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26 seriously good things to do in London this weekend

By Stephanie Hartman

Spend your weekend in the city celebrating midsummer at a host of magical parties, popping open a Blue Moon beer at an interactive art installation and bar, or rummaging through vintage wares at a giant flea market in east London. Make your weekend a winner with the fun below!bey


Hokusai: Beyond the Great Wave

Swedish Midsummer Eve Celebration, Aquavit London, Fri, free. Get ready for an evening full of Nordic midsummer traditions, with maypole dancing in St James’s Market and a pop-up bar selling authentic Swedish drinks and snacks.

Kiss Me, Trafalgar Studios, Fri-Sat, £15-£35. An unorthodox love story and change of pace for Richard Bean.

Summer Camp Slash-a-Thon!, Prince Charles Cinema, Sat, £20. Camp out at the Prince Charles for a night of awesome ’80s slasher flicks, presented by the Arrow Video Club.

Hokusai: Beyond the Great Wave, British Museum, all weekend, £12. The Great Wave – a woodblock image – was printed in its thousands, making a star out of lowly Hokusai. It’s a gorgeous little picture, a swirling maelstrom kaleidoscoping around the tranquil mountain as boats crash and clatter in the waves. 


A Swedish Midsummer Night, Loft Studios, Sat, from £20. Swedish food, live music and dancing. Plus drinks including schnapps and prosecco. 

Union Chapel Summer Fete, Union Chapel, Sun, free. Hear the resonant sounds of a Victorian pedal harmonium at this community summer fete, with a performance from modern folk group Enderby’s Room.

Sour Solstice, Beavertown Brewery, Sun, £39. The brewers at Beavertown are paying homage to Mother Nature this summer solstice by throwing a party celebrating all things sour and wild in the world of beer. 

The Politics Festival, Kings Place, all weekend, £9.50-£29.50. Nick Clegg, Owen Jones, Ed Miliband and ‘Strictly Come Dancing’ star Ed Balls will all be speaking at this weekend of political debate. 

Gloria, Hampstead Theatre, all weekend, £10-£35. Another goodie from super-smart American Branden Jacobs-Jenkins, author of the brilliant ‘An Octoroon’.


Once in a Blue Moon Pop-Up Bar

Supa Dupa Fly - Beyoncé And Jay-Z Special, Hoxton Pony, TONIGHT, £5-£7. Hits and deep cuts from the Destiny’s Child and Reasonable Doubt days right through to their freshest work.

Once in a Blue Moon Pop-Up Bar, Old Spitalfields Market, Fri-Sat, free. Blue Moon craft beer is bringing an interactive art installation to Old Spitalfields Market. There’s a wish tree that Londoners are being asked to hang their own ‘once in a blue moon’ wishes to, alongside hanging oranges and an array of orange lights, scents and textures.

The Greatest Spectacle of Lucha Libre, York Hall, Fri-Sat, from £20. Join Mexico’s finest fighters as they descend on Bethnal Green for two days of high-flying manoeuvres, terrifying leg drops and tornillo twists.

Dalston Beer Day, 40ft Brewery, Sat, free. The brewery will play host to a day of beer with popular names in the UK brewing community including Pressure Drop Brewing, Modo and Unity Brewing Co.

Sheepy Saturday: A Celebration at Stepney City Farm, Sat, free. Sheepy Saturday is paying homage to the farm’s seven sheep and seven lambs, with shearing demonstrations and more. 

The Big London Flea, EPIC Dalston, Sun, free. You’ll find more than 50 vintage stalls to hunt through at the Big London Flea, held at Dalston’s former ABC cinema, now known as EPIC Dalston.


Beautifully Midsummer, The Battersea Barge, TONIGHT, £29. Spruce up your flower crown, dance around the maypole and eat copious amounts of herring because Swedish midsummer is coming to London.

Soulgigs: ‘House Party’ + after party, Ritzy Picturehouse, TONIGHT, from £6. Catch a hip hop-inspired classic movie, then boogie into the night with Ritzy DJs.

Camberwell Open House, Camberwell College of Arts, Sat, free. See work from the Camberwell College of Arts students in photography, sculpture, painting, ceramics and illustration and get involved in a huge range of workshops.

Do Dat Den! First Birthday, Club 414, Sat, £7, £5 adv. Fancy eight hours of afrobeats, baile funk, kuduro, cumbia and more infectiously tropical beats? Put on your dancing shoes and bring your smiles as the Do Dat Den! family celebrate their first birthday.

House of Beef, Ministry of Sound, Sun, see website for prices. A house party-style fitness class featuring a live DJ, bloody marys and homecooked West Indian food after the sesh.

Sargent: The Watercolours, Dulwich Picture Gallery, all weekend, £15.50. The first UK show of Sargent’s watercolours since 1918. 


The Marylebone Pleasure Gardens in Manchester Square, Wallace Collection, Sat, £20. Following a 240-year hiatus, Meghan Cassidy, Sue Perkins, Patrons HRH Princess Michael of Kent and Rick Wakeman are pleased to announce the return of this music festival raising money for the West London Day Centre.

Taschen Sample Sale, Taschen Books, all weekend. Book lovers should make a beeline for Taschen’s Starck-designed west London flagship shop this weekend, as the publisher kicks off its annual summer sale.


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