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28 wonderful things to do this bank holiday weekend

By Stephanie Hartman

The Carnival weekend is here and it’s set to be great! As well as the main event, there are heaps of parties planned around it, plus a couple of Caribbean food festivals and much, much more. Elsewhere there’s a film festival in Tower Hamlets Cemetery Park and a traveller-themed late night event at the V&A. Have a brilliant long weekend with the list below!


© Marc Brenner

Knives in Hens, Donmar Warehouse, Fri-Sat, Mon, £10-£40. Yaël Farber directs David Harrower’s stark, strange modern classic. 

Covent Garden’s Beautython, Covent Garden Piazza, all weekend, prices vary. Covent Garden has more beauty shops per square metre than any other area in London. To celebrate this attractive asset, it is holding a beauty marathon, with special offers, masterclasses and in-store tutorials.


Against © Johan Persson

Garage Special Carnival Warm Up, Egg London, TONIGHT, £10-£20. Garage courtesy of DJ Luck & MC Neat and Artful Dodger.

Against, Almeida Theatre, Fri-Sat, Mon, £10-£39.50. Ben Whishaw is the figurative and literal saviour of this ambitious American drama.

Puttin’ on the Ratz, The Water Rats, Sun, £15 adv, £20 on the door. Party like a vaudevillian at this 1930s-style cabaret filled with burlesque, musicians, magicians, comics, a communist-sympathising hostess and one eccentric doorman directing the show.

The Notting Hill Carnival Quencher, Scala, Mon, £10 adv. DJs from around the world spin the best carnival and soca vibes across two rooms. 


© Ife Akinroyeje

Sugar, The Yard Theatre, Fri, £7.50, £10, on the door. The online magazine gal-dem, made by and for women of colour, is throwing its very own Notting Hill Carnival warm-up party.

Living Art Festival, Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park, Sat, free. The Living Art Festival is taking over Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park for a day of interactive and creative workshops, celebrating arts and culture in the local community.

The Five Points Summer Tap End of Summer Party, Five Points, Sat, free. Sip on cold pints and tuck into delicious street food from Capish Street Food, all to a chilled-out soundtrack from the brewerys resident DJs.

Secretsundaze Day & Night Birthday Party, Oval Space, Sat, £9.50-£19.50. Giles Smith and James Priestley, the Secretsundaze residents, will be bringing their top disco, house and techno platters to the booth, together with Marcellus Pittman, Sadar Bahar and Bradley Zero.

Shuffle Festival, Tower Hamlets Cemetery Park, Sat-Sun, £23 E3 residents, £37 general. Set over two days in and around Tower Hamlets Cemetery Park, Shuffle’s 2017 programme is bursting with films, talks, walks, performances, installations, music and food.

Field Day at Dinerama, Sun, £10. A music festival where you actually make time to eat? Who would have thought it. For one day only, Field Day is teaming up with Street Feast to take over Dinerama in Shoreditch.

Sculpture in the City August Bank Holiday guided walk, Liverpool Street Station, Mon, £10. Nestled among the usual priapic financial buildings are works by Damien Hirst, Martin Creed and Karen Tang, erected for ‘Sculpture in the City’. See all 18 works on this walking trail.

Number 90 Bar and Kitchen Bank Holiday Weekender, Number 90, all weekend, free. Hackney’s big canal-side boozer is going all out for the August Bank Holiday weekend, with four days of live art exhibitions, music and record stalls.


Greenwich Market Friday Street Food Fest: Carnival Flavours, Greenwich Market, Fri, free. Get the Carnival weekend off to a flying start by filling up on Caribbean treats from Mama’s Jerk and the Big Meat Barbecue, tropical cocktails from LP Bar and cold pints at Londons Brewers’ Market.

Caribbean Food Week Festival, Windrush Square, Sat, free. As well as scoffing down jerky goodness, you’ll be able to see live cookery demonstrations, dance to live music and have a gander around a Caribbean market. 

South West Four, Clapham Common, Sat-Sun, £49.50-£99. Clapham Common’s dance music festival attracts superstar DJs from across the globe.

Boy Better Know Takeover, The O2, Sun, prices vary. BBK are joined by other massive names in grime and hip hop – including A$AP Rocky and Chip – for their bank holiday takeover at the O2 Arena. Go ride the grimewave. 

Stevie Wonderland Carnival Afterparty, Corsica Studios, Sun, £5-£20. With Dele Sosimi Afrobeat Orchestra, Medlar and Cervo. 

At Your Beat Open Day, The Castle Centre, Mon, free. Sassy, pop-up dance fitness group At Your Beat are putting on free Bank Holiday tryouts, where anyone can hot-foot their way through one of their classes, inspired by pop music’s biggest stars.


Don’t Forget Your Passport, V&A, TONIGHT, free. Enjoy a bank holiday staycation at the V&A’s August Friday Late. ‘Don’t Forget your Passport’ will lead intrepid travellers on a treasure hunt, which takes you around the world.

Island Records Notting Hill Carnival party, Queens, Sun-Mon, £18.50. Queens Skate Dine and Bowl is the host for the iconic label’s Notting Hill Carnival shindig, with two days of Island Record DJs, ice skating and bowling.

Edwardian Seaside Special, London Museum of Water and Steam, Sat-Mon, £12.50. Step back in time for an Edwardian seaside holiday at the London Museum of Water and Steam’s time-hopping Bank Holiday party. 

Notting Hill Carnival, Notting Hill, Sun-Mon, free. With an expected two million or so attendees, the Notting Hill Carnival is Europe’s biggest street festival and a vivid spectacle representing London’s multicultural past and present. It’s also a vital date in any party lover’s diary.

Supa Dupa Fly x Captain Morgan x Carnival Terrace Party, Terrace At 605 Harrow Road, Mon, £7-£9. Carry on the carnival vibes with Supa Dupa Fly. 


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