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52 immense things happening this weekend in London

Instagram/Zöé Caldwell

[Photo: Instagram/Zöé Caldwell ]

Wondering what to do with yourself this weekend? Head to Loncon for sci-fi geekery, watch ‘The Lion King’ in a hot tub, or spice things up a little with chilli-spiked ice cream at Kerb. It’s going to be a corker!

Cool things to do 

Picnic in the Park, Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park, Saturday, free. Communities from across east London are invited to gather together for a huge picnic at the Olympic Park.

Trinity Hospice’s Summer Cinema Series, Trinity Hospice, Fri-Sat, £15, £10 concs. The UK’s oldest hospice invites film-lovers into their award-winning gardens to watch screenings of classic films this weekend. Catch ‘Blues Brothers’ tonight and ‘Ferris Bueller’s Day Off’ on Saturday.

Free Boris Bikes, across London, Fri-Sat, free. To celebrate four years of the scheme that we’re supposed to call ‘Barclays bikes’ you can cycle the city for free.

Saturday Night at the Spiegeltent, Waterloo, Saturday, £17.50 adv. A night of silent disco fun and hidden happenings at the London Wonderground. The Spiegeltent will be blasting classic and current party songs into revellers’ headphones.

Seven Dials Spotlight, Covent Garden, Saturday, free. An open-air stage will host performances by flashmobsters Pineapple Dance Studios, the Tristan Bates Theatre, comedian Ian Stone and the London Bass All-Stars.

Croquet East, Victoria Park, Saturday, free. Monthly sessions of croquet with all equipment provided and coaches on hand with helpful tips. 

Loncon 3, Excel Centre, all weekend, £135, £35-£75 concs. This five-day extravaganza brings together the science fiction and fantasy communities to celebrate art, film, literature and other assorted mediums of geekery.

Edible Garden, Flower Garden & Apothecary Bar, Nunhead, Saturday, £10,£6 concs. A cul-de-sac in Nunhead will be transformed into an edible miniature garden where visitors can pick and eat plants and flowers and enjoy cocktails at the bar.

House of Vans, Waterloo, all weekend, free. The tunnels have been transformed into a hip hub of skating, art and music. Sign up for free skate/bmx sessions this weekend.

Celebratory Family Day, Geffrye Museum, Sunday, free. To mark its centenary this year, the Geffrye Museum is running a family day, programmed by its youngest consultants. Kids will be able to play in the garden, drum and dance to sounds from The Rig, and make animal masks.

…or check out more events happening in London this weekend.

choco chido kerb ice cream

Eating and drinking

Kerb’s ice cream adventure, King’s Cross, Saturday. Traders will be scooping out some amazing sounding treats such as chilli-spiked ice cream, DIY doughnut sundaes, ice cream sandwiches and organic fro-yo with caramelised bacon and candy floss toppings.

Urban Food Fest Red Hot Chilli Pepper, Shoreditch, Saturday. Turn up the heat with pork kimchi burgers, ‘pepper pot’ jerk chicken and chilli and chocolate crème brûlée at this night market.

Chacho Buenos Aires Rib Club, Vauxhall, Sat-Sun. A supper club in a converted metal yard, serving up meaty sharing plates, cocktails and boutique wines.

London Craft Beer Festival, The Oval, all weekend, £35. Back for a second year, the international line-up of breweries includes Beavertown, Magic Rock, Sierra Nevada, Evil Twin and BrewDog.

Foodies Festival, Battersea, all weekend, £12-£15. This festival for food lovers features demonstrations, tastings and master classes with well-known chefs, as well as restaurant tents and a speciality producers market.

Culpeper, Whitechapel. A new gastropub in the heart of London’s East End, providing an easy mix of drinking and dining.

…or check out our 100 best restaurants in London.

Bill Bailey unplugged


Bill Bailey Unplugged, Leicester Square Theatre, Fri-Sat, £13. A rare chance to see one of this country’s finest comedy talents up close and unplugged.

Simon Evans – Leashed, Soho Theatre, Fri-Sat, £15- £17.50. Slick, super-sharp wit from this ‘Live at the Apollo’ star.

Dave Hughes – Pointless, Soho Theatre, Fri-Sat, £12.50-£20. No-nonsense stand-up Dave Hughes is a household name in his home country of Australia.

Banana Cabaret, The Bedford, Fri-Sat, £16, £13 concs. This weekend’s line-up includes crazed Canadian Phil Nichol and pro-quizzing comic Paul Sinha.

…or take a look at all the critics’ choice comedy shows.

 Neutral Milk Hotel

Live music

Jabberwocky fall-out gigs…

Neutral Milk Hotel, The Forum, TONIGHT, £25. The US indie band play a special show here after the cancellation of Jabberwocky festival.

Ought + Big Ups, The Old Blue Last, TONIGHT, free. The band play a free east London show, with support from Big Ups.

Metz, Shacklewell Arms, Saturday, free. The intense chugging of their down-tuned guitar storm is something to witness live.

Kurt Vile & The Violators, Village Underground, Saturday, £20. Formerly best known for collaborating with Philadelphia noise-rockers The War On Drugs, Vile’s brilliant latest album ‘Wakin on a Pretty Daze’ has made him a major live draw.


