In this second part of our 2018 festival season preview (read the first part focusing on England and Wales beyond London here), we focus on that sprawling metropolis called London, and the events to be held therein. If spending the night under canvas isn’t really your thing, or you get a little anxious about losing phone signal, here are our top tips for you.
All Points East
When: 25-27 May and 1-3 June, and some bits in the middle
Where: Victoria Park
What: Newcomers All Points East are taking over Victoria Park for 10 days from 25 May. Boasting a three day festival, three individual headline shows and a host of free community events in the days in between. Headline sets from LCD Soundsystem, The xx, Björk, The National and Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds are no brainers. But there is wealth of exciting bands across all five stages every day that should keep you out of trouble. Speaking of stages, during the three day Festival over the first weekend James Murphy (LCD Soundsystem) and David & Stephen Dewaele (Soulwax and 2manydjs) will be collaborating in Despacio, with vinyl only DJ sets, and fingers crossed for a massive disco ball.
The West Arena will host Justice & Flying Lotus 3D and the X Stage promises an ‘in the round’ experience for the electronic artists performing. From Monday 28 May, there will be four days of free entry & free activities in the site, including All Points Equal on the bank holiday Monday which includes free outdoor screenings of Moana, Suffragette and Made In Dagenham. As we’ve come to expect there will be plenty of street food options and pop up bars throughout the event.
During the festival weekend Jägermeister’s Jägerhaus stage will see a line-up amongst which can be found Hot Chip’s Alexis Taylor, Nik Colk Void of Factory Floor, and Warpaint, all of whom will be DJing, as well as Vessels, Benin City and Mina Rose. The APE Presents… shows the following weekend will feature The Big Moon, Marika Hackman, Gengahr, Sorry and Black Foxxes, amongst much else, in the same venue.
Who: LCD Soundsystem, Björk, The National, Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds, Patti Smith, Yeah Yeah Yeahs, Phoenix, The xx, Hercules & Love Affair, Hookworms, Confidence Man, Lorde, Justice, Lykke Li, ABRA, Beck, Father John Misty, Flying Lotus 3D, Friendly Fires, Django Django, Sylvan Esso, The War On Drugs, St Vincent, Future Islands, Warpaint, Cat Power, Broken Social Scene, This Is The Kit, Rostam, Courtney Barnett, Nadine Shah, Shame, Bo Ningen, Alexis Taylor, The Big Moon, Marika Hackman, Vessels
More at: allpointseastfestival.com
When: 1 & 2 June
Where: Brockwell Park
What: As the giant APE descends on Victoria Park, Field Day is moving to South London for its 12th year. The Barn, which last year played host to Aphex Twin, is back but expect plenty of new stages and surprises as Field Day makes itself comfortable in its new home, a stone’s throw from Herne Hill Station. Erykah Badu headlines Friday night with her only UK appearance this year, and AJ Tracey and Charlotte Gainsbourg grace the park with their presence on Saturday. Four Tet (live), Nils Frahm and Floating Points will bring the party to The Barn. Elsewhere on site, the Croatian Dimensions Festival and Total Refreshment Centre host a stage showcasing jazz, soul, R&B and leftfield electronica. As in previous years there will be plenty of delicious food and drink on offer, this year provided by Fat Gay Vegan, Street Feast and Venn Street Market.
Who: Erykah Badu, AJ Tracey, Charlotte Gainsbourg, Thundercat, Loyle Carner, Jeff Mills and Tony Allen collaboration, Cornelius, Fever Ray, Princess Nokia, Madlib, Mount Kimbie (live), Oumou Sangaré, Four Tet (live), Nils Frahm, Floating Points, IAMDBB, Moses Sumney, Young Marco, Panda Bear
More at: fielddayfestivals.com
When: 2 June
Where: Various venues, Camden (obviously)
What: If you miss Camden Crawl, this massive indie-rock fest across multiple venues across Camden is the one for you.
Who: Maxïmo Park, Twin Atlantic, Sikth, British Sea Power, The Rifles, Blood Red Shoes, Echobelly, Eliza & The Bear, Crazy Town, Hactivist, Danny Goffey, Pop Will Eat Itself, The Professionals, Public Image Limited. Carl Barat is guest DJ at the aftershow.
More at: camdenrocksfestival.com
The Mighty Hoopla
When: 3 June
Where: Brockwell Park
What: Returning for its second year in London, moving from Victoria Park to Brockwell Park. Expect pure pop and glitter celebrating London’s alternative club scene. With stages hosted by Sink The Pink, Guilty Pleasures and The Grand. The Glory will be taking over the bandstand.
Who: TLC, Lily Allen, B*Witched, Belinda Carlisle, 5ive, BoyzLife, Louise, MNEK, Mel Blatt, Melanie C, Nadine Coyle, Vengaboys
More at: mightyhoopla.com
When: 15-24 June
Where: Southbank Centre
What: Following on from the success of previous years’ masterful curations by M.I.A, Guy Garvey, Nick Cave, Anohni, David Bowie, Laurie Anderson, Ornette Coleman and Jarvis Cocker, this year it’s the turn of national treasure The Cure’s Robert Smith to take the helm, and the budget, and programme his dream event. Spread over nine days, the Southbank Centre hosts a selection of Smith’s favourite bands. This year it’s a venerable who’s who of indie rock with performances from The Psychedelic Furs, Placebo, Death Cab for Cutie, Nine Inch Nails, Kirstin Hersh, and something called CURÆTION-25, (wonder what that might be?). The Buskers stage will host… London’s buskers. There’s also a massive afterparty on the final evening.
