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32 uplifting things to do in London this weekend

By Stephanie Hartman

We can't magically make you feel better if you're still trying to work out why the UK has chosen to leave the EU, but we can help with some weekend fun in a bid to distract you from it. March, dance and vogue through London at the annual Pride Parade, dig into mouthwatering gelato at a festival dedicated to the cool stuff, or head to Supa Dupa Fly's Rooftop Session for '90s hip hop all Sunday long. 

Things to do 

Pride in London Parade, Trafalgar Square, Sat, free. The huge annual parade that celebrates LGBT+ communities marches through central London once again.

Festival of Stuff, UCL, Sat, free. UCL's Institute of Making invite us all into what must be London's most engaging lab to find out how all our beloved stuff begins life.

Scandinavian Midsummer Market, Albion Street, Sat, free. Stalls selling arts and craft goodies and Nordic treats will be popping up between the Finnish and Norwegian Churches in Rotherhithe for a day of family fun.

ArtBeat: Unicef's Children of Syria Emergency Appeal, Camden Lock Place, Sat, free. A day of great food, drink, ace DJs, talks and a street art auction in aid of Unicef’s emergency appeal.

Weekend Punk, Design Museum, Sat-Sun. Two punk-themed days down by the river to mark the Design Museum's last weekend at their Shad Thames location. Tutors from the RCA, CSM and LCC lead workshops covering illustration, digital hacking, fashion up-cycling and more.

The Hiver Experience, Bee Urban, Sat-Sun, £28.50. These workshops incorporate practical beekeeping lessons with the chance to taste a selection of delicious beers brewed with honey from urban and rural British beehives.

Greenwich and Docklands International Festival, various Greenwich venues, all weekend, free. If you're looking for free outdoor fun for all this summer, you'd do well to head down to Greenwich. Over nine days there are events outdoor and inside at venues scattered all around Greenwich, Docklands and further afield.

The Slide at the ArcelorMittal Orbit, ArcelorMittal Orbit, all weekend, £5 in addition to general admission (£10 adults, £5 children). Belgian artist Carsten Höller (who set up a pair of spiral slides outside the Hayward Gallery as part of his 2015 exhibition) has designed this new addition to the Olympic Park's sculpture-cum-attraction.

Utopia Fair, Somerset House, all weekend, free. Explore utopian ways of living in the 21st century through the nationwide projects being championed at this three-day fair.

…or check out more events happening in London this weekend.






Eating and drinking

Noshville, Granary Square, Fri-Sat, free. Suffolk Americana music festival The Maverick Festival will provide the tunes at this two-day eatathon in Granary Square organised by excellent street food collective Kerb.

Night Tales, 1-2 Hepscott Road, Fri-Sat, £3. DJs, drinks and delicacies at a new summer pop-up in Hackney Wick, the latest venture from the Night Tales crew.

London Gelato Festival, Old Spitalfields Market, all weekend, free. Get the scoop on the best icy treats Italy has to offer at this weekend of eating in Old Spitalfields Market.

…or check out the latest restaurant reviews.


Live music

Mica Paris, Jazz Cafe, TONIGHT, £25. The highly regarded Brit-soul vocalist and broadcaster plays tonight.

Spitalfields Music Summer Festival, various east London venues, all weekend, prices vary. Two weeks of concerts, art, talks and workshops in the historic district of Spitalfields.

Fold Festival, Fulham Palace, all weekend, £54-£299. Good times in Fulham at the first London instalment of Nile Rodgers’s travelling festival.

…or take a look at all the live music events in London this weekend.


© Norman Jay






Norman Jay, Old Queen's Head, TONIGHT, adv £6. The seminal DJ and main man behind the Good Times Soundsystem unleashes one of his genre-busting sets, taking in everything from rare groove and soulful house to hip hop, disco and reggae.

Livin' Proof, Village Underground, Sat, £7-£15. One of London's premier hip hop crews, Livin' Proof are always a solid bet to put on a fine, fresh and funky night.

Supa Dupa Fly Rooftop Sessions, Queen of Hoxton, Sun, £6. The party people behind Supa Dupa Fly bring their winning ’90s/noughties hip hop night to the Queen of Hoxton rooftop for three summer parties, with big names DJing through headphones – yes, it’s a rooftop silent disco!

…or see all the parties planned this weekend.


Independence Day






East End Film Festival: ‘The Commune’, Hackney Picturehouse, Sat, £12, £11 concs. Every year, we think the East End Film Festival can’t get bigger, broader and more impressive, and every year it does.

Open City Documentary Festival: ‘Author: The JT Leroy Story’, Hackney Picturehouse, Sat, £12, £11 concs. London’s biggest annual celebration of documentary cinema, Open City returns with another packed programme of true stories from around the world. 

‘Highlander’ + Christopher Lambert Q&A, Prince Charles Cinema, Sun, £13.50. Yes, the French Scotsman himself will be in town to discuss his memories of making this ludicrously entertaining slice of sword ‘n’ sorcery nonsense about a band of immortals engaged in mortal combat down the ages.

Or at the cinema...

Independence Day: Resurgence ★★★☆☆ 20 years later, the aliens are back – but they've reckoned without Jeff Goldblum. 

The Secret Life of Pets ★★★☆☆ Front-loading the best bits, ‘The Secret Life of Pets’ begins by imagining what the animals in a New York apartment block get up to when their owners shut the door in the morning.

…or see all of the latest releases.


© Steve Tanner






The Flying Lovers of Vitebsk, Sam Wanamaker Playhouse, Fri-Sat, £10-£62. Kneehigh call in at the Globe with this romantic, eccentric tale of floating Russian lovers.

Wild, Hampstead Theatre, Fri-Sat, £18-£35. A very eccentric riff on the Edward Snowden case from major playwright Mike Bartlett.

Titanic, Charing Cross Theatre, Fri-Sat, £17.50-£39.50. A triumphant maiden voyage for the new Charing Cross Theatre regime.

…or see our theatre critics’ choices.

This week's best new art

Bas Jan Ader, Simon Lee, Fri-Sat, free. A solo exhibition of work by the legendary Dutch conceptualist, who tragically vanished in 1975 whilst staging an artwork: sailing a tiny vessel alone across the North Atlantic.

Mark Grotjahn: Pink Cosco, Gagosian Gallery, Fri-Sat, free. The American painter will be showing two threads in his work here: his 'Butterfly' series of paintings, and his cardboard 'Mask' sculptures. As ever, expect lots of nods towards various art movements along the way.

Melodrama, Act I, Luxembourg & Dayan, Fri-Sat, free. Showing in parallel with another 'act' at Luxembourg & Dayan's New York space, this group exhibition brings together a number of artists that work with theatrics and pathos, including prankster Maurizio Cattelan and collaborative duo Fischli & Weiss.

…or see all London art reviews.

And finally

Win...VIP tickets to Art Night festival plus a night's stay at the Strand Palace Hotel or a pair of Luna cinema tickets and one night in a 4* hotel to hear five incredibly creative individuals talk about and demonstrate their wood crafts at Cecil Sharp House on June 30

Book…these gigs while you still can

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