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The best music festivals in London 2020

The cream of 2020's music festivals are based right here in London

Music Festivals, citadel
Citadel Festival
By Oliver Keens and Nick Levine |
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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 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: The best festivals in the UK

 

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The best music festivals in London 2020

Music, Music festivals

Brixton Disco Festival

Black Cultural Archives, Brixton

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 a brand new stage this year in Brixton Village Market, sets from Joey Negro and John Morales, a live PA from Jocelyn Brown and a screening of ‘Larry’s Garage’, a film about NYC clubbing pioneer Larry Levan. Glittering all-round, tbh. Line-up includes Joey Negro, Jocelyn Brown, John Morales, Crazy P, Mighty Mouse, The Reflex, Brixton Chamber Orchestra.

We Are FSTVL
© Paul Underhill
Music, Music festivals

We Are FSTVL

Over the last few years We Are FSTVL has established itself as one of the seriously big guns among the new generation of dance festivals. Though it takes place so far East it’s practically in Essex, 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 find grime, garage and bassier flavours too.

Line-up includes MK, Claptone, Sub Focus, Armand Van Helden, Camelphat, Carl Cox, Andy C, Sony Fodera, Todd Terry, wAFF, Fisher, Gorgon City, Jamie Jones, Joseph Capriati, Loco Dice, The Black Madonna, Simon Dunmore, GW Harrison, Mambo Brothers, The Martinez Brothers.

 

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Music, Music festivals

All Points East

Victoria Park, Victoria Park

Returning for a third year after its successful 2018 launch, All Points East is an eclectic 10-day festival that takes over Victoria Park in late May. The opening and closing three-day weekends are given over to music, with 2020 headliners including Kraftwerk 3D, Massive Attack and Tame Impala. 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. 

Line-up includes: 

Sat May 23: Caribou, Glass Animals, Whitney, Rolling Blackouts Coastal Fever, Kelly Lee Owens, Holy F.

Sun May 24: Massive Attack, Neneh Cherry, Mad Professor, Nils Frahm, Young Fathers, Skinny Pelembe, Hotel Lux.

Fri May 29: Iggy Pop, Johnny Marr, The Orb, Chromatics, Anna Calvi, Kim Gordon, Grandmaster Flash, Jehnny Beth, John Maus.

Music

Wide Awake Festival

Brockwell Park, Herne Hill

This brand new one-dayer coming to south London’s Brockwell Park says it specialises in ‘leftfield indie, post-punk, electronica, techno and jazz’. The line-up definitely backs this up, with Black Midi, Metronomy, Shame, Daniel Avery and Surfbort all on the bill for June’s inaugural bash.

Line-up includes Black Midi, Metronomy, The Comet Is Coming, Daniel Avery, Girl Band, Squid, Shame, Goat Girl, Lena Willikens, Los Bitchos, Charlotte Adigery, The Mauskovic Dance Band, Minimal Violence, Proteus, Sheer Mag, Snapped Ankles and Surfbort. 

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Photographer: www.lukedyson.com
Luke Dyson
Music, Music festivals

Junction 2

Boston Manor Park, Brentford

Calling all techno heads: in 2020, this bangin' festival is spreading out over two days again following last year's successful expansion. 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 including some juicy new additions, 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 Jon Hopkins (live), Four Tet, Honey Dijon, Rival Consoles (live), Romy XX, DJ Koze, Hessle Audio, Joy Orbison, Fatima Yamaha, Nina Kraviz, Roza Terenzi, Saoirse, Zenker Brother, Skee Mask, Tasha, Tasker, Avalon Emerson

Saturday line-up includes Adam Beyer, Amelie Lens, Ben Klock B2B Marcel Dettmann, Dax J, Maceo Plex, Dixon, Anna, Kobosil, Anastasia Kristensen, Dr Rubinstein, Francesco Del Garda, Roi Perez, Margaret Dygas, Avalon Emerson

Mightly Hoopla
Luke Dyson
Music, Pop

Mighty Hoopla

Brockwell Park, Tulse Hill

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 running, this year’s line-up includes the pop star now known simply as Cheryl, hip hop queen Eve, bop purveyors Anastacia, Gabrielle and Natasha Bedingfield, Bronski Beat icon Jimmy Somerville, turn-of-the-millennium girl-band Atomic Kitten and a rare performance from Betty Boo. As ever, Mighty Hoopla will also welcome an array of mostly LGBTQ+ club nights and venues including Sink The Pink and The Cocoa Butter Club, so it’s safe to presume there will be glitter. 

Line-up includes Cheryl, Eve, Anastacia, Gabrielle, Natasha Bedingfield, Alphabeat, Jimmy Somerville, Big Freedia, Atomic Kitten, Betty Boo, Sonique, Becky Hill.

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Music, Music festivals

Field Day

The Drumsheds, Edmonton

Only the strongest survive in the London festival game, and they don’t come much stronger than Field Day, the former east London staple which is returning for its thirteenth year. A lot has changed in that time. In fact, almost everything has changed. It’s no longer in a field, for a start: the current venue is The Drumsheds, a vast warehouse complex on Tottenham Marshes. It’s not exactly a daytime event, either. With a uniquly late running time of 3am, the space should be perfect for this year’s Field Day danceathon featuring bangin' sets from Bicep, Ross From Friends, Floating Points 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, Maribou State, Josey Rebelle.    

