It’s the beginning of the summer season, and summer means music festivals. In and around London, from May to September, fans of outdoor concerts will be spoiled.
Four lively months are on the horizon with as many new attractions and artists as ever, from electronic music to rock, rap and reggae: there will be something for everyone. French Morning London has selected for you the crème de la crème of festivals.
1- The Eastern Electrics festival
Eastern Electrics, created in 2007, will be held on Saturday 4 and Sunday 5 August. Located one hour from London, in Morden Park, it offers nine stages with a line-up that mixes house, techno, garage and bass. Born out of London’s underground culture, Eastern Electrics is one of the best known clubbing festivals in the UK and each year presents both well-known artists and new talent.
Apart from cutting edge electronic music, Eastern Electrics will also offer a wide range of booths for the greedy and thirsty, and for the tired, there will be relaxation areas on the festival website. Concerning the program of this edition (already online), if the first day will be more dedicated to house and techno, the second day will focus on dub, reggae, garage and bass music.
The history of the festival began in 2002: Groove Armada (behind this stage name are in fact two DJs) is questioning itself on the London music scene. The duo started throwing some ideas on heart-shaped post-its, and put them away in a box they named: Lovebox. The name will be reused later: first given to one of their albums before being used at their parties at Tottenham Court Road.
A year later, Lovebox became the festival we know today. The 2018 line-up has just been revealed and promises to be explosive. Organisers have given a predominant place to urban music with a lot of rap and R’n’B artists. Like Skepta, Pharell Williams, Kerry Chandler, Action Bronson… Lovebox will take place on Friday July 13th and Saturday July 14th but this year, the festival is leaving its original home in Victoria Park in Hackney. It will move to Gunnersbury Park at the end of Acton.
Original activities such as Hip Hop Karaoke will also be organised, and it will also be possible to go back to the Love Chapel, a fake chapel but full of love, music and colour, where we can incidentally get married or at least tell each other our craziest love stories.
3- British Summer Time
The British Summer Time is a music festival held twice a year in Hyde Park. This is the 6th edition this year and it will take place from Monday 9th to Thursday 12th July. The festival offers a wide range of musical genres. For proof, since 2013, British Summer Time has seen headliners such as The Rolling Stones, Bon Jovi, Lionel Richie, Kylie Minogue, Black Sabbath, Neil Young, The Libertines, Arcade Fire, The Who, Blur, The Strokes and Taylor Swift.
In 2016, Florence and the Machine, Kendrick Lamar, Carole King, Take That, Mumford and Sons, and Stevie Wonder had thrilled Hyde Park. For the 2018 edition, the service will be provided by The Cure, Eric Clapton, Roger Waters, Michael Buble or Bruno Mars, but hurry up, some of the concerts are already sold out.
New this year, the festival offers the Open House with free admission. The venue is open to those who want to eat and drink, but also to attend open-air film screenings, listen to concerts or play tennis.
4- Jam on rye
The very first edition of Jam on Rye will take place on Monday, May 28th. On a Monday? Don’t worry, it’s Bank Holiday… Three stages, twelve street-food vendors for a colourful festival. Taking place on Peckham Rye in South London, it’s a celebration of reggae culture, Afrobeat and new wave jazz. David Rodigan, Horace Andy, Brother Culture and HiFi from Mungo will set the crowd on fire. The highlight of this festival is undoubtedly the explosive mix of street-food culture and music. In partnership with KERB Market, Jam on Rye will offer a variety of homemade food that will be cooked right before your eyes.
5- We are FSTVL
Although We are FSTVL takes place in Upminster, Greater London, it continues to keep its festival label 100% London. It’s almost three days of electronic music and dance, with programming featuring Andy C, Carl Cox, DJ EZ, Gorgon City and Eric Prydz. In total, over 225 artists spread over 20 custom-built stages will be there to get the audience dancing.
Winner of the Best New Mid-sized Festival and Best International Festival, We Are FSTVL returns on Friday, May 25th, Saturday, May 26th and Sunday, May 27th. Given the size of this event and its location, it is possible to book a ticket with the campsite to sleep on site.