The People’s Palace of north London will be booming this July as the Alexandra Palace Summer Festival returns to its lush Victorian grounds with a family rave by Big Fish Little Fish, live music and theatre stages, and – wait for it – A GIANT INFLATABLE WATERSLIDE. One of London’s largest free festivals, this is a music fest, performance fringe and outdoor cinema rolled into one unforgettable summer’s day.
Don’t worry about packing sandwiches because some of the best street food vendors in the capital will be in the courtyard: fresh Vietnamese dishes from Hanoi Kitchen, rich confit burgers from The Frenchie and spicy buns from Le Bao, which you can wash down with a coconut cocktail from the Tiki Bar.
This year’s fest will echo the venue’s trippy countercultural history with a Summer of Love theme (think flower hair garlands and CND peace symbols). Did you know Ally Pally has played host to key moments in British music? It’s true: in 1967, Pink Floyd played to a spaced-out audience there at the break of dawn for legendary hippy fest ‘The 14 Hour Technicolor Dream’. The Floyd might not be on the line-up for 2017, but the Summer Festival has all the ingredients you need for a tasty ’60s revival weekend.
Entry is free, but some of the activities are ticketed. Here are the big five you won’t want to miss:
Make sure you wear snug swimming togs for a white-knuckle ride down this 100-metre, blow-up waterslide. It’s £8.80 a go, but you’ll need to act fast: the kidults of London are already queuing up for their turn.
See how many of Mike Myers’s innuendos you missed the first time round at this open-air screening of a cringey ’90s classic. The film will start around 9.15pm, which means you should just catch the sun setting over the palace. Groovy.
Lose yourself in music and nature at the secret forest at this silent disco. There are eight sessions to choose from, so you can wander through the woodland to ’70s disco, Club de Fromage hits or ’60s Summer of Love sounds.
Step inside the shambolic ‘Hotel Bordello’ for a chaotic comedy-drama told through the incredible acrobatics of the Jackson’s Lane circus performers.
Depending on the year you arrived in this world, you'll either know cheeky chappie Craig Charles as presenter of 'Robot Wars' or as Dave 'the bum' Lister from 'Red Dwarf'. But he's also one of the top funk and soul DJs around. Craig will be headlining the festival from the 'Stage on the Slope', and this time you can see him spin for free.
Summer Festival 2017 will take place at Alexandra Palace on Saturday July 22. Entry is free, some events are ticketed. Check the website for details.