About Time: You Discovered the Best Music Festivals in London 2018By Alicia Grimshaw
Looking for the best music festivals in London 2018? We’ve got the lowdown on all the great music festivals in London this summer, from park raves to street food specials. London music festivals don’t get much better than this – discover our ultimate guide to music festivals in London 2018:
Best Music Festivals in London 2018: May
What: The 5-time award-winning dance music show, We Are FSTVL has grown year upon year, proving itself as one of the biggest players on the dance festival circuit since its inception in 2013. With the dawn of 2018 heralding We Are FSTVL’s sixth edition, the UK’s most celebrated dance festival continues to grow.
The Line Up: Terminal 1 stage will play home to heavyweight trio Carl Cox, Eric Prydz, and Marco Carola playing together on the same stage in the UK for the first time ever. Representing a strong techno contingent in Phase One, Jamie Jones, Joseph Capriati, Loco Dice and Seth Troxler also join the star-studded bill, with drum and bass legend Andy C, Jump Up Superstars SASASAS and DJ EZ representing the bass heads. A strong Grime element will be provided with Mostack, Kojo Funds, Yungen, Yxng Bane and Lethal Bizzle as well as underground talent in the form of Mall Grab and TQD.
Gimme More: Not content with hosting an expansive world class line-up, We Are FSTVL places a huge emphasis on production to create an unrivaled festival experience. Taking place over a sprawling 142 acre former WW1 airfield in Upminster, Greater London, custom built structures give each arena its own distinctive identity to create a series of parallel worlds.
When: 26th-28th May
Where: Upminster, Greater London
What: All Points East is a brand new ten-day event in East London’s Victoria Park encompassing a three-day music festival, community focused programme of midweek entertainment and three huge APE Presents headline shows.
The Line Up: Brooklyn dance-rock heroes LCD Soundsystem headline the Friday night and Icelandic superstar Björk has been announced to top the bill on the Sunday, joining Saturday headliners The xx for All Points East Festival. They are joined by the defining pop sensation that is Lorde, sure to bring an unmissable show that confirms her place as one of the most exciting artists of the modern era. Mercury Prize winner Sampha will be serving up raw cuts and shimmering electronic delights from debut album ‘Process’, plus performances from Jamaican superstar and Jamie xx collaborator Popcaan, the dreamy electronic pop of Lykke Li and Skepta and Frank Ocean collaborator, Rex Orange County.
Gimme More: All Points East will host London summer festival exclusive sets from acclaimed DJ The Black Madonna, eclectic selector Hunee, Detroit producer Omar-S and Bristol tech house superstar Shanti Celeste as well as huge sets from Hercules & Love Affair, DJ Tennis, Roman Flugel, Gerd Janson, Call Super, Mr G (Live), Eclair Fifi, DJ Richard, Byron The Aquarius, Fort Romeau, DJ Python (Live), Dan Beaumont and Beatrice Dillon.
When: 25th-27th May
Where: Victoria Park, London E3
What: KERB are stepping off the concrete to bring you their first music festival ‘Jam on Rye’, a celebration of reggae, afrobeat and new wave jazz. This one day festival not only delivers an incredible music line-up, but the best of London street food (after all, this is KERB’s bread and butter), summer cocktails, special local talent, talks, family activities and so much more.
The Line Up: Across three stages they’ll be dishing out an audible flavour clash. The Main Stage will be presented by Reggae Roast and headlined by David Rodigan, Horace Andy (Live) and Mungo’s HiFi, and the second stage hosted by south London promoters ‘Wormfood’; forward thinking, danceable music from around the world, specialising in the common ground between afro, jazz and electronics. And the third stage will play host to KERB’s second ‘KERB Talks’; a panel discussion on London’s sounds system culture and local talent.
Gimme More: One of the best music festivals in London, KERB are bringing in a selection of their best traders to trade at Jam On Rye, doing one-off themed specials just for this festival. The line-up includes Breddos, White Men Can’t Jerk, BBQ Dreams, Only Jerkin’, Club Mexicana, Baggio Burger, The Grilling Greek, Indian Street Kitchen, Wandercrust, South East Cakery, Nonna’s Gelato, alongside some newly scouted South London guest trader talent Bokit’la, plus more to be announced.
