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August events in London

Your guide to the best happenings in the capital this August

© David Tett Photography
Notting Hill Carnival

Not got much planned this August? Well that's about to change. The kids are let loose for the summer holidays, there's loads of outdoor events, music festivals and gigs to stock up on, including Notting Hill Carnival, plus the lovely August bank holiday to round it all off at the end. Check out our highlights below and get out about in London this August.  

RECOMMENDED: The definitive London events calendar

Our August highlights


51st State Festival

Returning for a second year in Trent Park – a country house estate in Cockfosters – this one-day organised by the ever-inventive Found crew expands from US house to a more all-embracing dancefest this year, gathering together originators and new acts including Soul II Soul, Kings of House (David Morales, Louie Vega and Tony Humphries), Body & Soul, Todd Terry and Dimitri From Paris. 

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Trent Park , Oakwood Saturday August 6 2016

Visions Festival

Visions brings Hackney a big dose of creative fun this summer. The promoters have earned their reputation for booking up-and-coming artists, with this year’s acts including Young Fathers, Anna Calvi, Mykki Blanco and Gengahr. Visions has completely sold out for the last two years, so book now for guaranteed entry.

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Oval Space , Bethnal Green Saturday August 6 2016

Rio Olympics in London

Rio de Janeiro, the location of the Olympics Games, might be bloomin' miles away, but that doesn't mean you have to leave the city to catch it. You can get in on all the action and atmosphere via the capital's copious coverage of the big event on little and large screens all over the place. We've rounded up the best places to find screenings of the Olympics around the city.

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By: Time Out London Things To Do

River Rat Race

Most people struggle to run 10km. The London Rat Race somehow corrals large groups of Londoners to not only run but jump, swim, kayak and climb the distance and all for a good cause - Shelter. The acquatic obstacle course starts inside the ExCel centre, with participants will facing a quick fire barrage of obstacles before they head out on to the dockside.

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ExCeL London , Custom House Saturday August 13 2016

The Entertainer

John Osborne's great play about a music hall performer 'The Entertainer' reignited Laurence Olivier's career when he performed it in 1957.  Here Kenneth Branagh - an actor repeatedly compared with Olivier - takes on the role of the tormented Archie Rice. But dispelling any whiff of vanity project, Branagh has effortlessly upstaged himself by casting the great John Hurt as Archie's dad Billy – Hurt's first stage appearance in a decade.

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Garrick Theatre , Covent Garden Saturday August 20 2016 - Saturday November 12 2016

Buckingham Palace Summer Opening

Each year there's a special themed exhibition at Buckingham Palace to coincide with the public opening of the State Rooms during August and September. In 2016 (when the Queen will celebrate her ninetieth birthday) the exhibition will be devoted to the royal wardrobe. The Queen always looks most comfortable in a headscarf and sturdy dog-walking gear but she can hardly sit down to a state banquet in her jeans and OTT dressing-up goes with the job. 

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Buckingham Palace , St James's Park Saturday July 30 2016 - Sunday October 2 2016

Summer holidays in London

Six weeks is a long time to keep anyone entertained, let alone your toughest critics. Don't panic though, we've got this year's school summer holidays totally sorted. Let the younger ones go wild at a city farm, send your teens to swot up at museum, or take your pick of our favourite family-friendly events going on in the capital.

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By: Time Out London Things To Do

Notting Hill Carnival

Since Notting Hill Carnival debuted in 1964, the event has undoubtedly grown and morphed, attracting revellers with its spectacle of floats featuring calypso, mas and pan bands as well as a series of soundsystems for alfresco dancing. You can be sure of dense crowds and a vibrant celebration of music, movement and masquerade together with Caribbean food stalls serving up jerk chicken and fried plantain.

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By: Hayley Joyes

South West Four

The mighty SW4 – Clapham Common’s bank holiday dance music explosion – returns for another weekend of big drops, club anthems and arms in the air. If you’re longing for big beats but can’t afford Ibiza and are loath to spend the last days of summer in a dark room, head to SW4 for your fix of big-room house, EDM, electro, techno and trance, as well as other genres creeping in from all angles.

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Clapham Common , Clapham Saturday August 27 2016 - Sunday August 28 2016

August bank holiday weekend

Forget about work, shift yourself from the sofa and make the most of the long weekend. Plan your August bank holiday to the minute with our round-up of the very best events taking place in the capital from Saturday 27 August - Monday 29 August 2016. 

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By: Time Out London Things To Do
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101 things to do in London

London is a treasure trove of brilliant days out and activities worth boasting about. Find great new ways to fill your free time with this list of our favourite things to do in the capital.

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By: Phoebe Trimingham