Summer shut down? Not our Square Mile. From festivals and food to concerts and community fundraisers, these are the top events in the City this August.

The City calendar is always full to bursting with things to see, do and experience each week. From festivals and food to concerts and community fundraisers, these are the top events in the City of London this week.

LAWN BOWLS / Festibowl

Shoreditch likes to roll at its own pace, and that rule applies with the latest offering from the City’s hipster neighbour. Festibowl is taking that universally adored game of pensioners, lawn bowls, and adding contemporary touches including a DJ, tasty grub from the likes of Truffle London and Chalana Market, and plenty of booze. While there are plenty below the retirement age already clued up on the tricky game of precision and skill, organisers are seemingly intent on increasing its cult status among the younger generations. Let the good times roll.

Until 3 August, midday-11pm each day, tickets £15

Finsbury Square EC2A 1BR

CONFERENCE / Women in the Arts Presented by SAMA Arts Network

The arts of South Asia are exceptionally male-dominated, given the inherently patriarchal framework of sub-continental cultures. This necessitates the occasional intervention, hence the rise of SAMA and the Women in the Arts movement. Panel discussions on the business of music, publishing, talent development and artist management, as well as finance and fundraising cover will dominate the third edition of the event, while live performances provide a platform for untapped talent to take the spotlight.

13-16 August, Monday 2.30pm, Tuesday-Thursday 7.45pm

Wilton’s Music Hall, Graces Alley E1 8JB

TOUR / Battle of Britain bunker

Visit the underground operations room for the Battle of Britain at RAF Uxbridge with the Museum of London. The tireless staff in No11 Group Operations Room played a crucial role in the air defence of the United Kingdom throughout the Second World War. Visiting rooms 60 feet underground (via 76 steps) and the new visitor centre above ground, witness the story of the subterranean command centre through an interactive exhibition, full-size replica aircraft, wartime footage and oral histories.

9 August, 11.30am, advanced booking required from museumoflondon.org.uk

EXHIBITION / Picturing Forgotten London

news london
a gothic marvel: Columbia Square in Bethnal Green

London is a restless city, ever changing and evolving. Cranes and building sites crowd the landscape as new buildings rise. Yet traces of our forgotten past peep through on almost every street, whether intentionally preserved or incidentally left behind.

Picturing Forgotten London uncovers the Capital’s lost buildings, places that were once the toast of the Capital or an important part of everyday life, left behind by successive generations of Londoners. Drawings, engravings, photographs, maps and films sit alongside contemporary recollections and bring together a surprising record of the Capital from the 1500s to the 20th century.

Ongoing, free

London Metropolitan Archives, 40 Northampton Road, Clerkenwell EC1R 0HB

WORKSHOP / Floral Dyeing Workshop with Botanical Inks

Use fresh flowers to naturally dye fabric in this eco–conscious workshop with artisan dye studio, Botanical Inks.

Learn the contemporary ‘bundle dye’ process, for direct application of plant dye colour from flowers and plant materials into cloth, using a simple steaming technique. Create a unique length of Botanical Inks printed cloth, using a special organic British-grown ‘peace silk’ to make into a scarf, pillowcase, ribbons or other creative project of your own.

You will leave with the knowledge and skills required to make your own bundle-dyed items again, using simple equipment which may be found in your kitchen, and with your own unique, natural dye printed length of silk. All materials provided.

11 August, 10am or 1pm

Barbican Centre, Silk Street EC2Y 8DS

EXHIBITION / The London Open 2018

london magazine
Rachel Ara, This Much I’m Worth (The self-evaluating artwork), 2017, 83 pieces of neon, steel, recycled server room equipment, electronics, computers, IP cameras, programming. Photo Credit: Anise Gallery

The London Open 2018 brings together critical and dynamic art that reflects on the experience of living in a global city. This triennial open submission exhibition features 22 artists working across painting, sculpture, performance and video.

Until 26 August, free

Whitechapel Gallery, 77-82 Whitechapel High Street E1 7QX

FESTIVAL / Smithfield 150

business magazine
There will be activities for the whole family at Smithfield’s 150th anniversary festival. Photo courtesy of Harvey Mills Photography

This August Bank Holiday weekend Culture Mile will take over the markets in Smithfield as well as the surrounding streets, lanes and hidden spaces around Farringdon for a free, fun-filled festival spectacular.

Smithfield 150’s extensive programme extends across six festival zones and two stages, a selection of the most exciting talent, music, food and entertainments from across the Capital set against a stunning Victorian backdrop.

Have a cocktail at the Roller Disco, dance at the main stage, be disgusted by London’s gory past with Horrible Histories, watch Stealing Sheep’s all-female percussion procession, invent party drinks with Company Drinks, or let little ones chill out at their own mini-festival hangout as part of London’s biggest birthday party.

25-26 August, 11am-8pm

Smithfield Market EC1A 9PS

EXHIBITION / Nelson Mandela: The Centenary

Mark the 2018 centenary of iconic leader Nelson Mandela’s birth in this exhibition about his life, career, and commitment to equality and justice. It provides insight into Mandela’s journey from young freedom fighter to becoming the inspiration for an international movement against South Africa’s violent and oppressive apartheid system, and an emblem of an ongoing struggle to build a more just and equitable world.

Until 19 August, free

Southbank Centre, Belvedere Road SE1 8XX



In this article