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London events in May

Your guide to London's essential events, exhibitions, parties and things to do in May

Peckham Rye Music Festival (Sebastian Barros Photography)

May means it's finally time to venture into London's great outdoors and start soaking up all that the city has to offer – whether that's heading to a rooftop bar, visiting a city farm, making the most of the two (yes, two!) bank holidays or just lounging about in one of London's best parks. We've found the best events, parties, pop-ups and things to do across the capital during May, so drag yourself outside, grab an early-summer ice cream and start maxing out on your London fun. 

RECOMMENDED: The definitive London events calendar

Our May 2017 event highlights

Alberto Giacometti

Fifty years after showing his work for the first time, the Tate is delivering a large-scale retrospective of the Italian artist. He'll always be associated with the tall, spindly, existential figures of his later years – but this exhibition should flesh out his wider career, including early dabblings in surrealism and abstraction. 

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Tate Modern , South Bank Until Sunday September 10 2017

David Mach: Incoming

The Turner Prize-nominated Mach will be creating one of his gargantuan newspaper installations, the first of its kind in 15 years. As it will largely be improvised in the gallery itself, we're not too sure what to expect – except that it will weigh a staggering 30 tonnes.

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Griffin Gallery , Holland Park Until Friday July 7 2017

The Pink Floyd Exhibition: Their Mortal Remains

Fifty years since their first single, Arnold Layne, the V&A is hosting a retrospective of those psychedelic pioneers, the Floyd. Set and construction pieces from The Dark Side of the Moon and The Wall join instruments, designs, lyrics and prints - and, yes, a laser show. Wish You Were Here?

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V&A , Brompton Until Sunday October 1 2017

Twelfth Night

Emma Rice's berserk, uninhibited take on 'A Midsummer Night's Dream' was one of the best things the Globe has staged in eons, making it doubly sad that she's leaving as artistic director so soon (and under such murky circustances). This production of Shakespeare's greatest mistaken identity comedy looks likely to be the final Shakespeare play she will direct at the Globe, and possibly ever. If it's anything like as good as her 'Dream' it'll be a stunner.

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Shakespeare's Globe , South Bank Until Saturday August 5 2017

Brixton Beach

London might not have Cuba's fleets of classic cars or choice of cool Panama hats, but this summer, Brixton is trying to bring a little Havana life to SW9. The Piña Coladas, Cubanitos and Mojitos will be flowing in a space decorated with mint and exotic flowers. There'll be a rotating choice of street food vendors, with mac 'n' cheese bites from Mac to the Future and dishes from Dirty Bones, Mama’s Jerk and Negril. 

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Brixton Beach , Brixton Until Sunday October 29 2017


California: is there any other place in the world as synonymous with hedonistic glamour and effortless cool? But what often gets overlooked among the praises heaped on the Golden State is its rich design history. This show should put paid to that, looking at 50 years of innovation – from LSD in the countercultural '60s to the tech revolution of Silicone Valley.

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Design Museum , Kensington Until Sunday October 15 2017

Beyond the Great Wave

Four years on from displaying his iconic work 'The Great Wave', the BM are once again turning their attention to master ukiyo-e painter and printmaker Katsushika Hokusai (1760-1849). This time, the focus will be on the last three decades of his life and career. This is pretty exciting – a lot of what's on display has never before been seen in the UK. 

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British Museum , Bloomsbury Until Sunday August 13 2017

May bank holiday weekend celebrations

The second, or 'Spring' bank holiday falls on Mon May 29 and we've rounded up the ten events happening in London over that weekend that we think you need to know about. Let's just hope the sun lasts – and, even if it doesn't, plonk yourself in a fail-safe London pub and be sure that your three days of freedom don't go to waste. Check them out here. 

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By: Time Out London Things To Do

The World of Anna Sui

An overview of the acclaimed American fashion designer, who shot to fame in the early '90s and has been captivating us all ever since. Over 100 items from Sui's archive will go on display, exploring her evolving designs, which touch upon punk, rock 'n' roll and surfer cool styles.

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Fashion and Textile Museum , London Bridge Until Sunday October 1 2017


This young trio found fame by covering the songs of hip hop troupe Odd Future in a cool jazz stylee, eventually collaborating with Tyler, The Creator himself. They have since gone on to turn tracks by Lil B and Waka Flocka Flame into awesomely groovy post-bop jazz jams.

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The Forum (O2 Forum Kentish Town) , Kentish Town Wednesday May 31 2017

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By: Laura Lee Davies


Amy R
Amy R

All these events look brilliant, i'm especially interested in the Coffee Festival! 

If you want to attend one of these events but have nobody to go with i recommend www.wouldlovetogo.com 

The site is aimed at helping you meet new people in London effortlessly. :)