Leave the tents and wellies at home... every summer, the cream of the music world comes to our home town, meaning a huge load of world-class festivals only a tube ride away. Buy your tickets today and forget about going away, because after a long day of sun and debauchery there’s nothing better than a warm shower and your own bed.
RECOMMENDED: More incredible music festivals
The best music festivals in London 2018
It’s easy to label this brand spanking new ten-day programme (taking place in east London’s Victoria Park) a festival – but that’s to do it a disservice, as it’s a whole lot more. But let’s start with that side of things. A three-day festival (May 25-27) is a big part of the action, with three jaw-dropping names acting as headliners: Björk, LCD Soundsystem and The xx. Boom. Then there’s the All Points East Presents series (June 1-3) – three one-day concerts led by three different acts: Nick Cave And The Bad Seeds, The National and Catfish And The Bottlemen. 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. We’re sold. Line-up includes: Björk, LCD Soundsystem, The xx, Nick Cave And The Bad Seeds, The National and Catfish And The Bottlemen, Beck, Yeah Yeah Yeahs, Lorde, Flying Lotus, Sampha, Father John Misty, Glass Animals Richie Hawtin, Dixon George Fitzgerald.
Over the last five years We Are FSTVL has established itself as one of the seriously big guns among the new generation of dance festivals. It’s not technically in London (okay, it’s in Essex), but is 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. Showstopping headliners include Andy C, Carl Cox, DJ EZ and Eric Prydz, and underground sounds come from the likes of Ben Klock and Heidi, with many more to be announced. Line-up includes: Andy C, Jamie Jones, DJ EZ, Carl Cox, Eric Prydz, Gorgon City, Seth Troxler, Marco Carola, MK, Pendulum, Amelie Lens, Sub Focus, Sigma, Ben Klock, Heidi, Bicep, Denis Sulta, Danny Tenaglia.
The super-psychedelic Raw Power festival has become a regular fixture in the London calendar, returning to genteel Tufnell Park in 2018 for three more days of loud fun centered around tripped-out sounds of all kinds, from drone to noise to ambient to starry-eyed, fuzz-drenched jam sessions. Acts this time around include Godflesh, Circle, Snapped Ankles, Mirrored Lip, Housewives and Acid Cannibals.
This successful offshoot from Creamfields returns for the third year to London, this time heading north to Finsbury Park, which seems to almost single-handedly hosting London’s festivals this year. Once again, it’s all about the seriously big-name dance artists, with the headliners for the two-day event announced as trance act Above & Beyond on the Saturday, and globe-conquering DJ Tiësto on the Sunday. The trademark ‘Steel Yard’ superstructure will also be back, providing a kind of rave palace for the many beat-hungry revellers.
This May bank holiday 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 2018 it’s moving from Brockwell Park, but still staying very much in south London, relocating a short hop away in Peckham Rye Park. The musical roster is still under wraps, but considering that last year saw some very appealing house, disco, funk and other grooves thrown around by the likes of Paradise Garage, Horse Meat Disco, Honey Soundsystem and Late Night Tuff Guy, it’s safe to assume that 2018 will showcase some similarly on-point sounds. In terms of the food, there’ll be plenty to sink your teeth into as well as oodles of luscious craft beer.