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5 of London's Greatest Open Festivals

Home > London > Festivals | Lists | Music | Outdoor
by Mihaela Schwartz (subscribe)
I am a freelance writer and an avid traveler.
Published October 26th 2014
Enjoy the Vibe in Open Air
London is one of the most modern, vibrant and cosmopolitan cities in the world. It is home to some of the most famous and exciting festivals anywhere in the world. There are several large festivals in England's capital which celebrate the very best of music, culture and design; here are just five of them.

Lovebox
Lovebox - Flickr/the funky lens


Lovebox

Lovebox is a vibrant and eclectic music festival held in June. It features an interesting mix of dance, hip-hop and pop music. World-famous artists who have graced the stage include Lana Del Rey, Groove Armada and Rita Ora. The festival takes place over three days, and it is located in London's Victoria Park. The celebration always concludes on Sunday evening with a world-famous headline act; Grace Jones closed the festival in 2012. This is a festival that includes a number of sister venues where revellers can continue their celebrations into the early hours of the morning. The Ministry of Sound is the official club of the Lovebox festival. Visitors have several travel options to choose from including the tube to Victoria Park, Cambridge Heath and Hackney Wick stations. There are also several bus services which all stop very close to the park.

Wireless festival
Wireless Festival - Flickr/James Theophane


Wireless

The Wireless festival is held annual in July and is one of the most high-profile music festivals held in central London. Music-lovers can dance to their favourite worldwide bands and performers against the backdrop backdrop of Hyde Park. Wireless always features the very biggest names in the world of music, and it was recently headlined by Rihanna. However, this is a festival that reaches out to everyone. There are a number of "chill-out areas" where people can take a rest from the booming music and non-stop dancing of the performance areas. There are also a number of street-theatre companies, market stalls and beer gardens to give people some fantastic alternatives to watching the various stage-acts. The festival can be reached on the tube via the Hyde Park Corner and Marble Arch stations. This is a great option for people who are looking for a wide range of activities during a festival.

Notting Hill Carnival
Notting Hill Carnival - Flickr/Andrew Porter


Notting Hill Carnival

The world-renowned Notting Hill Carnival takes place during the August bank holiday weekend. It is extremely difficult to place this incredible festival into any one particular category; however, it is a vibrant mix of music, fashion and street-theatre. The festival has been attracting crowds in London's Notting Hill area since 1964, and it is as popular now as it has ever been. The sounds of the Caribbean can be heard throughout the weekend; although other musical influences are well represented. The festival's iconic image involves a procession of colourful and elaborate floats and live performers. Visitors can sample some of the West Indies' most famous dishes including curried goat, plantains and Jerk chicken. Local tube stations are usually closed for the duration of the event, so public buses offer the best travel options for visitors.

 London Design Festival
London Design Festival - Flickr/Feggy Art


The London Design Festival

This is a festival that takes place over ten days in September; celebrating the very best of British design. There are hundreds of activities and exhibits to enjoy across dozens of different venues. The main attractions of every festival are the Landmark Projects; giving the world's leading designers and architects the chance to create original works for display in some of London's most iconic locations. People can enjoy a rich mix of cultural and commercial exhibits; many of which are completely free to visitors. The festival is a combination of product launches, trade events, exhibitions and parties.

Mayor's Thames Festival
Mayor's Thames Festival - Flickrs/billbaeck


The Mayor's Thames Festival

This is a celebration of the best in British arts, and it is London's largest free festival. The banks of the River Thames are transformed into a colourful and vibrant spectacle for all to enjoy. People can enjoy an exciting mix of dance, live music, art displays, street arts and river races. The festivities take place in a number of London locations including on bridges, roads, the river and public walkways. The event has the backing of the local authorities and the Mayor's office; meaning many of the roads are closed to allow the festivities and events to take place safely. One of the main events during the festival is the spectacular wire-walk over the Thames.
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