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46 rad things happening in London this weekend

Sonya Barber

There's no need for Glastonbury envy with all the fun we've got lined up for you this weekend! Join the huge parade taking to the streets for Pride – then hit one of the many after-parties across town – take a peek inside the studios of artists and designers in Hackney or make your way through a ton of delicious gelato at a festival in Spitalfields. Here are all the best things to do in London this weekend. 

Things to do 

Open House, Camberwell College of Arts, Sat, free. Open House returns to Camberwell College of Arts for its eleventh year, offering up a great programme of family-friendly art and design activities. Workshops include the dark room experience, screen printing, face painting and more.

Festival of Stuff, UCL, Sat, free. This open day will fill Malet Place with demonstrations and workshops including basket weaving, copper bowl making and rocket making using Alka-Seltzer, water and a plastic tube.

Pride in London Parade, various London locations, Sat, free. The huge annual parade through central London to celebrate LGBTQ communities. 

Hackney Flea Market, Abney Hall, Sat-Sun, free. The monthly Stoke Newington fixture returns to Abney Hall. There’ll be over 25 traders, offering an eclectic selection of vintage clothes and furniture, handmade jewellery, comics, records and antiques. 

FIA Formula E Visa London ePrix, Battersea Park, Sat-Sun, from £20. Formula E is the world's first fully electric motorsport series and the final two rounds are taking place in London. The single-seater series sees ten top teams and 20 world-class drivers competing to decide the inaugural championship.

State of Independence Market, Hackney Downs Studios, Sat-Sun. This newly launched monthly boutique market celebrates London’s best designer-makers. Look out for a vintage clothes from Bohemian Rose Vintage, jazzy foot-warmers from FEAT Sock Co and cool geometric jewellery from Etheric Lotus.

Morden Hall Park Summer Garden Party, Morden Hall Park, Sat-Sun, £4. Kick off the summer season with a two day party within the rose garden at Morden Hall Park. Artisan food stalls will be setting up shop across the weekend, and a number of cooking demonstrations, children's activities and vintage games and rides will be taking place. 

Hackney WickED: DIY Open Studios, various Hackney venues, Sat-Sun, free. Work your way through a series of studios housing artists, designers and makers around Hackney Wick at this open weekend taking place during the London Festival of Architecture. 

Marylebone Summer Fayre, Marylebone, Sat-Sun, free. Marylebone closes itself off to traffic to throw a summery street party, featuring bars, live music, food, craft stalls, children's activities and plenty more community spirit-infused fun. 

London Dragon Boat Festival, London Regatta Centre, Sun, free. This event features 40 teams of people racing dragons down a river. Actually, they're not real dragons. But, once you're caught up in the thrill of the competition, the contest does have a certain magic.

Den-City, Forman's Fish Island, all weekend, free. Head to Hackney Wick to discover colourful dens, assemblages, and installations created by over 50 artists on a piece of land close to the Olympic site. The temporary utopian city which has been constructed using repurposed and recycled materials, reflects the resourceful and collaborative nature of the artists in the local community. 

Street Guitars, various London locations, all weekend, free. Anyone can play guitar, especially now that the City of London Festival are placing twelve of them around the Square Mile for passers-by to strum. The acoustic instruments will be housed under colourful, upturned rowing boats to keep them safe and dry, and will be complemented by books of boating songs and sea shanties.

Westway Beach, Acklam Village Market, all weekend, free. West London gains its very own version of seaside fun this June as the National Trust set up an urban beach at Acklam Village on the Westway flyover. 

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




Eating and drinking

Gefiltefest, JW3, Sun, £18 adv, £12.50 children. Britain's biggest Jewish food festival is now in its sixth year, and returns with a vast array of demonstrations, workshops and talks for visitors in 2015. The line-up includes Itamar Srulovich and Sarit Packer from Fitzrovia restaurant Honey & Co, Masterchef 2015 finalist Emma Spitzer and Gefiltefest's founding patron, Claudia Roden.

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. Gelatieri (ice cream pros) from all over Italy will be serving up their best and most exciting flavours, and your job is to eat as many as you can in order to vote for your favourite. 

Sky-High Tea, The Shard, all weekend, £85 for two people. 40 picnics will be available each day for guests to enjoy 800ft above the city on the 72nd level of the Shard which boasts an open-air deck. 

…or check out the latest restaurant reviews.





Luisa Omielan – Am I Right Ladies?, Udderbelly, Fri-Sat, £17.50, £16 concs, £22.50 sirloin seats. 'Am I Right Ladies?' is a feisty, confident stand-up show with heart, and is another massive hit. Come for the comedy, stay for the party.

Reginald D Hunter – The Man Who Attempted to do as Much as Such, Eventim Apollo Hammersmith, Fri-Sat, £24. Laidback Georgia-born stand-up Reginald Darnell Hunter is a controversial, challenging, intelligent and blissfully funny comic, and he's back on the road with 'The Man Who Attempted to do as Much as Such'. 

Simon Amstell – To Be Free, Regent's Park Open Air Theatre, Sun, £26.50. Since ditching the bitchy world of pop music-based telly shows, Simon Amstell has made a stand-up career out of angst. He’s the epitome of melancholy, delving into his personal pit of poignancy so that we may laugh at his pain.

Whose Line Is It Anyway?… Live, Adelphi Theatre, all weekend, £20-£47.50. Nearly 30 years on, ‘Whose Line…’ is back and fresher than ever. You couldn’t make it up. 

…or check out all the critics’ choice comedy shows.



Live music

BRITISH SUMMER TIME: The Who, Hyde Park, TONIGHT, £69. One of the last remaining giants of British rock, the two-piece Who headline BST with support from Paul Weller, Kaiser Chiefs and Johnny Marr. 

