What is it? Europe’s biggest street festival is a vivid and thrilling spectacle celebrating London’s rich multicultural past and present.
Why go? To dance, sing, listen to incredible steel bands, dance to soundsystem sets and party with fellow Londoners.
What is it? A show celebrating the relationship between art and drag from the 1960s until now.
Why go? To see how drag has been used by artists to critique class, consumerism, race, colonialism and the Aids crisis of the 1980s.
What is it? Spike Lee is back to his best with this film based on the true story of a black cop going undercover in the Ku Klux Klan.
Why go? Veering from blaxploitation spoof to undercover thriller and ending with a no-punches-pulled real-life coda, it’s riotous fun one minute, savagely biting the next.
What is it? These rising stars of the LGBT+ club scene really know how to throw a bank holiday party.
Why go? For eye-catching looks, joyous drag shows and perfectly pitched house and disco beats that don’t quit till the early hours.
What is it? The Stevie Wonderland crew’s annual Carnival afterparty, full of tropical house and disco.
Why go? This year the line-up includes Romare, Auntie Flo, Mr Mendel, Alexander Nut, Donna Leake and Banana Hill DJs. It will, as always, be lit.
What is it? The great steelband standoff that takes place on Carnival Eve (Saturday) and has been a local institution for the past 40 years.
Why go? It’s kind of a big deal: the competition pits the UK’s biggest bands against each other. Plus you get to hear lots of banging calypso tunes.
What is it? Mix street food, good booze, lashings of wicked beats and a dollop of dancing, and you’ve got yourself one helluva bank holiday sandwich.
Why go? Foals, DJ Supermarkt and the Stevie Wonderland DJs will be spinning while you chow down on sliders and slices.
What is it? An opulent bar inside The Ned that serves drinks from its own booze trolley.
Why go? For tasty, elegant champagne cocktails. Getting trollied has never looked so good.
What is it? Shakespeare’s tale of nautical derring-do with 200-odd performers sourced from eight London community groups.
Why go? To see summer’s biggest and most ambitious theatre production.
What is it? Spend the bank holiday weekend celebrating Smithfield Market’s 150th birthday at this big ol’ blowout.
Why go? For fairground rides, experimental psych-pop, dog shows and pop-up markets.
What is it? Southbank Centre is putting on a massive free party over the August bank holiday weekend, and it’s full of chances to throw some shapes.
Why go? For a four-day line-up of mambo workshops and interactive carnivals which finishes off with a celebration of 45 years of hip hop.
A south London boozer specialising in craft beer and pizza. Look out for quiz night on Sundays, the Lego challenge on Thursdays and two-for-one pizzas on Mondays.
Venue says Local craft beer, delicious thin-crust pizza and the best in sports TV. Monday to Friday lunchtime: any pizza for just £5, noon-3pm.