Music, Music festivals

Cross The Tracks

Brockwell Park, Herne Hill

Returning for a second year after last year’s successful debut, this one-dayer in Brockwell Park offers a tasty combination of funk, soul and jazz sounds, plus ace street food and craft breweries. The line-up is a deft blend of legends and rising stars that includes headliners Khruangbin and The Cinematic Orchestra, plus Sister Sledge, Tinariwen, Norman Jay and Shabaka and the Ancestors. Bring it on, quite frankly.

Line-up includes Khruangbin, The Cinematic Orchestra Sister Sledge, Tinariwen, Norman Jay, Soul II Soul's Jazzie B, Jamz Supernova, Gilles Peterson, Nu Guinea, Ashley Henry, Shabaka and the Ancestors, Jaz Karis, Shy One, Hypnotic Brass Ensemble.

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Music, Music festivals

Lovebox

Gunnersbury Park, Acton

Consistently one of the finest festivals in London, catering for cool kids and party monsters alike, Lovebox has expanded again to become a three-day event in 2020. 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 line-up is especially stellar, with headliners Khalid, Tyler The Creator and Disclosure that includes neo-soul queen Jorja Smith, hometown hip hop heroine Little Simz, pop auteurs FKA Twigs and Charli XCX and superstar DJ Peggy Gou. In short: it's one not to be missed. Friday line-up includes Khalid, Jorja Smith, Hot Chip, Mabel, Little Simz Saturday line-up includes Disclosure, Anderson.Paak + The Free Nationals, Peggy Gou Sunday line-up includes Tyler The Creator, FKA Twigs, Charli XCX

British Summer Time
© Liam Daly
Music, Music festivals

BST Hyde Park

Hyde Park, Hyde Park

For the eighth year running Hyde Park plays host to some of the planet’s biggest music stars, with an upmarket festival vibe that takes in small stages, theatre and comedy, food and drink and a posh VIP area. The 2020 headliners are shaping up nicely with revered hip-hop star Kendrick Lamar, powerhouse girl-group Little Mix and grunge legends Pearl Jam both confirmed. Oh, a little-known country-pop songwriter called Taylor Swift is returning following a previous BST Hyde Park appearance in 2015.

Line-up includes: 

Sat Jul 4: Little Mix, Rita Ora, Kesha, Zara Larsson

Sun Jul 5: Kendrick Lamar, James Blake, Britanny Howard

Fri Jul 10: Pearl Jam, Pixies, White Reaper

Sat Jul 11: Taylor Swift

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Gala Festival
Daddy's got Sweets
Music, Music festivals

Gala

Peckham Rye Park, Peckham

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. For its fifth anniversary year, the line-up includes big names from the worlds of house, disco and electronica, with Gilles Peterson, Horse Meat Disco and Nightmares on Wax all delivering the grooves. 

Line-up includes Motor City Drum Ensemble, Gilles Peterson, François K, Move D, DJ Tennis, Nightmares on Wax, Horse Meat Disco, Little Gay Brother, Jayda G.  

Music, Music festivals

Naked City Festival

Beckenham Place Park, Beckenham

After last year’s successful launch, this one-day fest from the team behind the legendary Krankbrother street parties is returning for a second rager. Awesome Tapes From Africa, Calibre and Dengue Dengue Dengue lead a well curated ‘jazz, funk, soul, afro, dub and disco fuelled’ line-up.

Line-up includes Awesome Tapes From Africa, Calibre, Dengue Dengue Dengue, Hailu Mergia, Hollie Cook, Hunee, Joe Armon Jones, KOKOKO!, Krankbrother.

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Music

Milestones Festival

Alexandra Palace, Alexandra Palace

This brand new one-day fest in the grounds of Ally Pally is presented by Ronnie Scott’s, so it’s no surprise that the line-up leans heavily into jazz and adjacent genres. The great Kamasi Washington is headlining in what will be his only UK performance of 2020, and the rock-solid support bill includes Marcus Miller, Seed Ensemble, Incognito, Courtney Pine & Omar, Women in Jazz and Jazzie B. Groovy – quite literally.  Line-up includes Kamasi Washington, Marcus Miller, Seed Ensemble, Incognito, Courtney Pine & Omar, Women in Jazz, Reuben James, Mark Kavuma and Jazzie B.

Music, Dance and electronic

South West Four

Clapham Common, Clapham

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, trance and grime, as well as other genres creeping in from all angles. The 2020 line-up is typically bangin', boasting Major Lazer, The Streets, Kano and – for the first time – a couple of ‘afternoon headliners’ in the form of Kelis and Stefflon Don.

Line-up includes:

Fri Aug 28: Armin Van Buuren, Andrew Rayel, Ben Gold, Ferry Corsten, Bryan Kearney.

Sat Aug 29: Major Lazer, Dizzee Rascal, Kano, Kelis, Alesso, Rudimental’s Major Toms, DJ Ez, Ghetts, Jonas Blue, Goldfish Live.

Sun Aug 30: The Streets, Krept x Konan, Raye, TS5, Stefflon Don, Andy C, Example, Ms Banks, Steel Bangles, Sub Focus, Wilkinson. 

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