Boredoms, Barbican Hall, Sat, £15-£25. The mad and brilliant experimental rock band from Japan roll up for a big one-off show on the opening weekend of the Barbican’s ‘Station to Station’ series. Joining the four-piece are an ensemble of 88 cymbal players and the band’s eight-person Guitar Orchestra.

Public Enemy, Roundhouse, Sat, £30. Chuck D, Flavor Flav and co are back in the UK, for more revolutionary rhetoric and raucous, rabble-rousing rap as the first guest headliner in Mogwai’s twentieth anniversary shows at the Roundhouse. 

Wireless 10, Finsbury Park, Sun, £69.50. Having cancelled on two previous editions of Wireless festival, Drake has a lot of making up to do. The Canadian MC was already due to headline Wireless 2015, but now he’s also been announced for this special all-dayer the weekend before, topping the bill for Wireless’s big tenth birthday party.

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




Rinse presents Evian Christ, XOYO, TONIGHT, £13.50. Pioneering urban music radio station, label and party crew Rinse host another fine bash, this time helmed by enigmatic beat-maker and Kanye pal Evian Christ. 

Apparat, Oval Space, Sat, £20. As well as being a Berlin-based techno DJ, Sascha ‘Apparat’ Ring is the creator of some smouldering, epic soundscapes without a repetitive beat in earshot. Tonight he plays a special DJ set at Oval Space, featuring custom visuals.

Krankbrother Street Party, Christopher Street, Sat, £15-£25. A nine-hour party on a closed-off Shoreditch street, featuring top house and techno DJs, street food and cocktail bars.

Music Paper Scissors Pride Party, Star of Bethnal Green, Sat, £6, free before 10pm. Pining for pop after the Pride Parade? Head to the Star of Bethnal Green for this pop-tastic club night and dance to tunes by Robyn, Mariah, Janet Jacksno, Miley, Prince, Chaka Khan and many more.

R&She, Tipsy Bar, Sat, £5, free before 10pm. This occasional, always-roadblocked party is popular primarily with gay crowds, and salutes the many, many ladies of R&B with a fantastically female playlist (apart from occasional table-flipping R&He specials).

Terrace with Quiet Village, Oval Space, Sun, £12.50. Scrap that Sunday lie-in and head to Bethnal Green for midday, when this party kicks off on the lush terrace of Oval Space. It’s an intimate, outdoors affair led by DJ duo Quiet Village, who craft mellow, funky tunes. 

…or see all the parties planned this weekend.




‘Top Gun’ + power ballads night, Troxy, TONIGHT, £22. Boogie down to a selection of sax-heavy, belt-‘em-out power ballads and take the highway to the danger zone in the company of Tom Cruise’s ace fighter pilot Maverick. 

Wonder Reels: ‘Les Demoiselles de Rochefort’, The Cinema Museum, Sat, £10, £7 concs. Enjoy some fantastique French chanson and tres chaud dance moves courtesy of Salut Les Copines, followed by a screening of Jacques Demy’s musical masterpiece.

The Hazy Road to ‘Inherent Vice’, Prince Charles Cinema, Sat, £20, £17.50 concs. This is a great idea for an all-nighter: five movies that inspired and influenced one of this year’s finest cinematic headscratchers, PT Anderson’s wild, psychedelic LA detective story ‘Inherent Vice’.

Or at the cinema...

Slow West ★★★★☆ Like the title says, it ain't exactly action-packed, but this contemplative, whimsical western goes out with a Godalmighty bang.

Going Clear: Scientology and the Prison of Belief ★★★★☆ He’s faced off against Enron, Lance Armstrong and the Catholic Church, but now documentary master Alex Gibney is facing his toughest adversary yet: the combined power of the worldwide Church of Scientology. 

Minions ★★★★☆ From sidekicks to centre-stage superstars, the Minions have busted out of the ‘Despicable Me’ franchise and gone rogue in this berserk slice of semi-silent slapstick silliness. 

…or see all of the latest releases.




Bend It Like Beckham, Phoenix Theatre, Fri-Sat, £15-£49.50. Like the England mens’ team at their very best, ‘Bend It Like Beckham’ – the West End’s latest musical adaptation of a hit Britflick – is about fifty percent wondering where this is all going to fifty percent pure euphoria.

The Seagull, Regent's Park Open Air Theatre, Fri-Sat, £25-£48.50. A fresh, free-flying new adaptation of 'The Seagull' with great use of mirrors.

An Oak Tree, National Theatre, Fri-Sat, £15-£20. Grief and authorship go under the microscope in this modern experimental classic.

…or see our theatre critics’ choices.



This week's best new art

Serpentine Galleries Pavilion, Serpentine Gallery, Fri-Sat, free. The task of transforming the lawn outside the Serpentine Gallery with a multi-purpose temporary Pavilion falls to the Spanish architectural duo SelgasCano. 

Station to Station: A 30 Day Happening, Barbican Centre, Sat-Sun, free. For its only European stop, Doug Aitken’s culturally explosive extravaganza of spontaneous artistic creation will take over the Barbican Centre for one month. 

Thomas Hirschhorn: In-Between, South London Gallery, all weekend, free. The Swiss artist known for creating outlandish installations that combine everyday objects and detritus from cardboard and brown tape to shop mannequins will present a new work titled ‘In-Between’ for this major exhibition. 

Fig-2, ICA, all weekend, free. To mark the halfway point of Fig-2’s year-long presentation of spontaneous exhibitions, choreographer and dancer Cecilia Bengolea along with artists Celia Hempton and Prem Sahib have been invited to collaborate on a new commission.

…or see all London art reviews.

And finally

Win... a Zurich city break for two with Zurich Tourism

Grab... £10 tickets to Cocktails in the City including a Lanique cocktail and main stage demonstrations

Book... these gigs while you still can

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