When: 28th May
Where: Peckham Rye, London
Best Music Festivals in London 2018: June
What: Re-expanding to two days, Field Day has unveiled a line-up of boundary pushing artists for its debut in London’s iconic Brockwell Park, near Brixton this summer. Their programming has seen the best in upcoming and iconic artists including Aphex Twin, PJ Harvey, Caribou, Skepta, Patti Smith and Pixies. This year, Erykah Badu is set to headline the Friday in her only UK performance of 2018.
The Line Up: Friday’s line-up features Stones Throw’s prolific beat maker Madlib, multi-talented jazz saxophonist Masego, and Ninja Tune’s Jordan Rakei with his soulful, jazz and hip-hop driven sound. And Lambeth local Loyle Carner will also perform.
The Barn, which makes its return just for the Saturday, will also host an unmissable performance from shapeshifting producer Four Tet. Poised for new music in 2018 is former Odd Future collaborator Earl Sweatshirt, who makes an appearance at Field Day, and London’s-own rising rapper AJ Tracey will perform the Saturday. XL Recordings’ finest, fictional radio station MCs Kurupt FM join the line-up, plus appearances from the achingly cool Charlotte Gainsbourg, and a live performance from producing power duo Mount Kimbie. The bill also includes German composer and pianist Nils Frahm, trail blazing producer Floating Points with a solo live show, The Comet Is Coming and Grammy award-winning, Oumou Sangaré.
Gimme More: Field Day are pulling out all the stops to create a delicious festival experience. Fat Gay Vegan is onboard to help curate the food line-up including mouthwatering fried jackfruit from Biff’s Jack Shack, sumptuous steamed buns from Eat Chay and aromatic Thai cuisine from Greedy Khao.
When: 1st – 2nd June
Where: Brockwell Park, Lambeth, London
What: Welcome to the freshest form of revelry as London’s leading club nights join forces for the Mighty Hoopla, bringing their pop phenomenon for one super salacious big day out. Gathering London’s primo alternative club nights and performance troupes, Sink The Pink, Guilty Pleasures and many more will play host to a stellar line-up of world renowned live acts and DJs.
The Line Up: 5ive will perform an action packed set with original band members Sean, Scott and Richie belting out an array of the boyband’s biggest hits. Westlife’s Brian McFadden and Boyzone’s Keith Duffy will join forces at Mighty Hoopla as Boyzlife for a boyband hybrid, and British Garage duo DJ Luck & MC Neat are also confirmed for a high octane house and garage set guaranteed to have festival-goers partying well through the night (with a little bit of luck).
Other acts on the bill include Lily Allen, MNEK, Louisa Johnson and Nimmo. Meanwhile, Melanie C, Louise, Vengaboys, Belinda Carlisle and B*Witched complete the royal flush of pop icons announced to date.
Gimme More: Heading up the celebration of alternative club culture are Sink The Pink and Guilty Pleasures, with their Mighty Hoopla friends and family in tow including The Grand, Glitterbox, Bongo’s Bingo and more. One of the best music festivals in London, for sure.
When: 3rd June
Where: Brockwell Park, London
Photo Credit: Luke Dyson
What: After hosting their very first London festival last year, Southport Weekender is returning to Finsbury Park for a celebration of house, soul, R&B and garage. Southport Weekender will be spread across nine arenas that represent a wealth of musical history, bringing together pioneering DJs, live music and the next generation of artist’s flying the flag for house and soul music.
The Line Up: In a London festival exclusive, founding member of American sibling group Sister Sledge, Kathy Sledge, will perform live. Further stateside talent is reflected in headliners DJ Jazzy Jeff and one of the godfathers of house music David Morales, who will celebrate 30 years of his Def Mix Recordings imprint alongside Hector Romero, and special guests Juliet Roberts, Robert Owens and Alison Limerick who will each perform a selection of live classic songs.
Soul II Soul frontman Jazzie B will also be present, alongside disco selector Joey Negro plus classic house acts Louie Vega and Roger Sanchez, with the likes of Henrik Schwarz and Osunlade heading up the festival’s more eclectic offering, plus new wave talent Henry Wu and Alexander Nut.
Gimme More: An uplifting appearance from the London House Gospel Choir is also confirmed, while UK Garage innovators The Dreem Teem are among a slew of names representing the genre. London collective So Fresh So Clean will bring their selection of classic 90s hip-hop to Finsbury Park, while radio station Mi Soul will showcase a range of dynamic artists across soul music, house and reggae.
When: 9th June
Where: Finsbury Park, London
What: In the 7 years Bushstock Festival has been running, Bushstock has built a reputation for being the London festival to discover your new favourite music, with memorable performances taking place in beautifully intimate settings within West London.
