Rejoice! It's a bank holiday and there's crazy amounts of good stuff to get stuck into if you're kicking back in the capital. Get down to some top parties with the likes of RuPaul's protégées or DJs only playing Prince all night, watch the ever-brilliant Goat Race or work your way around numerous beer festivals and chocolate markets. Here's everything you'll need to have a crackin' Easter weekend.
Things to do
Trellick Tales, Trellick Tower, Sat, free. Although it wasn't well-loved when it went up in 1972, Trellick Tower is now a treasure of the London skyline, leading a whole generation to fall in love with its brutalist lines. Now an exhibition is opening to share the stories of those who lived and live in it.
GamePad!, West 12 Shopping Centre, Sat, free. This free social gaming event returns once again to bring gamers physically in touch with each other. A combination of video games, brownies, more video games and merch.
Make Do and Mend Easter Vintage and Makers Market, Pop Brixton, Sat, free. Vintage clothing business Make Do and Mend return to Pop Brixton for an Easter weekend market.
Enjoy Yourself X CALM 10-year Anniversary Fundraiser, The Brewhouse, Sat, £10. Men's mental health charity CALM celebrates its tenth birthday this year. To mark the occasion, it's throwing a party with live acts and DJs from Enjoy Yourself, Secret Garden Party and Tropical Tea Party 'til 5am, as well as serving food from Burger Bear and Mother Clucker.
Southbank Carnival, Clore Ballroom, Sat, free. It may still be coat weather but Southbank are bringing sunshine to the capital with a carnival parade and Heatwave night club. Get seriously in the mood beforehand at free dancehall classes and carnival costume workshops.
The Oxford v Cambridge Goat Race, Spitalfields City Farm, Sun, £13. Polish your horns and belt out those bleets, because London's favourite farmyard fracas is back for a eighth year in 2016.
The Boat Race, Putney Bridge (south side), Sun, free. The 2016 Boat Race will take place on Sunday March 27 and for another year it's Boat Races – the men's race (which will start at 4.10pm) will be joined on the Tideway by the women's race, starting an hour earlier at 3.10pm.
100% Ping Pong - Volume One, Bounce, Sun, £6. Ping-Pong meets all the best bits of the ‘90s at this one-off party at Farringdon Bounce. Nick Terriffic and DJ Alice Says will be hitting the decks so grab your free friendship bracelet on arrival and embrace the cheese at the Nintendo 64.
Easter Country Fair, River Lee Country Park, Sun-Mon, £6.50. Go wild in the country over the Easter weekend at this two-day fair featuring heaps of traditional entertainment and outdoor fun.
Eating and drinking
Chocolate Market at Duke of York Square, Duke Of York Square, Sat, free. Easter fever is hitting Chelsea once again with a decadent Chocolate Market descending on Duke of York Square for a third year running.
The Cider Box Presents the First Pressings of 2016, Queen of Hoxton, Sat, £15. Spring forward with the clocks and drink your first cider of the year at this all-dayer organised by booze experts Cider Box.
Farang Pop-up, San Daniele Del Friuli, Mon, £35. Having learnt to create flavour-packed modern Thai dishes when he worked as sous chef at Peckham favourite the Begging Bowl and honed his skills as head chef at lauded Soho Thai joint Smoking Goat, chef Seb Holmes is preparing for his next venture, Farang London.
Craft100, Craft Beer Company, all weekend. Clapham's branch of Craft Beer Co – which is already very well endowed when it comes to beer options – will be really upping its game this Easter weekend. This free-entry beer festival will see them offering a selection of 80 cask ales and 20 kegs from a huge variety of independent and speciality breweries.
Homerton International Festival of Beer and Bar Snacks, Adam & Eve, all weekend. Finally that often-overlooked culinary delight - the bar snack - is getting it's own 5-day festival. Enjoy the largest collection of pork scratchings, scotch eggs and beef jerky at this Homerton booze bench and then dance it all off to DJ sets.
…or check out the latest restaurant reviews.
Investigations (With Josie Long), The Invisible Dot Ltd, TONIGHT, £10, £9 concs. The eternally optimistic Josie Long teams up with investigative journalist Martin Williams to present their heavily-researched findings.
Austentatious – An Improvised Jane Austen Novel, Leicester Square Theatre, Sun, £12.50, £10 concs. It is a truth universally acknowledged, that Austenatious is one of the smartest and funniest improv shows out there.
Pappy's Presents: Secret Dudes Society, Soho Theatre, Mon, £12.50. Supremely silly sketch trio Pappy's – the funniest sketch act on the circuit right now – host this anarchic night.
…or check out all the critics’ choice comedy shows.
Underworld, Roundhouse, TONIGHT, phone for prices. Romford's finest bring their viscerally engaging and always inventive post-techno to London, launching their new album ‘Barbara Barbara, We Face a Shining Future’ and wheeling out some ’90s classics too.