Who: CURÆTION-25, The Psychedelic Furs, 65daysofstatic, Placebo, The Libertines, Death cab for Cutie, Manic Street Preachers, Deftones, Mogwai, Kirtsin Hersh, Nine Inch Nails, The Joy Formidable, My Bloody Valentine, Suzanne Vega, The Soft Moon
More at: southbankcentre.co.uk/meltdown-2018
Somerset House Summer Series
When: 5-15 July
Where: Somerset House courtyard, The Strand
What: The genteel and relatively intimate surroundings of the paved courtyard contrast with the riverside view without.
Who: Róisín Murphy, Sigrid, MGMT, Metronomy, The Roots, De La Soul, LP, Don Letts, David Rodigan, Flight Facilities
More at: somersethouse.org.uk
BST Hyde Park
When: 6,7, 8 and 13, 14 and 15 July
Where: That would be Hyde Park then
What: Brought to you by the same people pitching up out east with All Points East, British Summer Time long since displaced Wireless from the park, and its sprawling line-up is the template for its baby cousin. The Cure’s (sold out) day sports a line-up well worth seeing even without the headliners, featuring as it does Goldfrapp, Slowdive, Ride, Lisa Hannigan and The Twilight Sad. Amongst the other headliners are Pink Floyd’s Roger Waters, Simon & Garfunkel’s Paul Simon and Bruno Mars’ Bruno Mars.
Who: The Cure, Roger Waters, Paul Simon, Bruno Mars
More at: bst-hydepark.com
When: 6,7, 8 July
Where: Finsbury Park
What: If BST Hyde Park has the old timers, Wireless has the opposite.
Who: J Cole, Wiley, Wretch32, Ms Banks, Khaled, Giggs, Stormzy, J Hus
More at: wirelessfestival.co.uk
When: 13 & 14 July
Where: Gunnersbury Park
What: This London festival institution has moved to south west climes this year, but expect the same party atmosphere as dance, hip hop and grime acts bring the love.
Who: Childish Gambino, Skepta, N.E.R.D, Wu-Tang Clan, SZA, Diplo, Mura Masa, Vince Staples, Action Bronson, Anderson Paak & The Free Nationals, Jon Hopkins DJ set, Peggy Gou, Mike Skinner & Murkage, Big Boi
More at: loveboxfestival.com
When: 15 July
Where: Gunnersbury Park
What: A rare one day festival that takes place on a Sunday with a focus on wellbeing and culture as well music. Tame Impala headline with their only UK appearance of 2018. Further down the bill are the excellent Goat Girl, WH Lung, and Pumarosa. If you’re in the mood for dancing there are DJ sets from Joe Goddard and Kelly Lee Owens. Elsewhere on site you’ll find dance workshops, Aztec-disco golf challenge, mass yoga and a science camp and if that’s not enough, there’s prosecco on tap (literally).
Who: Tame Impala, CHVRCHES, Leon Bridges, Fat White Family, GOAT, The Horrors, Hawkwind, Shame, Sam Fender, Gang of Youths, Plastic Mermaids, Goat Girl, WH Lung
More at: citadelfestival.com
When: 21 July 2018
Where: Alexandra Park & Palace
What: New to the London park festival scene this year. Kaleidoscope is taking over North London’s Alexandra Palace to make the most of this iconic location. The South View stage will host the always ridiculously striking Flaming Lips battling against one of the most ridiculously beautiful views of the London skyline. Deep under Ally Pally itself, the Victorian basements are being transformed for a fully immersive theatrical experience in partnership with RIFT. There’s also a words and comedy stage featuring the likes of Dr John Cooper Clarke, Katherine Ryan and Mark Watson.
Who: Flaming Lips, Ghostpoet, Mystery Jets. The Go! Team, Beth Orton, Beans On Toast, London African Gospel Choir. The 2 Bears, Norman Jay MBE, Mike Pickering, Don Letts, Mark Watson, Katherine Ryan
More at: kaleidoscope-festival.com
When: 4 August
Where: Various venues, London Fields
What: If risking the heatstroke or drowning isn’t your thing then Visions, the multi venue musical jaunt around East London, is back and might very well be for you. There is a dog show. Need we say more? This year, there’s a pre-party with Fucked Up at Hangar on the Friday night and an after-party curated by Foals’ Yannis Philippakis. In between the parties there are loads of brilliant up and coming alternative bands. Visions brings you maximum bang for your buck.
Who: Idles, Marika Hackman, HMLTD, Chastity Belt, Nilüfer Yanya, Sampa The Great, Blue Hawaii, Duds, Laura Mishch, Carla Dal Forno, Honey Harper, Girlhood, Black Midi, Sports Team, YAK, No Age, Sorry
More at: visionsfestival.com
When: 25 & 26 August
Where: Clapham Common
What: The 15-year anniversary of this dance festival. As usual there is house, techno, dubstep, trap, alternative electro and experimental across five stages – but this year they’ve expanded their hip-hop and rap offerings too.
Who: Marshmello, Dizzee Rascal, Armin Van Buuren, Oliver Heldens, MK, Chase & Status, Craig David, SJ EZ, Sub Focus, Lethal Bizzle, Yungen, Roni Size
More at: southwestfour.com
When: 8 & 9 September
What: Music and food take priority at this family friendly two day event.
Who: The Divine Comedy, Billy Bragg, De La Soul, Squeeze, Paloma Faith, Corinne Bailey Rae, Greenwich and Lewisham NHS Choir, Lightning Seeds, Huey Morgan, James Taylor Quartet, Dirty Vegas and more to be announced
More at: onblackheath.com
Words by Stephanie Flooks and Michael Hubbard. Check back for part 3 of our 2018 festivals season preview when we focus on events across Europe.