The Line Up: Ahead of the release of new music, due later this year, Aurora will return to London this June to headline the beautiful St Stephen’s Church at Bushstock festival. Other acts on the line up include, Aquilo, Freya Ridings, West London native, Abi Ocia and Flyte.
Gimme More: Alongside the announced music lineup we always have a secret stage which plays host to a handful of surprise acts (previously this has included The Staves, Nick Mulvey, and Amber Run to name just a few).
When: 23rd June
Where: Shepherd’s Bush, London
Best Music Festivals in London 2018: July
What: Bringing together the biggest acts from different music genres, Barclaycard presents British Summer Time takes place over two weekends once a year in London’s Hyde Park.
The Line Up: Pink Floyd visionary Roger Waters becomes the latest in a long line of era defining artists to grace Hyde Park, and Eric Clapton is set to play a very special concert on July 8th, continuing the legacy of all-time greats playing the Great Oak Stage.
Barclaycard presents British Summer Time builds its sensational second weekend line up with performances from Paul Simon (15th July), Bruno Mars (14th July) and Michael Bublé (13th July). Paul Simon will close the festival for 2018 on July 15th, which will also be the final show of his last ever tour, ‘The Farewell Performance’.
Gimme More: Also on the line up for 15th July is BST favourites Ward Thomas, three time Grammy winner Shawn Colvin, Callaghan, Night Flight, Sarah Darling, Jesca Hoop, Blueprint Blue and more to be revealed. Previously announced are James Taylor and Bonnie Raitt. One of the biggest popstars of the 21st century, multiple BRIT and Grammy Awards winner, Bruno Mars is taking to the Great Oak Stage on Saturday 14th July, fresh off the back of his 24K Magic World Tour.
When: 6th/7th/8th/13th/14th/15th July
Where: Hyde Park, London
What: Lovebox made the beautiful Victoria Park their home back in 2005, and they’ve been a defining part of east London’s ever-expanding, infinitely growing music scene ever since. This year, their changing things up, and you can now find Lovebox at Gunnersbury Park, west London.
The Line Up: The legendary Wu-Tang Clan will be joining Lovebox on Friday as a UK Exclusive to celebrate 25 years of their seminal debut ‘Enter The Wu-Tang (36 Chambers)‘. Skepta will be headlining Friday night, and Childish Gambino and N.E.R.D. will be taking to the stage on Saturday.
There’s also appearances from SZA, Anderson .Paak & The Free Nationals, Vince Staples, Mura Masa, The Internet and Kali Uchis.
Gimme More: Thomas Wesley Pentz, better known as Diplo, is one of the most dynamic forces in music today. Don’t miss his explosive return to the Lovebox stage on Friday. On Saturday, Lovebox friend and favourite, Annie Mac, will be on the Main Stage and her slots are legendary.
When: 13th-14th July
Where: Gunnersbury Park, London
What: Kaleidoscope is a brand new music and arts festival hosted by Alexandra Palace. For the first time in 30 years the Park gates will be thrown open and its rolling hills will welcome a vibrant and eccentric cast of performers for summer celebration like no other. Kaleidoscope will create a world where music, performance, theatre and comedy embrace in a collision of beautiful noise and brilliant ideas.
The Line Up: An outdoor stage with skyline sweeping views will see an incredible headline performance from ever colourful psychedelic rockers The Flaming Lips, who will be bringing their high-octane eccentricity to N22.
The South View Stage will also welcome Ghostpoet, whose sung-spoken storytelling has earned widespread critical acclaim including two Mercury prize nominations. Also set to perform are British indie rock outfit Mystery Jets, who have spent the last decade honing their eclectic sound and no holds barred performance style. Completing the South View Stage lineup are infectious pop masters The Go! Team, ‘folktronica’ singer-songwriter Beth Orton, a unique twist on Paul Simon’s classic album courtesy of the awe-inspiring London African Gospel Choir presents Graceland, plus Beans on Toast, Xylaroo, Dat Brass and more.
Gimme More: As well as live music from some of the best in the business, there will be a whole host of world class DJs to keep North London moving, including sets from The 2 Bears, Norman Jay MBE, Mike Pickering, Don Letts, Hip Hop Karaoke and Soho Radio.
When: 21st July
Where: Alexandra Park and Palace, London
Best Music Festivals in London 2018: August
What: Eastern Electrics has long been a key member of London’s clubbing community. Starting as a warehouse rave almost ten years ago, EE has grown to be a fully-fledged festival affair – an essential date in the calendar for any electronic music head. Branching out from its one day format, EE also can announce a second day, with some of the heaviest names in bass, garage, reggae and D&B involved.
