The Time Out London hot list
The biggest and best things happening in London this week
Summer is officially upon us and Londoners are just itching to get outside. Whether or not the sun decides to shine, there's no shortage of top events happening in the capital this month – June brings us the Greenwich and Docklands International Festival, Wimbledon Tennis Championships and the daddy of all music festivals, Glastonbury. With a jam-packed month ahead, here's our pick of things to do and places to visit this week – trust us, you won't be disappointed.
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The best things to do and see this week
This year's Greenwich and Docklands International Festival is directed by Bradley Hemmings, co-artistic director of the Paralympic Opening Ceremony, so we've rather high expectations. While David Beckham and Dizzee Rascal can't be guaranteed at this spectacular, you can still expect a fantastic series of outdoor arts, theatre, dance and family entertainment. Events, most of which are free, take place at different Greenwich venues and include Bicycle Ballet and aerialist theatre show One Million. See our guide to Greenwich and Docklands festival here.
Enigmatic and artfully moody electronic pop soundscapers The xx host three events in beautifully unique surroundings this summer (one in London, the others in Berlin and Lisbon). Saturday's event is the final of the three and the trio are have put on a seriously strong bill. The xx themselves headline the day with support from the likes of Poliça, Kindness, Mount Kimbie and Solange. A second stage will host DJ sets by Jamie XX, Benji B, Sampha and more. Tickets for this one-day festival are still on sale and we think, with a solid-gold line-up, it's worth making the trip to Hertfordshire.
If you're after more festivals this summer, check out our month-by-month guide.
Taken individually, cycling tours and fancy dress aren’t particularly noteworthy. Put together they are – especially at midnight, for 19 fact-filled miles, with a pit stop at Kensal Green Cemetery to hear GK Chesterton’s classic poem ‘Rolling English Road’ rendered in original song. Yes, Saturday's Velonotte is high in the running for London’s most niche event of 2013. Narrated by experts both Russian and British, the cycle spans a huge swath of west London’s early Victorian architecture and history, with stops in Westminster, Camden, Lambeth, Wandsworth and the Royal Borough of Kensington & Chelsea. The tour lasts from midnight until 5am and is of free of charge, however donations of £5 are warmly accepted.
The Hayward Gallery's summer exhibition presents the work of outsider artists – a largely self-taught selection of architects and artists, photographers and filmmakers, futurists and choreographers, healers and scientists – who reveal alternative ways of perceiving, describing and navigating the world around us.
Looking for more exhibitions in London? Check out what's on here.
We've always got our eyes peeled and our ears to the ground in search of new talent, and at this Friday's Udderbelly show we'll be showing off our findings. Wander down to the South Bank and spend an evening of the company of the finest and god-damn funniest new comedians around. There'll be short but sharp bursts from around eight acts with the hilarious Stephen K Amos taking the role of compere.
The Streets mockney urban musings may be but a distant memory, but Mike Skinner is well underway to forging a new career spinning tunes rather than making them. Also behind the decks will be UK garage legend MJ Cole, rising Liverpool bass producer Melé and, for something a little different, UK rapper Ms. Dynamite, who seems to be making a pretty decent comeback of late. Expect plenty of shouts of the "Dy-na-mi-tee" style, all night long.
Join CoolTanArts for a fun guided walk that invites participants to explore the urban psychogeography (the playful geography) of south London and look at local history and familiar landmarks in a new light. The walk begins at 11.45pm at the Turbine Hall entrance of Tate Modern and ends in the small hours of Sunday at the Maudsley Hospital, home of contemporary psychiatry. Take snacks, sandwiches, tea and coffee for the route. There is a no alcohol rule, so weekend part people need not tag along.
Regent's Park is once again transformed into a gastronome’s pleasure park for the four-day Taste festival. This annual event showcases products and produce from some 200 global producers, with the opportunity to sample lots of their goods, as well as offering the opportunity to taste food from 40 of London’s top restaurants – this year's newcomers include Duck & Waffle and Peruvian cuisine from LIMA. Old favourites will be out in force too (Le Gavroche, Gaucho, Barbecoa and Theo Randall at the Intercontinental). On top of the chance to sample the food, lots of masterclasses, tutorials, and cookery classes will be taking place throughout the festival.
- Rated as: 4/5
American capitalism really is a mindfuck of a subject, and if you’re going to attempt to address its entire history in a couple of hours then you really need a mindfuck of a play. That’s a description I’ll happily bestow upon experimental New York company The TEAM’s gloriously sprawling post-credit crunch parable, 'Mission Drift'. With music provided by Heather Christian, a New York singer-songwriter with a croakingly weird and utterly mesmerising voice, part-Cat Power, part-Portishead’s Beth Gibbons, ‘Mission Drift’ is a whirlwind of song and sound and surreal vignettes that conveys the dizzying mania of America’s rise with an energy that’s part sickening, part exhilarating.
Brandon Flowers and his Las Vegas cohorts return after various solo outings with their fourth album, 'Battle Born'. The record is a return to 'Sam's Town'-era rock bombast, so this mega-gig should be very special indeed. Saturday's stadium spectacular isn't yet sold out, so grab tickets, strap yourself in and prepare for one ground-shaking, speaker-bursting pop-rock gig.
What did you do last week?
"The Propaganda exhibition in the British Library is very good - recommended." - David Farkas
"Visited the recently revamped pub The Wheatsheaf in Borough market. Great atmosphere, good beer selection and an epic outdoor area." - Ben Wallace
"Behind the Candelabra was absolutely brilliant." - Hannah Marie Dolby
Mixed feelings on Man of Steel: "It sucked!" "Loved it." "Wasn't expecting much, as it's pretty predictable... so wasn't disappointed."
"FOUND Festival absolutely smashed it on Saturday." - Will Chapman
"I thoroughly enjoyed The Amen Corner despite a couple of actors' American accents fading in and out, and also saw the not-so-lighthearted Children of the Sun - character development took a little too long, but I enjoyed the set design and special effects." - Caroline Gutman
What are your plans this week?
"Going to Punchdrunk's new production and eating pizza at Forza Win." - Angela Lau
"This week it's all about Taste of London festival... with VIP tickets!" - Naomi Scott
"This week is all about Meltdown - Patti Smith and Thurston Moore - and the new exhibition at the Hayward. And I really want to see Shield - a cross-art collaboration by Amaara Raheem at Ovalhouse Theatre." - Andrea Robinson
"Heading to Royal Ascot, if that counts?" - Ben Wallace
"Off to one of my favourite new discoveries: Shilpa in Hammersmith. The food's from Kerala in India and it's very authentic and different to most curry houses." - Mark O'Donnell
"Looking forward to The Strypes on Friday in Islington - their EP is great they've had good live reviews. A great warm-up for Glastonbury next week, that's NEXT WEEK, woo!" - Tom Christmas
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