hardcore and death metal. With support from Rainmaker, Let It Die, Employed To Serve, Oblivionized.

  1. The Old Blue Last Great Eastern Street, Shoreditch, EC2A 3ES
  2. Tue Sep 23 - Wed Sep 24
More info

ITUNES FESTIVAL: Placebo

  • Critics choice
  • Free

Two whole decades after they formed, Brian Molko and his glam-grunge-pop troupe are still churning out the tunes. They now have seven albums to pick from when they play live, and tend to go for fan favourites rather than indulging those who've just come along to hear the hits, but are still known to drop 'Nancy Boy' and 'Every You Every Me' when the fancy takes them. Tonight they perform as part of the iTunes Festival. To win free tickets, enter at itunes.com/festival.

  1. Roundhouse Chalk Farm Rd, NW1 8EH
  2. Tue Sep 23
More info

ITUNES FESTIVAL: Ben Howard + Hozier

  • Free

The chirpy singer-songwriter who surprised everyone by bagging two trophies at last year's BRIT Awards steps up to headline a big show as part of the iTunes Festival. Expect acoustic treats from his debut LP 'Every Kingdom' and 2012 follow-up EP 'The Burgh Island', but also a fair few teasers from upcoming album 'I Forget Where We Are', which won't quite be out yet when tonight's show rolls around (the album is scheduled for release on October 20). Supporting is rising Dublin singer Hozier, who juggles folk, soul and blues and has been selling out venues astonishingly quickly. To win tickets, enter at itunes.com/festival.

  1. Roundhouse Chalk Farm Rd, NW1 8EH
  2. Wed Sep 24
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 24 - Fri Sep 26
More info

John E Vistic

  • Free

The Bristol-based singer-songwriter performs his own take on contemporary rock. With support from Laura Smiles.

  1. Hootananny Effra Road, SW2 1DF
  2. Wed Sep 24 - Thu Sep 25
More info

Jump 66

  • Free

Stomping West Coast style blues and R&B.

  1. Ain't Nothing But Blues Bar Kingly Street, W1B 5PZ
  2. Wed Sep 24
More info

ITUNES FESTIVAL: Mary J Blige

  • Critics choice
  • Free

Arguably the queen of hip-hop soul – much loved for the intensely confessional, highly personal nature of her lyrics – Mary J Blige performs a rare London date as part of the iTunes Festival. She'll likely be breaking out all kind of hits and bits from her impressive and extensive back catalogue, though probably not from 2013 Xmas-themed album 'A Mary Christmas'. But hey, Christmas seems to come earlier each year these days, so who knows? She also released a soundtrack album earlier this year to kooky US comedy 'Think Like a Man Too', which contained some new MJB material, such as the sugary, slick R&B number 'Suitcase', so don't be surprised to hear a few of those tracks make an appearance. To win tickets, enter at itunes.com/festival.

  1. Roundhouse Chalk Farm Rd, NW1 8EH
  2. Thu Sep 25 - Fri Sep 26
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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