Spring is officially here, which means this summer’s social calendars are filling up.
And, what says British summer more than sipping a cider on the grass while listening to live music serenading us from a stage full of amps?
With the rest of the year looking clear of restrictions and huge headline acts gracing our beloved city, there’s no better time to grab a ticket to one of the season’s top music festivals. Plus, with the festivals being local, you’ll get to decamp and sleep in your own bed after a day of dancing outdoors.
Whether you’re ready to rave or happy to perch in the park with a hamper and a glass of fizz, this year’s festival scene has something for all tastes and tendencies. Here are some of the top festivals coming to London in 2022.
Cross the Tracks
Taking over Brockwell Park for the third time, Cross the Tracks is a melting pot of soul, funk and jazz. The medium-sized festival has six stages and focuses on good food, drink and even better music.
The laid-back affair is for all ages but older music lovers will recognise Norman Jay MBE, Giles Peterson and Macy Gray. Newer artists are also supporting the icons – we just know Joy Crookes’ and Sampha the Great will sound perfect in the sunshine! The arty festival puts a heavy emphasis on creativity, so make sure you check out the immersive workshops or yoga tents in between sets.
Brockwell Park SE24 0NG
Hampton Court Palace Festival
One for families – and those looking for a slightly slower BPM – Hampton Court Palace Festival offers a relaxed and refined celebration of music this summer.
Pack your picnic hampers and enjoy lunch on the lawn by the moat before making your way to the courtyard to enjoy live music with an incredible Tudor backdrop. The seated arena gives all ages and abilities the chance to experience live music in a breathtaking space. Elbow, The Human League, Michael Ball, McFly and Ministry of Sound Classical are just some of the awesome acts heading to the historical gardens this summer.
Those looking to really make it a day to remember can hire a water-side gazebo which caters for up to 10 people and can be purchased with a VIP concert and dining package, so you don’t have to worry about a thing but enjoying yourself.
Hampton Court Palace KT8 9AU
British Summer Time Hyde Park
A firm favourite with all ages, the reasonably new fixture to Hyde Park has quickly become renowned for its headline acts. The summer event, which falls across the last weekend in June and first weekend in July, channels the original vibe of festivals but with a more organised and high-end feel, complete with a VIP area perfect for bumping into celebs before they head to the music.
This year’s unmissable acts include Elton John, Rolling Stones, Pearl Jam, Duran Duran and the highly anticipated Adele, who will be performing her latest album to hit the charts. The more mature line up will get all parents, grandparents and kids up and singing at the top of their lungs in the centre of London. Run, don’t walk, to get your tickets!
June 24 – July 10
Hyde Park, W2 2UH
Rap devotees will need to place themselves at either Finsbury Park or Crystal Palace Park this July for a weekend of performances from the biggest names in the industry.
Wireless has expanded its reach this year and is setting up stages in three places to give as many people as possible the chance to enjoy some of the world’s best rappers.
The huge event will include ASAP Rocky, Tyler, the Creator, Cardi B, Little Simz, Jack Harlow and Nicki Minaj. Not heard of some of the acts? Don’t worry, you’ll be humming the tracks after the weekend for the rest of the year. We can’t wait to see Finsbury Park bustling with smiling faces on their way to see Mahalia on stage.
Finsbury Park N4
Pub in the Park Chiswick
More than just a music festival, the annual Pub in the Park is one of Chiswick’s biggest celebrations of food too. You’ll be able to catch Tom Kerridge, Jamie Oliver and Alex James (a real food and music crossover) discussing all things foodie before heading to the main stage to catch performances from Craig David and Sophie Ellis-Bextor.
The quintessentially British festival will take over Chiswick House and Gardens for three-days and will be packed with some of music’s true icons. Grab a bowl of something delicious from Kerridge’s Bar & Grill and find the perfect spot to sing along to Beverley Knight in the afternoon. Later, pick up a pint from The Star Inn and end the night on a high with Faithless.
Chiswick House and Gardens W4 2RP
All Points East
Just a stone’s throw away from the Square Mile, the east London festival can’t be missed from the list. Head to Victoria Park this summer for a six-day celebration of all genres across two weekends.
The eclectic line-up has something for everyone. From fan favourites, to top breakthrough acts, this year you’ll see acts like Gorillaz, Disclosure, Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds, Greentea Peng and Michael Kiwanuka grace the stage. Plus, on Saturday August 24, the festival will have a Field Day take over and invite acts like The Chemical Brothers and Kraftwerk to the grounds. The hardest part will be choosing which stage to head to and when.
Victoria Park E9 7DE
Looking for live music with incredible vistas? Look no further than Alexander Palace’s Kaleidoscope this July.
With the sun’s rays shining on the grand, Victorian building, you’ll listen to some of the greats as they take to the stage. Get dancing outside to Groove Armada, Orbital, The Magic Numbers and Happy Mondays with loved ones as you look down onto Ally Pally’s lush parkland and panoramic views of the city. Then, head indoors to hear DJ sets and comedy gold from Dom Joly.
The family friendly one-day event also has an area for little festival goers, which includes magic workshops, a circus and interactive theatre.
Alexandra Palace N22 7AY