Guides / Guide

Things to do in London this month

Check out the latest and greatest events happening in the capital.

No matter who you are or where you come from, you’ll find something captivating, unusual and oh-so-amazing going on in London. This is the city where everything happens.

The iconic arch of Wembley Stadium reaches toward the sky, and the West End radiates energy unlike anywhere else. Throw in age-old royal palaces, skyscraping architecture, the Tube, world-class museums, sport of all forms and nonstop live music…and you’ve just begun to scratch the surface.

Although the London weather can be unpredictable, you can be certain each month will bring a whole new ginormous selection of events – and you’re not going to want to miss these awesome August activities.


Spotlight on: August bank holiday weekend

There’s no denying it – this August bank holiday weekend is going to be a big one. Falling on the last Monday of the month (26 August), loads of festivals and other fun events will be going on throughout the capital. Here are just a few of the ways you can spend your long weekend.

London promoters The Hydra have unveiled an August bank holiday weekender at Printworks from 23 – 25 August. Expect three days of incredible parties featuring performances from the likes of Nils Frahm, Jeff Mills, Ben Klock, Carl Craig, DāM-FunK and more.

A favourite on the festival scene, South West Four returns from 24 – 25 August. Be there amongst the thousands of revellers who descend on Clapham Common to catch acts including Pendulum: Trinity, Martin Garrix, Craig David presents TS5, Chase and Status and Plan B (shown below, respectively and all performing UK exclusive sets!), among many others.

East London’s Three Mills Island, surrounded by the Lee Valley River, is where you’ll find two new music festivals over the bank holiday weekend. On 24 August, One Day at the Disco Festival will transform the island into one giant dance floor with music from Todd Terje, 2ManyDJs, Derrick Carter and more. On 25 August, the Jazz Cafe’s new Maiden Voyage Festival will take you on a sonic trip through the sounds of hip hop, funk, jazz and Afrobeat.

Also on 25 August, check out Trevor Nelson’s August Bank Holiday #Classics at Ministry of Sound, or head to Lockside Camden, where the Faded Bank Holiday Special will offer a mix of today’s hottest hip hop, RnB and Afro bashment until the wee hours.

Plus, Sandy Rivera, best known for the seminal hit Finally, will be giving a special bank holiday Sunday performance on 25 August at the Jazz Cafe.

Don’t miss House of Common on 26 August at Clapham Common. Headlined by Madness and offering fun for all ages, this one-day festival showcases a wealth of talent including Jimmy Cliff, Ziggy Marley, David Rodigan, Horace Andy, Akala, Craig Charles and many other artists.

 

In addition, on 26 August, California metalcore crew Of Mice & Men will be performing at Underworld.

Of course, this three-day bank holiday weekend is the perfect time to get out and about with the family. Discover lots of entertainment at Underbelly Festival, now in its 11th year at Southbank. In addition to a huge programme of comedy, music and cabaret, there’s plenty for young audiences. From 3 – 31 August, check out Twirlywoos, an enchanting theatrical adventure featuring Toodloo, Great BigHoo, Chickedy, Chick and Peekaboo as they journey aboard their big red boat.

You’ll also find several shows for the little ones in and around the West End. Running through August and into early autumn, enjoy Where Is Peter Rabbit? at Theatre Royal Haymarket, the National Theatre production of Peter Pan at Troubadour White City Theatre, The Worst Witch at Vaudeville Theatre and ZOG at Cadogan Hall.


Other things to do

August is now here, which means summer is starting to wind down – so if you’ve been waiting to experience a festival or enjoy other seasonal fun, time is running out!

What about Art’s House: A Lovely London Festival with DJ Harvey? Originally started as an intimate rave in a stranger’s front room, now it’s one of the capital’s most fun-filled parties. This year it’s taking over Three Mills Island on 10 August.

Art's House

Support a worthy cause by attending Children with Cancer UK presents SummerChime on 16 August at Chiswick House. Liam Payne, All Saints and Louisa will be on hand for an evening of music representing the moment of celebration every child with cancer longs to experience – the chiming of their end-of-treatment bell.

Hardcore and punk fans should make tracks for Upsurge Festival at New Cross Inn from 16 – 18 August to see Incendiary (in a UK exclusive), Venom Prison and Malevolence, among others.

