The best music festivals in London 2019
Get your hotpants on – this one-day festival in Brixton will take you back to the disco era with a spin of the glitterball. It takes place over four Brixton venues: the Ritzy, the Black Cultural Archives, the Prince of Wales and Electric Brixton. Plus there’s an actual roller disco on Windrush Square, a headline set from Vauxhall club night legends Horse Meat Disco and disco queen Evelyn 'Champagne' King performing all her classics including 'Love Come Down' and 'Shame'.
Over the last six years We Are FSTVL has established itself as one of the seriously big guns among the new generation of dance festivals. Okay, it’s technically in Essex, not London, but it’s still a firm favourite with Londoners, seeing as you can get there on the tube. Big-name dance behemoths and equally big production values are key to the WAF experience. House and techno of all shapes and sizes are the main ingredients here, but you’ll also find, grime, garage and bassier flavours too. The 2019 line-up hasn't been announced yet, but it's highly unlikely to disappoint.
This May gathering has a big focus on street food and craft beer alongside the DJ-driven artists line-up – beats and eats, as it were. For 2019 it’s returning for the second consecutive year to Peckham Rye Park. The musical roster is still under wraps, but expect well-regarded big names from the worlds of house, disco and electronica.
Croydon's brand new urban music festival doesn't lack ambition: Lloyd Park will welcome 15,000 music lovers a day from Friday through Sunday, and Nas, Damian Marley and Wizkid have been booked as headliners. Loads more acts are confirmed, too, including reggaeton star J Balvin, hip hop icons De La Soul and local rising star Nadia Rose. Basically, everything's in place for The Ends to get off to a cracking start. Line-up includes: Nas, Damian Marley, Wizkid, J Balvin, De La Soul, Nao, Maleek Berry, Kojo Funds, Ghetts, Nadia Rose, Rachel Anson, Nipsey Hussle BOOK THE ENDS TICKETS HERE
Now in its third year, Mighty Hoopla is London’s biggest pure pop festival and a highlight of the LGBT+ summer calendar. Chaka Khan will headline this year’s event, which takes place in Brixton’s Brockwell Park for a second year running, but on a Saturday for the first time. The Queen of Funk presides over an impressive line-up that includes legendary girl bands All Saints and Bananarama, plus Liberty X, Samantha Mumba, Jamelia and cult Swedish pop artist Tove Lo. This year’s event will also welcome an array of mostly LGBT+ club nights and venues including Sink The Pink, Guilty Pleasures, Massaoke, The Cocoa Butter Club, Hungama, We Love Pop, The Chateau and The Grand. Basically, it’s safe to presume there will be glitter.
Returning for a second year after its successful 2018 launch, All Points East is an eclectic 10-day festival that takes over Victoria Park in late May and early June. The opening and closing three-day weekends are given over to music, with 2019 headliners including Christine and the Queens, The Chemical Brothers, Bon Iver and Bring Me the Horizon. In between there are four days of community-driven entertainment on the site, with comedy, film screenings, street food and much more. Those four days are free to enter, with some ticketed events inside. All in all then, a pretty epic event.
Over the last decade Field Day has slowly become one of London’s very best music festivals, with a consistently excellent booking policy covering the world’s finest alternative acts. This year marks another big change for the event; after last year’s move from east London’s Victoria Park to Brixton’s Brockwell Park, it's relocating again – this time to four huge warehouses in Enfield. The line-up is typically on-point, though, with Skepta and Jorja Smith headlining a bill that also includes Diplo, Earl Sweatshirt and Pusha T.
The event moved there in 2017 after a few years in rural Hertfordshire, but managed to retain its multiple stages and world-class DJ roster. This year’s line-up should be just as enticing, judging by the stage partner announcements so far. Line-up includes Jamie Jones, Patrick Topping, Claude Von Stroke, Eats Everything, Skream.
Calling all techno heads: in 2019, this bangin' festival is spreading out over two days for the first time. Junction 2 is a meeting of some pretty serious minds (London Warehouse Events and Adam Beyer’s Drumcode label) and takes place in Boston Manor Park in Zone 4, which has never been used for a festival before this one. Once again, the line-up is stacked with top DJ talent, and if you get technoed out at any point, there’s actually a bit of nature to explore amongst the towering industrial backdrop.
