The best music festivals in London 2019
The mighty Alexandra Palace has a lot of strings to its cultural bow, and last year it added another in the form of Kaleidoscope, a one-day music and arts festival. This festival is set to be back for 2019, but the organisers are keeping the line-up underwraps for the timebeing. If last year's is anything to go by – The Flaming Lips, Ghostpoet, Mystery Jets and John Cooper Clarke (amongst others) – it's sure to be a hit. Date TBC. Line-up TBC.
New festivals can sometimes be a hit or miss, but this all-day party from the team behind the legendary Krankbrother street parties is definitely going to be in the first camp. The line-up is a real who's who of the melting pot that is the London jazz, dance and soul scene, with highlights including Henry Wu, Neneh Cherry and Ezra Collective. Line-up includes Neneh Cherry, Ezra Collective, Moses Boyd Exodus, Henry Wu
Returning for a fifth year in Trent Park – a country house estate in Cockfosters – this one-day festival honours all the wonderful varieties of house music across multiple stages hosted by top sound systems and club nights. The organisers have also said that they’re improving the site, going bigger on the production values and bringing in more street food traders, too. Line-up includes Kerri Chandler, Kings of House (Louie Vega and David Morales), Dennis Ferrer, Dimitri From Paris, Soul Clap, Todd Terry, Todd Edwards.
The excellent electro festival returns to south London this year with new stages and its very own pool party – let’s hope the weather obliges. But either way, this year’s line-up should be just as enticing as in previous years, judging by the acts announced so far. Line-up includes MK, Orbital (DJ set), Big Narstie, Skream, Nadia Rose, Hannah Wants, Goldie, Roni Size.
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, with DJ Harvey returning to man the decks. 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.
Going to a festival doesn’t have to mean travelling to Zone 6 and being surrounded by glitter, wellies and overpriced street food for the day. The Southbank Centre has been throwing its own high-brow, multi-day music festival since 1993, and this year Nile Rodgers is taking the reigns. The line-up is yet to be announced, but the producer, guitarist and songwriting supremo has worked with some of the biggest names in the biz, so expect it to include some of the summer’s must-see shows. Line-up includes TBC.
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 curated by Jamie Jones that’ll be 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. Line-up includes Martin Garrix, Tinie Tempah, Craig David presents TS5, Mabel, Plan B.
To celebrate two decades at the top of its game, London imprint and supreme party planner Defected is throwing a five-stage one-day shindig to close the festival season in style. Line-up includes Todd Terry, Horse Meat Disco, Joey Negro, Todd Edwards, Honey Dijon.
The hefty dance party organised by south London drum and bass label Hospital Records returns to Finsbury Park for a fourth year. Surprisingly enough, D&B is set to be the main focus. Although the line-up is yet to be announced, expect a carefully chosen collection of old-school masters, big-hitting names and newer blood. One for the party-heads. Line-up includes TBC.
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