Ready for the biggest elrow event ever? Be at Trent Country Park on 17 August for elrow Town London 2019 with a line-up that features Jamie Jones, CamelPhat, Alan FitzPatrick and Erick Morillo.

In addition to festivals, August is jam-packed with amazing music. Early in the month hear Descendents at O2 Shepherd’s Bush Empire on 2 August and Dead Kennedys at Electric Ballroom on 9 August.

Queensryche are coming to Islington Assembly Hall on 14 August, while Skunk Anansie are set to appear at O2 Academy Brixton on 17 August.

Jaden Smith is coming to  O2 Forum Kentish Town on 18 August, and you can see Broken Social Scene at EartH on 19 & 20 August.

Plus, FIDLAR are bringing their freewheeling party punk to Electric Brixton on 27 August.

 

The heat is on in the West End where you’ll find plenty of scorching shows to see this month.

Get in the saddle for Ned Bennett’s bold revival of Peter Shaffer’s psychological thriller Equus which transferred to Trafalgar Studios in July and runs through 7 September.

From 19 August you can catch Les Misérables – The All-Star Staged Concert at Gielgud Theatre. This intimate staging of the legendary concert stars Michael Ball as Javert, Alfie Boe as Jean Valjean, Carrie Hope Fletcher as Fantine and Matt Lucas as Thénardier.

Opening at the Duke of York’s Theatre on 24 August is the five-star hit play The Son. Written by Florian Zeller, it’s the final instalment in his family trilogy and tells the tale of a teenage boy’s difficult transition after his parents’ divorce.

 

It’s your last chance to see The Girl on the Train at the Duke of York’s Theatre before it closes on 17 August – and don’t miss Captain Corelli’s Mandolin at the Harold Pinter Theatre and The Lehman Trilogy at the Piccadilly Theatre – both end on 31 August.

Get more insider news from Theatreland by reading our monthly roundup here.

For some light-hearted comedy go to Dingwalls from 9 – 31 August for Goodbye: The (After) Life of Cook & Moore, where Dudley Moore dies and finds himself in a comedian’s limbo run by his old partner Peter Cook.

A couple of fixtures for the 2019 Quilter Internationals will be played at Twickenham Stadium with England battling Wales on 11 August and then clashing with Ireland on 24 August.

This month’s Vitality Blast matches also offer plenty of captivating cricket. Head to The Oval to see Surrey take on Gloucestershire on 9 August, Sussex on 15 August, Somerset on 27 August and Essex on 29 August. With plenty of entertainment and a party atmosphere, you’re guaranteed a smashing good time both on and off the pitch!

And for a truly unforgettable virtual reality experience, visit Jeff Wayne’s The War of the Worlds: The Immersive Experience at the Old Metal Exchange before it closes on 31 August.


Live music venues

Looking for a gig to see? On any given night, you’ll be spoilt for choice in London. From stadiums and world-class concert halls to historic theatres and hole-in-the-wall bars, we’ve rounded up some of August’s music offerings as a starting point.

Stadium and arena shows:

Mid-sized venues with big atmosphere:

New music to have on your radar:


Iconic attractions

Along with the London Underground, the capital is famous for many things – among them its royal palaces, fantastic selection of museums and gloriously green parks. Here are a few hot happenings at these and other popular sites.

Take in 800 years of architectural history on a Lambeth Palace tour which runs until 31 August. Located on the South Bank of the river Thames, you’ll get to explore its 13th century chapel and crypt, the elegant state drawing room and dining room, the magnificent guard room and much more.

Watch a play under the summer skies this month. Regent’s Park Open Air Theatre is presenting Tim Rice and Andrew Lloyd Webber’s iconic musical Evita from 2 August –  21 September. With a score including Don’t Cry for Me Argentina and the Oscar-winning You Must Love Me, you’ll be enthralled by this gripping theatrical portrait of the complex woman that was Eva Perón.

Over at Shakespeare’s Globe, there’ll be a magical staging of the bard’s much loved A Midsummer Night’s Dream on 1 – 2, 10 – 11, 24 – 25 and 27 – 28 August.

Have an unforgettable cinematic experience under the starry sky with Film4 Summer Screen at historic Somerset House from 8 – 21 August. Among the movies you can view in the beautiful open-air courtyard are Black Panther, The Princess Bride, The Matrix, Clueless, God’s Own Country, Reservoir Dogs and more.


You can do all this and more in the capital this August. For full details, head to our London Guide.

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