Armin Van Buuren, O2 Academy Brixton, Sat, £25-£30. A titan of poppy euphoric trance – in the same mould as Tiesto and Paul Van Dyk – and a perennial front-runner in 'World's Greatest DJ' polls, AVB touches down in Brixton promising a brand new show complete with lasers, lights and, no doubt, countless epic trance build-ups.
The Lock Tavern Festival, Lock Tavern, Fri-Sun, free. Four days of music and street food at Camden’s best boozer.
Wolf Alice, The Forum, Sat-Mon, £19. The awesome foursome from north London pump out lashings of reverb-heavy indie-grunge-pop, which has earned them critical acclaim, a Mercury Prize nomination and adoring fans up and down the country.
…or take a look at all the live music events in London this weekend.
RuPaul's Drag Race: Battle of the Seasons, The Forum, £45, TONIGHT. Calm down, Beyoncé: queen of queens RuPaul won’t be coming to London in person for this glossy drag showcase. But ‘Drag Race’ devotees will get a chance to witness some of Ru’s star protégées – Courtney Act, Jinkx Monsoon, Katya, Sharon Needles and Violet Chachki.
Duckie, Royal Vauxhall Tavern, Sat, £6. Rock disco with artistic live turns, hosted by Amy Lamé with the best retro set in town from DJs The Readers Wifes.
World Purple Day: Prince Night, Machine No. 3, Sat, free. Purple Day is a worldwide event to promote epilepsy awareness – but in Hackney it’s also an excuse to play lots of Prince. Get funked to his Purple Majesty’s classic tunes with an all-night Prince set and raise some money for charity too.
Bump and Hustle Music, CLF Art Cafe (The Bussey Building), Sat, £5-£10. Bump your way across the dancefloor to a selection of classic house cuts, prime funk, soul, rare groove and disco from various expert selectors including the likes of John Morales, Paul 'Trouble' Anderson, Phil Asher and more.
Eglo Records Bank Holiday Special, Corsica Studios, Sun, £15. Eglo Records, the future-thinking jazzy, housey, soulful beats and bass label co-owned by progressive producer Floating Points, takes over south London's Corsica Studios for a Bank Holiday special.
Norman Jay, Old Queen's Head, Sun, £6. The seminal DJ and main man behind the Good Times Soundsystem beloved of Notting Hill Carnival-goers unleashes one of his funky, rare groove and soulful house to hip hop, disco and reggae sets.
Slide, Prince of Wales, Sun, £5-£17.50 adv. The much-loved terrace party returns for an Easter Sunday bash. Specialising in funk, disco and party-primed house, these events are always popular with cool clubbers, who flock to catch the ever-impressive global DJ line-up do their thing against a Brixton skyline.
…or see all the parties planned this weekend.
Easter Weekend Small Films Marathon
Close-Up on the Coen Brothers: ‘Blood Simple’, Close-Up Film Centre, TONIGHT, £12, £10 concs. A weekend of films directed by the darlings of American indie cinema, including Hollywood satire ‘Barton Fink’, Oscar-winning black comedy ‘Fargo’ and brutal thriller ‘No Country For Old Men’. Our pick is their ferocious debut ‘Blood Simple’, a hugely enjoyable film noir in which a Texan bar owner hires a seedy private eye, first to spy on his wife, then to kill her and her lover.
Easter Weekend Small Films Marathon, V&A Museum of Childhood, Fri-Sun, free. Catch back-to-back screenings of animated classics created by Peter Firmin and Oliver Postgate across the Easter weekend at these free film events.
Or at the cinema...
The Club If the Pope has Netflix, we doubt he'll be adding this dark Chilean drama about exiled priests to his watch-list anytime soon…
…or see all of the latest releases.
People, Places and Things, Wyndham's Theatre, Fri-Sat, Mon, £15-£45. Denise Gough is stunning in this powerful new play about addiction and reality from '1984' scribe Duncan MacMillan.
Made Visible, The Yard Theatre, Fri-Sat, £12.50-£15, £10-£12.50 concs. A somewhat tangled look at white privilege from theatre-maker Deborah Pearson.
Adam Riches is Coach Coach, Soho Theatre, all weekend, £10-£17.50. He shoots he scores! Masterful sports movie pastiche from ace character comic Riches.
…or see our theatre critics’ choices.
This week's best new art
Strange and Familiar: Britain as Revealed by International Photographers, Barbican Centre, all weekend, £5-£12. This is an exhibition for anyone who has ever queued for a bus, stared longingly into a cake shop window, blown bubbles just for the fun of it, picknicked in the car in the rain, been in love, worn a hat, walked down a high street…
Unseen City: Photos by Martin Parr, Guildhall Art Gallery, all weekend, £5, £4 concs. All the pomp and circumstance of the City of London is laid bare in this exhibition.
Jerwood/FVU Awards 2016: Borrowed Time, Jerwood Space, all weekend, free. Twenty thousand pounds is not a bad haul if you’re making an art film. That’s the amount the two winners of the 2016 Jerwood/FVU (Film and Video Umbrella) Awards each received to create moving-image works on the theme of ‘Borrowed Time’.
…or see all London art reviews.
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