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Midsummer madness: how to celebrate the longest day of the year

Posted at 8:00 am, June 21, 2013 in Arts & Entertainment

Friday June 21 is the most auspicious date of the year – for druids and ravers alike. Midsummer is officially the longest day of the year, which makes it a good excuse for the rest of us to stay up late too. Here are some unusual ways to celebrate the solstice today…

See amazing aerialists, for free
A big woop-woop for Greenwich and Docklands International Festival, a nine day wonder with more than 150 free events. This weekend is the big opener: ‘As the World Tipped’, an aerialist-and-big-screen spectacular outside the National Maritime Museum at 10pm on Friday June 21 and Sat June 22. The earth will move…

Stick it to the man (with Uhu)
If Occupy were an art festival it would be Artsadmin’s week-long pro-Gaia anti-capitalist knees-up Two Degrees. Pick of the night at Toynbee Studios is Kate McIntosh’s free ‘Worktable’ (Tuesday-Friday 4-8pm), a session on how to construct ‘re-mades’. You take something that works (an iPhone, say), break it, then reassemble it with string, glue and rubber bands. Fun!

Behold the Globe at midnight
On Friday June 21, a midnight performance of Shakespeare’s raucous wifebeater comedy The Taming of the Shrew’ is the perfect excuse to take in the Globe, and the shortest night of the year, in all its starry glory.

Have a meltdown
It’s your last chance this weekend to catch brilliantly diverse Yoko Ono’s Meltdown festival at the Royal Festival Hall. On the penultimate night, Saturday June 22, there’s an outdoor silent disco for which she’s lined up one of London’s coolest underground creatives, Micachu, to DJ alongside one of the UK’s most cheesily brilliant television personalities, Jonathan Ross. Wock ’n’ woll!

Become obscured by clouds
Get primed for Glastonbury at Dalston’s much-loved hippy haven Passing Clouds. On Saturday June 22, the club-bar-community space hosts an all-night Technicolor solstice party, where you can enjoy festival vibes without risking trench foot.

Enjoy the finest labels
For a more raucous rave-up, two pioneering dance music labels host rival parties this Saturday. London bass innovator Night Slugs fills Shoreditch’s XOYO, while at Peckham’s Bussey Building, Glasgow imprint Numbers bang hard until 6am.

Street surrender
What, still not in bed? Very well, on Sunday June 23 loads of venues around Rivington Street, including Bar Music Hall, the Strongroom and Cargo, are uniting for a massive street party with outdoor stages, gigs, DJs and a pop-up nail bar. The perfect excuse for a post-solstice booze up… As if you lot needed one.

Need some more ideas? Here’s more of this week’s hot happenings.

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