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34 fun things to do in London this bank holiday weekend

Written by
Stephanie Hartman

Buckle up and board the bank holiday train to fun town! London’s got plenty of Sunday night parties planned, a big ol’ beer festival, a celebrity jumble sale, plus a bevy of multi-sensory events and activities taking place at Tate Modern. See you on the other side!


All the Things I Lied About, Soho Theatre, Fri-Sat, £12.50. A deceptively comic exploration of the phenomenon of gaslighting from performer Katie Bonna.

Annette Messager: Avec et Sans Raisons, Marian Goodman Gallery, Fri-Sat, free. Annette Messager has only become angrier, fiercer and more bitter as she’s headed into her seventies. The French artist has been a massive figure in continental art for decades, and this new show is her at her most acerbic and surreal.

Awol Erizku: Make America Great Again, Ben Brown Fine Arts, Fri-Sat, Mon, free. Awol Erizku has filled this dark room with Black Panthers, broken fences and swastikas. You don’t need a PhD in nodding at art to figure out that he’s not happy.

Big Swinging Ovaries Embroidery Workshop, Soho Theatre, Sat, £75. Ladies, show your ovaries just how much you love them in this embroidery workshop taking craftivism to new heights.

Vaisakhi Festival, Trafalgar Square, Sat, free. Expect talks, traditional food, turban-tying and a jam-packed programme of live performances and kirtan (spiritual music) sessions. 

Soho a Gogo Film Festival: ‘Beat Girl’, Regent Street Cinema, Sun, £12, £11 concs. This weekend, the Regent Street Cinema celebrates the seedy heyday of nearby Soho with two days of classic movies either shot in the late ’50s and early ’60s, or set in that permissive era.

R&She Fifth Birthday, Heaven, Sun, £5. The party with an all-female playlist – straddling hip hop, pop and soul jams – celebrates five years.


May Day Fire Fest, Skip Garden, TONIGHT, £13-£17. Be prepared for some serious spring swinging at this night of fire-lit May Day revelry. There’ll be DJs spinning, veggie treats and punch served among the open fires.

Arca & Jesse Kanda, Roundhouse, TONIGHT, £16.50. The producer is joined by his long-time visual collaborator and will perform music from his new self-titled album.

Rejjie Snow, The Forum (O2 Forum Kentish Town), TONIGHT, £17. The rapper, hailing from Dublin, performs his R&B and hip hop tracks.

REALiti: Grimes Special, The Lock Tavern, TONIGHT, free. Promotions crew Be a Body host a party dedicated to the artist who inspired their name, Grimes. 

Kentish Town City Farm May Day Festival, Kentish Town City Farm, Mon, £1. Kentish Town City Farm are throwing their annual May Day Festival so expect maypole dancing, tombola, pony rides, a tug of war, live music, art activities and, of course, their whole family of different animals.

Blondie pop-up, Camden Market, all weekend, free entry. Do you worship at the altar of Debbie Harry? Then stop by the first ever Blondie pop-up shop, which is launching at Camden Market to coincide with the release of the band’s ‘Pollinator’ album and Roundhouse gig on May 3.


Resonance FM 15th Birthday Party, The Courtyard, TONIGHT, £7.50 to £15. London-based Resonance FM, the world’s first independent arts radio station, is throwing an alternative arts and music extravaganza to celebrate its 15th anniversary.

Obsession, Barbican Centre, Fri-Sun, £16-£60. Jude Law stars as a murderous drifter in Ivo van Hove’s adaptation of a classic film.

Rumble in the Jumble, Oval Space, Sat, £5. Fancy rifling through your favourite celeb’s cast-offs? At Rumble in the Jumble, you can do just that, and it’s all in aid of a good cause.

Dalston Roof Park Launch Party, Dalston Roof Park, Sat, £7.50 & £10. Heavyweight house from headliner Maxine Garman, plus special guests.

Field Day at Dinerama, Sat, £10 on the door. For one day only, Field Day is teaming up with Street Feast to take over Dinerama in Shoreditch. You’ll be able to get a drink from the German Sex Dungeon to wash down a dish from Prawnography, finished off with a creamy dessert from You Doughnut. 

Margarita Rumble, The Yard, Sun, £35-£55. Celebrate London’s best margaritas at the ‘Margarita Rumble’ – a grand ole fiesta brought to the capital by New York’s Craft Hospitality.

Funk & Soul Weekender Launch Party, Queen of Hoxton, Sun, £7, adv £5. Lined up for the event are Al Dobson Jr, Wah Wah 45s DJs, Dom Servini & Scrimshire, Sunshine Soul Soundsystem and more.

Sci-Fi London: ‘The Girl with All the Gifts’ + MJ Carey Q&A, Stratford Picturehouse, Sun, £7. The Sci-Fi London Film Festival is back with another packed programme of space-based premieres and low-budget SF magic, plus of course the iconic Sci-Fido event, the world’s only SF-themed dog show.

Henri Store Pop-up, 274 Hackney Road, all weekend. The Henri Store returns to Hackney Road, brimming with shirts from the latest collection, plus pieces from brands including Pico, who make organic underwear, and Ottowin Footwear, who specialise in leather shoes and sandals.


Breaking Away with Deptford Folk, Folkestone Gardens, TONIGHT, free. Break a sweat for your entertainment at this 100 percent pedal-powered film screening where the audience have to cycle to keep the show on the road. Push for the burn and you can enjoy Peter Yates’s 1970s coming of age comedy ‘Breaking Away’.

Stevie Wonderland: A Tribute To Prince, Bussey Building, TONIGHT, £5-£15. Funk, house and disco from Hot Chip’s Alexis Taylor in honour of the superstar a year and a bit after his untimely death.

Herne Hill Free Film Festival: ‘The BFG’ + Mark Rylance Q&A, Rosendale Primary School, TONIGHT, free. This free festival offers a plethora of treats, including ‘Metropolis’ in an old church and a rare screening of proto-Trump satire ‘Bob Roberts’. 

Ashley Bickerton, Newport Street Gallery, Fri-Sun, free. The ‘paintings’ from that era here jut boxily out of the walls. They’re assemblages covered in handles and sheeting, screwed in place with industrial fittings, and look like emergency equipment from cruise ships, or massive black box recorders.

The Priory Arms May Bank Holiday Beer Festival, Priory Arms, Sat, free. This is an easy numbers game. Over 100 beers, 11 keg beers, 20 real ales, 6 real ciders, over 70 bottles, four days and one you. 

Tasty and Smelly: A Different Way to Connect to Art, Tate Modern, Sat-Sun, free. Create odours and arouse your tastebuds in this series of drop-in events and activities exploring how multi-sensory awareness enriches the way we experience art.

RHS Flowers and Flea weekend, Flat Iron Square, Sat-Sun, free. Mix something old with something new at this vintage flea combined with a fresh flower market.

Norman Jay MBE, Prince of Wales, Sun, £17.50-£20. The veteran DJ who was awarded club culture’s first-ever MBE spins underground sounds and rare grooves.


City of Glass, Lyric Hammersmith, Fri-Sat, £15-£35. Visually astonishing adaptation of Paul Auster’s noir classic.

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