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Field Day festival in Summer in Victoria Park London
Photograph: Carolina Faruolo

The best music festivals in London 2021

Field Day, All Points East and all the other London festivals that have announced they’re back for 2021

By Time Out London editors
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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 are only a tube ride away. And while last year everything was cancelled because of You Know What, this year more and more events are starting to announce their return.

Boris Johnson’s announcement on February 22 revealed that, by the end of June, he hopes for large-scale events to be back on. Attending might involve getting tested for Covid on the door, but that’s a price we’ll be very happy to pay for a party in the sun. 

Buy your tickets today and forget about going to a weekender somewhere, because after a long day of sun and debauchery there’s nothing better than a warm shower and your own bed. (Especially when you’re as out of practice as we all are now.)

RECOMMENDED: The best UK music festivals of 2121.

The best music festivals in London 2021

Defected London

Music Music festivals

Jul 24-25

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.

The line-up includes: TBA

Gala Festival
Daddy's got Sweets

Gala

Music Music festivals

Jul 31-Aug 1

This Peckham weekender has a big focus on street food and craft beer alongside the DJ-driven line-up – beats and eats, as it were. This year the line-up includes big names from the worlds of house, disco and electronica, with Gilles Peterson and Horse Meat Disco delivering the grooves. 

Line-up includes Horse Meat Disco, Gilles Peterson, Jayda G, Shy One, Bradley Zero, DEBONAIR.

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South Facing Festival

Aug 5-29

The first ever festival held in Crystal Palace was a (probably extremely wavy) celebration of the works of Handel wayyyy back in 1857. It’s lain dormant for decades, but now it’s back for a summer concert series. While we can’t imagine the crowd will be as wild as at the Handel BNO back in the day, we do know the line-up is vast, varied and sure to entertain the park’s shonky dinos.

The line-up includes Dizzee Rascal, The Outlook Orchestra, Supergrass, The Streets, Max Richter and the English National Opera (ENO)

Queen’s Yard Summer Party

Aug 7

Want to knock back the energy of every night out you’ve missed this year in one potent shot? Queen’s Yard Summer Party is for you. It's a collab between some of London’s best promoters – Adonis, Body Hammer, Percolate and more – who are putting on parties in 16 venues across Hackney on August 7. Tickets aren’t on sale yet but you can RSVP.

The line-up includes TBC

 

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Photograph: All Points East
Photograph: All Points East

All Points East

Music Music festivals

Aug 27-30

It’s been four years since All Points East launched. The Victoria Park festival – the work of the team behind Coachella – usually takes place in May and is known for its hefty line-ups. Kraftwerk 3D, Massive Attack and Tame Impala were on the bill for its 2020 shows before they were sadly cancelled. Now it’s coming back. This year, APE will take place over the August bank holiday weekend. Just one day’s worth of line-up has been announced so far – Saturday August 28 – but it’s already looking like a strong contender for one of London’s best festivals of 2021.

Line-up includes 

Sat Aug 28 Jamie XX, Kano, Slowthai, Little Simz, Arlo Parks, Pa Salieu and Marie Davidson.

 

Davido at Afro Nation
Photograph: Davido at Afro Nation

Yam Carnival

News Music

Aug 28

The first-ever UK Yam Carnival will be coming to Clapham Common on Saturday August 28, and the line-up is looking mighty tasty. The new festival, described as a celebration of Black culture, was created by the team behind Afro Nation. One of the headline acts this year is Nigerian-American megastar singer Davido, whose song ‘Fem’ evolved into something of a protest anthem for the EndSars protest movement. 

Line-up includes Aside from Davido, there’s Kehlani, Femi Kuti (yes, that’s the eldest son of Fela), Princess Nokia and American DJ Honey Dijon.

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Photographer: www.lukedyson.com
Luke Dyson

Junction 2

Music Music festivals

Aug 28-29

Calling all techno heads: in 2021, this bangin’ festival is spreading out over two days again following 2019’s successful expansion. Junction 2 is a meeting of some pretty serious minds (London Warehouse Events and Adam Beyer’s Drumcode label) and is this year taking place at Tobacco Dock. Expect some top DJ talent. 

Line-up includes TBC 

 

Field Day

Music Music festivals

Aug 29

Only the strongest survive in the London festival game, and they don’t come much stronger than Field Day. This year’s event is running as part of All Points East. It’s a danceathon featuring bangin’ sets from Bicep, Ross From Friends, Blessed Madonna and loads more. It’s a far cry from the floppy-haired indie – Foals, Mystery Jets, Battles – that dominated the first festival back in 2007.

Line-up includes Bicep, Floating Points, Artwork, Ross From Friends, Overmono, Floorplan, Jungle, Josey Rebelle.    

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Wide Awake Festival

Music

Sep 3

This brand-new one-dayer coming to south London’s Brockwell Park says it specialises in ‘leftfield indie, post-punk, electronica, techno and jazz’. 

Line-up includes Black Midi, Daniel Avery, Erol Alkan, The Mauskovic Dance Band, Dream Wife and more.  

Mightly Hoopla
Luke Dyson

Mighty Hoopla

Music Pop

Sep 4

Mighty Hoopla is London’s biggest pure pop festival and a highlight of the LGBTQ+ summer calendar. Taking place in Brixton’s Brockwell Park for a third year, it welcomes an array of mostly LGBTQ+ club nights and venues including Sink the Pink and The Cocoa Butter Club, so it’s safe to assume there will be glitter. 

Line-up includes Cheryl, Eve, En Vogue, Atomic Kitten, Gabrielle, Whigfield and more.

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Cross The Tracks

Music Music festivals

Sep 5

Returning for a second year, this one-dayer in Brockwell Park offers a tasty combination of funk, soul and jazz sounds, plus ace street food and craft breweries. 

Line-up includes 2021’s line-up will contain all of the artists from 2020 who are available for the September date. Full details are due to be released soon.

Photograph: DJ Storm
Photograph: DJ Storm

Hospitality Weekend in the Woods

Sep 18-19

To mark Hospital Records’ twenty-fifth anniversary, the label’s putting on a massive two-day festival in Beckenham Place Park. Expect massive drum and bass sets, and big, big parties.

The line-up includes Netsky, Camo & Krooked, Noisia, Calibre & DRS, DJ Storm, Hype and Sherelle.

 

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Photograph: Shutterstock
Photograph: Shutterstock

Waterworks

News Nightlife

Sep 25

Due to arrive in Gunnersbury Park on Saturday September 25, Waterworks actively has no headliners, it’s just a pick ’n’ mix of some of the best DJs and artists in the game right now – both locally and internationally. Organisers say they picked Gunnersbury Park because they loved the idea of putting on ‘the sensory experience that proper dance music deserves; unparallelled in London’ in the middle of pretty woodland. 

The line-up includes London nights like Adonis and Body Hammer as well as beloved artists like Craig Richards, Ben UFO, Midland, Moxie, Josey Rebelle, Saoirse, Novelist and loads more.

The best festivals in the UK

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