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August events in London

Prepare yourself for a spectacular month with our selection of the best events, exhibitions and things to do in London during August 2019

Simon Hadleigh-Sparks/ Flickr
By Time Out London Things To Do and Alexandra Sims |
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August in London is teeming with fantastic events, cultural happenings and things to do. Take advantage of the sunny weather (fingers crossed) by heading out into London’s great outdoors, eating alfresco at one of London's best rooftop restaurants and sinking a cocktail or two at one of these bars with a view. Don’t forget to hit up Europe’s biggest street party Notting Hill Carnival or bag a seat at the BBC Proms at the Royal Albert Hall. August in London is also the month of the summer bank holiday, Meltdown Festival - curated by Nile Rodgers this year - South West Four Festival, Cocktails in the City, London Craft Beer Festival51st State Festival and Buckingham Palace’s Summer Opening. Here’s your guide to the best pop-ups, parties, events and things to do in August in London 2019. 

RECOMMENDED: The definitive London events calendar

Our August 2019 highlights

1
Notting Hill Carnival
Notting Hill Carnival © mubus/Shutterstock
Music

Notting Hill Carnival guide

Given that an estimated two million people attended last year, Notting Hill Carnival totally deserves its reputation as Europe’s biggest street festival. The annual event is a vivid and thrilling spectacle that celebrates and showcases London’s rich, varied and magnificent multicultural past and present. 

2
time out movie boat
Film

Outdoor cinema in London

On a balmy London evening, nothing beats watching a movie under the stars. Whether you want to shriek-along to ‘The Shining’ in a graveyard or catch a romcom in a gorgeous Royal Park or palace, add these events to your fair-weather bucket list. 

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KIDS Adventure Play Hackney
Things to do

Summer holidays in London

Six weeks is a long time to keep anyone entertained, let alone your toughest critics. Don't panic though, we've got this year's school summer holidays totally sorted. 

4
RAH_Proms_view.jpg
Music, Classical and opera

The BBC Proms

Move over, Glastonbury: the world’s biggest music festival is coming to town. The BBC Proms 2018 takes place at the Royal Albert Hall, which has hosted the series of classical concerts since 1941 and every year you can expect to see the world’s greatest orchestras and classical performers come to London. Get it in your diary. 

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5
Chihuly Nights Kew Gardens
Photograph: Summer Sun by Dale Chihuly
Things to do, Late openings

Chihuly Nights

icon-location-pin Kew Gardens, Kew
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The stunning glass sculptures of Dale Chihuly (the man behind the giant chandelier in the V&A’s entrance hall) have been exploding out of Kew Gardens’ glorious foliage since April. Now see them sparkle as they’re lit-up after dark at these special lates.

6
Fruit picking
Photograph: Parkside Farm
Things to do

Pick your own fruit and veg

Spend a day out on a pick-your-own farm in (or near) London this back holiday weekend. Whether you want to pluck summer-ripe berries, leafy greens and root veg or gather autumnal apples, pumpkins and squashes, these farms all have acres of PYO fields to keep you busy. Strawberries are getting harder to find, but there’s still plenty of apples and blackberries to fill your punnet. Remember, always call your chosen farm ahead of your visit to check what’s ripe for picking.  

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7
Bevis Marks Synangogue
Andy Parsons
Things to do, Walks and tours

The Spitalfields Journey

icon-location-pin Dennis Severs’ House, Spitalfields
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An evening tour of east London’s Bevis Marks Synagogue and Dennis Severs’ house. Go snoop around a Huguenot home by candlelight. 

8
The Moon taken by Royal Observatory Greenwich's AMAT telescope © National Maritime Museum, London
Art

‘The Moon’

icon-location-pin National Maritime Museum, Greenwich
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Room after gorgeous room looking at the big ball of cheese in the sky. Space is endlessly fascinating, and this makes the moon feel tantalisingly close. 

