So you didn't get tickets to Glastonbury. Either because you tried for hours – frantically refreshing your browser or hitting redial on your mobile – and failed miserably, or maybe because you just don't care about mud/cider/Kanye West, and didn't even bother trying. Whatever the reason, you're going to be in London this weekend rather than a series of vast fields near Somerset. But who needs Glasto and its numerous stages? There's tons of great music and fun stuff happening right here in London for you to get stuck into. Here are ten of the best Glastonbury alternatives happening this weekend.
1) Club De Fromage at O2 Academy Islington
Sure, festivals are great for jumping around without a care in the world and boozy mass singsongs, but then so is this brilliant pop party. You'll hear everything from Jacko to Madonna to Blur to Britney, and as a one-off hat-tip to Glasto, the crew will even let you in for half price if you're wearing wellies – make sure you're in by midnight, though.
2) Behind This Wall: Alt-Glastonbury at Oval Space
Multi-purpose bar, arts space and creative hub Behind This Wall – located on the rather lovely terrace of Bethnal Green club Oval Space – is hosting an ace Glastonbury alternative, featuring a five-piece covers band who will, say organisers, 'maybe ... be playing every Kanye West record ever made, back-to-back'. Surely even the vague possibility of that feat is worth investigating. There'll also be the BTW medicinal mixology bar – which boldly claims to offer hangover-free boozing – plus a barbecue from local supper club Parish London.
3) British Summer Time at Hyde Park
Hey, Worthy Farm in Pilton, you're not the only one that can host bloody huge festivals. Okay, Hyde Park is but a drop in the muddy ocean compared to Glasto's squillions of acres, but then that's just less ground to trudge through. Annual mega-series BST also boasts a cast of headliners to rival any festival: the final weekend of the 2015 series features on The Who on Friday, Taylor Swift on Saturday and a family day on Sunday.
4) Wireless 10 at Finsbury Park
Did we mention that London can do massive festivals as well? We did? Well just to remind you once again is this one-day warm up for Wireless festival next weekend. This special Sunday event is headlined by Canadian rap don Drake – who also tops the main Wireless bill on Friday July 3 – perhaps as a way to say 'sorry, people' for his two previous Wireless no-shows. Also on this big bill are Rita Ora, Chance The Rapper, Katy B, Public Enemy, De La Soul, Ghostface Killah and many more. Hell, it almost sounds like a festival, just without the near-constant fear of tripping over guy ropes in the dark (and also in the daytime if you're drunk, which you probably would be).
5) Krankbrother Street Party at Christopher Street, Shoreditch (EC2A)
Enjoy the great outdoors this weekend without the risk of trench foot if it rains: head to Shoreditch, where top London promoters Krankbrother will be closing off an entire street and filling it with amazing DJs (including Funkineven, Kyle Hall and Jus Ed), traders selling delicious street food treats and bars serving up summery cocktails.
6) Pride in London Parade at various locations
Glastonbury isn't the only event that can drum up a huge crowd this weekend. Tens of thousands of people will be taking place in the annual Pride Parade on Saturday to celebrate LGBT communities across the world. The procession starts at 1pm on Baker Street and makes its way to Trafalgar Square for approximately 4.30pm. There are various stages along the way (including a Cabaret Stage and Women's Stage), and after the parade itself you can find plenty of music, club nights and heaving dancefloors across the city with our guide to London's best Pride parties.
7) Fleetwood Mac at The O2
Yeah, that's right, Glasto – you may have Kanye but you didn't get The Mac, did you? They'll be right here in London, playing not just one but TWO huge shows this weekend (Friday and Saturday). It's the full 'Rumours'-era Fleetwood Mac reunited as well, so expect some truly classic songs to be belted out by these undisputed flippin' legends. And if that gets you in the mood for Mac, read our interview between Fleetwood Mac-saluting party people Fleetmac Wood and Fleetwood Mac's Mick Fleetwood. It's less confusing than it sounds.
8) Pillow Cinema at SNAP Studios
You could always just watch Glastonbury on TV, of course. Or you could get in some quality screen-time and watch something far more entertaining, like one of the great films on offer at Pillow Cinema. It takes place on a rooftop in Shoreditch, where you can cosy up on a bean bag and take in 'The Theory Of Everything' on Friday, Fight Club on Saturday and Frances Ha on Sunday.
9) Hot Breath Karaoke at The Lauriston, E9 7JN
Professional bands and musicians – they're not all that. In fact, you can probably sing way better than most of the so-called acts at Glasto, right? Of course you can. So prove it at this supremely kooky karaoke night. It's been running for over ten years and the delightfully eccentric host, Mike Gabel, is known for giving out all kinds of amazing and… unique prizes. Over the years, those prizes have included Toblerones melted into the shape of Caribbean islands, vibrators, a basketball hoop and luxury Spanish ham. Better get warming up those pipes – that ham ain't going to win itself.
10) GZA at Roundhouse
Yeah, Kanye can be great and all, but there's plenty of sublime rap not taking place in a huge muddy field this weekend. One of Wu-Tang Clan's pivotal members GZA (also known as The Genius) will be taking to the stage in north London to unleash his top-notch hip hop in inimitable style. It's a special ATP show to celebrate 20 years of Scottish post-rock band Mogwai, also featuring Chicago alt rockers Tortoise and reunited south London noise outfit Loop.
If you're a Kanye fan and didn't manage to grab Glastonbury tickets, why not console yourself by reading our list of the 20 best Kanye West songs, featuring contributions from Tinie Tempah, Clara Amfo, Hudson Mohawke, Lion Babe, Daniel Sturridge and many more Yeezy super-fans.Share the story