Girls In Front, The Silver Bullet, Saturday, £10, £5-£7 adv. This all-female rap event aims to bring pride back to UK rap. There’s an open mic section as well for aspiring spitters.

The Damned, The Forum, Saturday, £10. The ’70s goth-punk stalwarts play a bargain show with tickets costing only a tenner.

…or check out all 49 music events this weekend.


Club nights

FabricLive, Fabric, TONIGHT, £14-£20. Daniel Avery launches a new night at Fabric, supported by fellow electronic innovators, Factory Floor and Machinedrum.

XOYO Second Birthday Sessions: Todd Terje, XOYO, TONIGHT, £15-£20 adv. Expect a storming set from Terje, who’ll likely rework his killer funk tracks into dirty dancefloor bangers.

Northern Soul Allnighter, 100 Club, Saturday, £12. A night of Northern Soul, ’60s exclusives, and R’n’B.

Bipolar Terrace Party, Egg, Sunday, £7. House producer Burnski spins sunny, Balearic grooves at this daytime party. Close your eyes and pretend you’re in Ibiza and not King’s Cross.

…or see 79 parties happening this weekend.

Amy Grimehouse: Big Business


Amy Grimehouse: Big Business, Hackney Picturehouse, TONIGHT, £10. Enjoy some high camp in Hackney with this madcap Bette Midler comedy from 1988.

Hollywood Spring Block Party, Hollywood Spring, Saturday, free. A scratchy, original 16mm print of John Waters’s ‘Pink Flamingos’ will be screened and DJs and live synth sountracks will provide additional entertainment.

Teenage Kicks, BFI, Sat-Sun, £8.15 -£11.50. More international coming-of-age stories. This weekend, see ‘Fast Times at Ridgemont High’ and ‘To Our Loves’.

Hot Tub Cinema ’90s mix tape, Shoreditch, Saturday, prices vary. Hop into a hot tub and travel back to the ’90s. ‘The Lion King’ is showing this weekend.

Or at the cinema…

The Notorious Mr Bout ★★★★☆ What does it take to earn the title ‘Merchant of Death’? Watch this doc and find out.

Dinosaur 13 ★★★☆☆ A remarkable tale of science versus government.

The Congress ★★★☆☆ ‘Waltz With Bashir’ director Ari Folman takes a determined stride into the past with this dizzying, disjointed, always fascinating live action-animation hybrid.

…or take a look at all the new film releases.

My Night With Reg

At the theatre

My Night With Reg, Donmar Warehouse, Fri-Sat, £10-£35. Kevin Elyot’s beautifully funny and achingly sad production, which is marking its twentieth anniversary with this revival at the Donmar.

The Boy Who Climbed Out of His Face, The Jetty, all weekend, £10. A 45-minute experience taking place in a pavilion built from shipping containers in a new open-air venue.

Epstein: The Man Who Made the Beatles, Leicester Square Theatre. Fri-Sat, £30-£42.50. The story of Brian Epstein, the man who dragged The Beatles from the sweatbox of the Cavern Club into the pop stratosphere.

Sommer 14 – A Dance of Death, Finborough Theatre, all weekend, £14-£16. This play dramatises the notoriously complicated build-up of WWI – the cataclysmic events and the strategising done by key political figures.

Wolf Hall, Aldwych Theatre, Saturday, £10-£59. The RSC has created a thrilling stage version of Hilary Mantel’s novel about Thomas Cromwell. 

Julius Caesar, Shakespeare’s Globe, Fri-Sat, £15-£42, £5 standing tickets. Globe boss Dominic Dromgoole taps into the power of the mob in his rowdy staging of the Bard’s history play.

…or check out the critics’ choice theatre reviews.

Southwark Park 150 Years

The best new art

Southwark Park 150 Years, CGP London Cafe Gallery, Sat-Sun, free. A collection of historic and contemporary photographs celebrates the 150th anniversary of the Southwark Park Act 1864.

Open School East, PEER, Fri-Sat, free. Twelve associate artists of Open School East (a residency programme that engages with the local community) showcase their work and launch the school’s first publication alongside a series of events.

Je Baak: Ritual – Media – Karma, HADA Contemporary, all weekend, free. The South Korean artist creates a ‘Karmic Diary’ by photographing the repetitive act of making  a calligraphic line on paper.

Jonathan Morer: Under the Unminding Skies, Old Street station, all weekend, free. The French artist captures London’s daily life in poetic photographic moments.

Home Sweet Home, Atomica Gallery, all weekend, free. A joint exhibition of new paintings from Nicholas Stevenson and Angela Dalinger exploring imaginary dwellings.

GO FIGURE, Cob Galllery, Fri-Sat, free. An exhibition bringing together six young UK based artists working predominately with the human form.

…or see the latest art reviews.

And finally

Win… one of 100 pairs of tickets to a private view of Digital Revolution or tickets to Totally Thames’ Fire Garden by Carabosse.

Grab… up to 50% off tickets to see The Pajama Game.

Book… these gigs while you still can.

And don’t forget the best of the blog…

12 more things never to do in London (as picked by you)

Video: great white shark spotted in Finsbury Park

Top 100 restaurants: the best restaurant in London is…

20 things coming to London by 2050

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