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9
Mr Gum and the Dancing Bear – The Musical!, 2019
© The Other Richard
Theatre, Children's

‘Mr Gum and the Dancing Bear – The Musical!’

icon-location-pin National Theatre, South Bank
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A new kids' musical based on a bestselling book series. It's wonderfully, adorably messed up in a warped world. Expect singalongs that summon the hard-knocks world of ‘Oliver!’ or ‘Les Misérables’.

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11
<meta charset="utf-8" /><p><span>Demmy Ladipo</span></p>
Theatre, Drama

‘Barber Shop Chronicles’

icon-location-pin Roundhouse, Chalk Farm
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Chop, chop. Head to Inua Ellam’s celebration of African barbershops back for one last run. Don’t miss the banging pre-show.

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12
Lil Marvel. Image courtesy of Hayward Gallery
Art

‘Kiss My Genders’

icon-location-pin Hayward Gallery, South Bank
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Learn about fifty-years worth of radical art focusing on gender identity. This is what happens when art can knock bigotry down a few pegs. It's fun, salacious and it might just be making the world a bit of a better place. 

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13
David Shrigley 'Hello There' (2012) Video still. Image courtesy of Stephen Friedman Gallery © The artist
Art

‘Dog Show’

icon-location-pin Southwark Park Galleries, Bermondsey
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Contem-paw-ary art chosen by cultured canines. Hounds down, this show is the shih-tzu and it’ll make you want to raise a glass to the world’s best bitches.

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Serpentine Pavilion 2019, Design Render, Interior View, © Junya Ishigami + Associates
Art

Serpentine Pavilion 2019

icon-location-pin Serpentine Gallery, Hyde Park
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This year’s Serpentine Pavilion, designed by Junya Ishigami, is a cool, calming haven bang in the middle of Hyde Park. Made from 61 tonnes of slate and 106 steel columns, Ishigami’s creation is a massive sweeping roof and definitely worth a look.

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15
Helene Schjerfbeck 'The Sailor (Einar Reuter)' (1918) Private collection. Photo: Finnish National Gallery / Hannu Aaltonen
Art

Helene Schjerfbeck

icon-location-pin Royal Academy of Arts, Mayfair
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A crash course intro to one of Finland’s most famous painters. The gloriously ghoulish late self-portraits prove that the best can come last.

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16
copyright the artist, courtesy the artist and massimo de carlo
Art, Contemporary art

Jamian Juliano-Villani

icon-location-pin Massimo De Carlo, Mayfair
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Ludicrous, stupid, over-the-top paintings of weird stuff. Oh, and a dildo machine. It's as good as it is dumb, and it's seriously dumb. 

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18
© Cindy Sherman. Image courtesy of National Portrait Gallery.
Art

Cindy Sherman

icon-location-pin National Portrait Gallery, Charing Cross Road
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Self-portraits through the ages by a serious contemporary giant. This is angry, cynical art, and it's pretty damn great. 

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19
Wong Ping, stills from ‘Dear, can I give you a hand?’ (2018) Image courtesy of the artist.
Art

Wong Ping: ‘Heart Digger’

icon-location-pin Camden Arts Centre, Finchley Road
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Violent, crude, but brilliantly written animated videos. It's a nasty, nasty show, but that's why it's so good. 

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20
Lee Krasner 'Icarus' (1964) Thomson Family Collection, New York City. © The Pollock-Krasner Foundation. Image courtesy of Kasmin Gallery, New York. Photo: Diego Flores
Art

Lee Krasner: ‘Living Colour’

icon-location-pin Barbican Centre, Barbican
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The wild artist brings colour to her dazzling life. They're works of pain and heartbreak: awful, heart-wrenching and brilliant paintings. See Lee Krasner in full flight.

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21
Evita, Regent's Park Theatre, 2019
© Marc Brenner
Theatre, Outdoor theatres

‘Evita’

icon-location-pin Regent's Park Open Air Theatre, Regent’s Park
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This is ‘Evita’ 2.0, a swaggering reboot of the Andrew Lloyd Webber classic. It’s got a confetti cannon that brings plenty of fun and it’s not afraid to use it. 