The Line Up: The almighty EE MAIN STAGE plays hosts globally revered names, with Hot Creations and Paradise boss Jamie Jones returning – bringing with him a combo of melodic techno and deep house cuts. Everyone’s favourite Geordie, Patrick Topping, makes his Eastern Electrics debut, and then find Dirtybird founder and long-term legend Claude Vonstroke bringing fun-filled, eclectic sounds to get the crowd grooving. Defected artist Sonny Foderaalso joins, with production trio Wax on Mare Street.
Whilst Saturday’s outing explores all things house, techno, garage and more – Sunday’s outing leans towards reggae, DnB, grime, hip hop, garage, bass and more set across six stages and featuring the likes of David Rodigan, CASisDEAD, RAM Records, Spooky, Grandmixxer, Bad Company UK, Matt Jam Lamont, Wookie and many more, plus two massive unannounced guests.
Gimme More: Truly one of the most important labels in dance history, DEFECTED IN THE HOUSE have been defining the genre in the UK for over twenty years, and this August they head to Morden Park to show off their finest talent and pals alike. Transforming their EE stage into a on-site club space, it’ll be a real life dancefloor experience for attendees. Heading up proceedings are Anime Edge and Dance, Holland’s Franky Rizardo and Riva Starr, and the shining star of house, the one and only Sam Divine. Also on the day there’s Josh Butler, and label founder Simon Dunmore.
When: 4th-5th August
Where: Morden Park, London
What: Set to return to London’s Clapham Common this summer, South West Four will celebrate their 15th anniversary with a huge selection of the biggest names in the industry. Standing tall as the capital’s longest running electronic music festival, the weekender will pull out all the stops for this special milestone with a series of exclusive performances, chart topping artists, forward thinking DJs and brand showcases in tow.
The Line Up: Featuring a series of exclusives and chart topping artists, the two-day Clapham Common event will see anonymous American producer Marshmello close the main stage on Saturday 25th August, as he brings his ‘Melloville’ concept to London for the first time in what will be the masked DJ’s only UK festival show of the year. He’ll be joined at the festival by his ‘Twinbow’ collaborator Slushii, who will play a world exclusive triple b2b set with Netsky, and Bite This head honcho, Jauz.
The trio join an eclectic range of further names added to the Saturday line-up, including top 10 duo Sigma and platinum hitmaker Jonas Blue. London favourite Dizzee Rascal will also be playing the Clapham stage in what will be the grime artist’s only festival appearance in the capital for 2018, with buzzy UK rapper Nadia Rose confirmed to make her South West Four debut.
Gimme More: One of the best music festivals in London, Sunday will see a further glittering cast assembled as multi-platinum-selling duo Chase & Status headline, they too mark 15 years as an established force in electronic music with 4 studio albums to their name.
When: 25th-26th August
Where: Clapham Common, London
Photo Credit: Graham Joy
Best Music Festivals in London 2018: September
What: London’s biggest celebration of drum and bass culture, Hospitality In The Park, returns to Finsbury Park for the third consecutive year. To celebrate, the award-winning (Best Festival at Drum & Bass Awards 2018) festival have enlisted some of the best DJs, producers, MCs and promoters in the business including headliners High Contrast (live), Danny Byrd, Foreign Beggars (live), LTJ Bukem, plus Metalheadz head honcho and drum and bass royalty, Goldie.
The Line Up: Alongside Hospitality, stage hosts include Europe’s biggest bass music party Rampage, Dub Phizix & Strategy’s Well Good Do, the joined force of underground players Soul In Motion and Med School as well as The Doctors Orders bringing a different flavour of hip-hop beats. High Cotart will be headlining the Hospiliatiy DnB stage, and other acts include The London Elektricity Big Band Ft. Lianne Carol, Emer, Dynamite MC & 12 piece brass band, Metrik, Fred V & Grafix, S.P.Y, danny byrd and Etherwood
Gimme More: One of the best music festivals in London – in addition to a day packed full of amazing acts they’ve got a menu filled with the finest street-food vendors including Le Bun, Mama’s Jerk Chicken, Voodoo Rays, Cheese Truck and many more. Expect the unexpected from high-end production and sound design to fairground rides and hot air balloon rides
When: 22nd September
Where: Finsbury Park, London
Photo Credit: Jake Davies