Friday line-up includes Ben UFO, Bicep, Call Super, Craig Richards, Daniel Avery, Daphni, Jeremy Underground, Job Jobse, Mr G [selectors DJ set], Motor City Drum Ensemble, Peach, rRoxymore, Shanti Celeste, Umfang
Saturday line-up includes Adam Beyer, Apollonia, Craig Richards, Dax J, Etapp Kyle, Ida Engberg, Imogen, Joseph Capriati, Maceo Plex, Nicolas Lutz, Richie Hawtin, San Proper, Sonja Moonear, tINI, Voigtmann
Consistently one of the finest festivals in London, catering for cool kids and party monsters alike, Lovebox generally packs as much fun into two days as many festivals manage in three. This year will be its second in west London's Gunnersbury Park, but the vibe hasn't changed since its many years out east. The 2019 line-up is especially stellar, with headliners Solange and Chance the Rapper topping a quality bill that includes south London hip hop king Loyle Carner, rising star Lizzo, Northampton rapper Slowthai, hip hop boyband Brockhampton, innovative beatmaker Kaytranada and superstar European DJ Solumun. In short: it's one not to be missed. Friday line-up includes Solange, Cypress Hill, Loyle Carner, Kaytranada, Slowthai, Solomun Saturday line-up includes Chance the Rapper, Brockhampton, Four Tet, H.E.R., Action Bronson, Cupcakke, Lizzo BOOK LOVEBOX TICKETS HERE
If we’re being honest, Sundays at a festival are usually a bit of a damp squib. After days of abuse, both your inflatable mattress and soul are dangerously deflated. Going to a festival on a Sunday all fresh and rested, on the other hand, sounds a lot more appealing, especially if it’s tailor-made for the day of rest – which is where Citadel comes in. Returning to Gunnersbury Park once again as the calmer post-Lovebox antidote, Citadel has more of a chilled vibe to it, but still boasts some top musical acts including Friendly Fires, Rag 'N' Bone Man and Dream Wife, plus all manner of other pursuits, including comedy, arts, talks, workshops and lots of top food and drink. Line-up includes Catfish and the Bottlemen, Rag 'N' Bone Man, Dream Wife, Bear's Den, Honeyblood BUY CITADEL TICKETS HERE
For the seventh year running Hyde Park plays host to some of the planet’s biggest musical stars, with an upmarket festival vibe that takes in small stages, theatre and comedy, food and drink and a posh VIP area. The first 2019 headliners to be announced are London's own alt-rock queen Florence and the Machine, and – taking a break from his Vegas residency – Robbie Williams. Oh, and a little artist called Celine Dion is headlining too... Line-up includes: Fri Jul 5: Celine Dion Sat Jul 13: Florence and the Machine, The National, Lykke Li, Khruangbin, Nadine Shah Sun Jul 14: Robbie Williams BUY TICKETS TO BRITISH SUMMER TIME HERE
The UK's biggest urban festival takes over Finsbury Park for three days every summer. Expect a busy, unpretentious atmosphere and superstar headliners from both sides of the Atlantic.
Last year, ever-inventive DJ Artwork took his Art’s House party – which began in his own home, a good few years ago – to the next level by making a whole darn one-day festival out of it. Returning in 2019 to the same, oasis-like venue between Bow and Stratford, Art's House smartly bucks the festival trend of simply heaving name DJs on to a bill. For this one-dayer, Artwork is joined by just one guest who, at the time of writing, has yet to be announced. Both will be playing all day on this fab little slice of (relative) London isolation, plus there's street food, good booze and various entertainments galore. If anyone knows how to throw a party, it’s Artwork.
Clubbing outfit Elrow are streamlining their summer festival this year into a one-day-only affair held in the more capacious confines of north London's Trent Park. (Last year's event was a weekender at the smaller Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park). Elrow may be changing locations, but expect the same day-glo, glitter-cannon, super-fun approach to outdoor raving in the capital, plus a line-up packed with more big names than Elton John's birthday party.
Clapham Common’s bank holiday dance music explosion returns for another weekend of big drops, club anthems and arms in the air. If you’re longing for superstar DJs but can’t afford Ibiza and are loath to spend the last days of summer in a dark room, head to SW4 for your fix of big-room house, EDM, electro, techno and trance, as well as other genres creeping in from all angles. The 2019 line-up is typically bangin', boasting The Prodigy, Martin Garrix, Tinie Tempah, Craig David, Mabel and more.
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