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22
Karen Knorr Olivier Richon, Punks, 1977. © Karen Knorr Olivier Richon. Courtesy of the Artist.
Art

‘New Order: Art, Product, Image 1976 – 1995’

icon-location-pin Sprüth Magers, Mayfair
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British art for British times: it’s all about culture in the era of New Order. You’ve seen most of it before, but hits are still hits and with good reason. 

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23
© Frank Bowling
Art

Frank Bowling

icon-location-pin Tate Britain, Millbank
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Get an eyeful of Frank Bowling's unique style fusing abstraction with elements of figurative art at this much-deserved major exhibition. Don't miss the opportunity to see these gorgeously-coloured artworks in all their glory. 

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London
© Dan Wooller
Theatre, Musicals

‘On Your Feet!’

icon-location-pin London Coliseum, Covent Garden
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Catch this biographical jukebox musical tracing the life and times of Gloria and Emilio Estefan. Having already enjoyed a two-year-stint on Broadway, this is a night of uplifting Latino-pop and kinetic choreography.

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25
Faith Ringgold, ‘The Flag is Bleeding #2 (American Collection #6)’, 1997 Courtesy Pippy Houldsworth Gallery, London © 2018 Faith Ringgold / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York
Art

Faith Ringgold

icon-location-pin Serpentine Gallery, Hyde Park
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Pioneering artist-activist Ringgold combines storytelling and painting to stitch together narratives about black American history and the fight for equal rights. This is art for changing society, and it’s a pretty worthwhile cause.

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26
© The State Tretyakov Gallery
Art

Natalia Goncharova

icon-location-pin Tate Modern, Bankside
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In her lifetime, Russian artist Natalia Goncharova helped found avant garde modern art movements, worked with Sergei Diaghilev at the Ballet Russes and much, much more. This exhibition is overdue and should help to resurrect her reputation as a major artist you should know about.

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27
Olafur Eliasson 'Your uncertain shadow' (2010) © Olafur Eliasson
Art

Olafur Eliasson: ‘In Real Life’

icon-location-pin Tate Modern, Bankside
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Awe-inspiring installations based on nature, light and the elements. It’ll scare you, elate you and make you recycle. It’s epic environmentalism at its finest and it is sublime.

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28
Jeff Wall 'Parent Child' (2018) © Jeff Wall
Art

Jeff Wall

icon-location-pin White Cube Mason's Yard, St James’s
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Perfectly staged photographs with all the complexity of a movie. There are countless stories to get lost in here.

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29
Michael Rakowitz 'The invisible enemy should not exist (NW Palace of Nimrud)' (2018) Image courtesy of the artist. Photo by Robert Chase Heishman
Art

Michael Rakowitz

icon-location-pin Whitechapel Gallery, Whitechapel
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See complex, politically minded art by Iraqi-American artist Michael Rakowitz. This show is full of complicated ideas, histories and perspectives. 

Time Out says
30
Magic Mike Live
© Jerry Metellus Photography Inc.
Theatre, Comedy

‘Magic Mike Live’

icon-location-pin Hippodrome Live, Charing Cross Road
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Don't miss this spin-off from the beloved stripper comedy that made Tatum a household name, which is co-directed by the man himself (alongside choreographer Alison Faulk). It's billed as ‘a 360-degree dance and acrobatic spectacular’, which we're guessing means ‘stripping’. 

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31
© Olafur Eliasson. Photo: Jens Ziehe. Boros Collection, Berlin, Germany.
Art

Olafur Eliasson

icon-location-pin Tate Modern, Bankside
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Eliasson is back at the Tate Modern (following his famous Turbine Hall installation in 2003) with a big exhibition and an outside artwork. He's even taking over the Terrace Bar, turning it into a vegetarian canteen. 

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