© David John - Flickr: DavenJohn


62 brilliant ways to spend the bank holiday weekend

© Andrejs Fjodorovs- Greenwich evening

[Photo: Andrejs Fjodorovs]

It’s time to party! The largest street festival in Europe is back and alongside the main parades, steel bands, and mega soundsystems, a huge offering of warm-up and after parties are taking place across the city. Check out some of the best below. Or if you need a break from all that dancing, why not head to a ‘Hawaiian ping-pong party’, get spooked at FrightFest, or catch some free theatre by the river. Here’s the best things happening in London from Friday to Monday…

Fun things to do

Notting Hill Carnival, Notting Hill, Sun-Mon, free. A two-day festival of fantastic live music ranging from reggae to dub to salsa, soca floats, steel bands, uplifting beats, jerk chicken and fried plantain food stalls.

South West Four, Clapham Common, Sat-Sun, £52.50-£125. The Clapham Common weekender returns for another epic two-days of heavyweight DJs reppin’ house, techno, drum and bass and much more.

Behind This Wall’s 2nd Birthday Party, London Fields Brewery, Saturday, £10-£12. Join wandering bar ‘Behind This Wall’ as they celebrate their second birthday with delicious drinks, a vinyl market, DJs and street food.

Hawaiian Ping Pong party, Bounce, Sunday, £10. Bounce and dating site ‘DoingSomething’ team up for a Hawaiian themed ping pong party, giving singles in London a chance to find tropical love.

Moving Stories, Southbank Centre, Saturday, free. Theatre and eventmakers Moving Stories invite the public to join in a mass outdoor performance of their abridged version of ‘A Midsummer Night’s Dream’.

Every Street in Soho, various locations in Soho, Saturday, £35. If you want to get to grips with the geography of Soho’s many fascinating nooks and crannies you’d do well to sign up for this all-day walk. It covers 119 streets, mews, courts and other thoroughfares.

Sail Awake Sunday: A Morning Gloryville Boat Party, Tower Millennium Pier, Sunday, £25-£30 adv. Departing from Tower Millennium Pier aboard the Dutch Master, the crew will host three decks featuring live acoustic music, spiritual workshops, massages and yoga, deck games and a brunch and juice bar, plus the usual dancefloor action.

Regency Weekend, Apsley House, Sunday, £6.90, £6.20 concs. Over the weekend you can ‘meet’ the Napoleonic gentry and learn how to dance Jane Austen-style in the ballroom.

Mind Sports Olympiad, JW3, Fri-Mon, £10-£15, spectators free. This annual festival of the mind is a showcase of tournaments in more than 60 board games.

Boomf at Selfridges, Selfridges, all weekend. Website Boomf lets you print your Instagram photos onto marshmallows and they’ve set up their edible selfie machine at the department store on Oxford Street.

Paw Pageant, Old Spitalfields Market, Monday, free. The annual pooch parade raising funds for Battersea Dogs and Cats Home is set to be the most adorable fashion event of the summer.

OnePiece Battle, Boxpark, Monday, free. Norwegian jumpsuit purveyors OnePiece are hosting an afternoon of dance battles on Boxpark’s corner of astroturf this bank holiday Monday.

The Great Taste of Honey Festival, The Apiary, Monday, free. West London beekeepers from the Twickenham and Thames Valley Bee-keepers’ Association will submit their sticky products for judgment on Monday.

…or check out more events happening this bank holiday weekend.

Eating and drinking

L’Anima Café

L’Anima Café, Spitalfields. Tuck into a southern Italian inspired menu, with a simple yet elegant selection of dishes.

Meza, Tooting. Chow down on freshly prepared Lebanese meze, with plates including crisp-shelled falafels and lemon-spiked fava beans.

The Art of Dining: The Colour Palate, Carousel. Fri-Sat, £50. A pop-up dinner exploring how often we truly focus on colours and to what extent they influence our emotions.

Bleach Bar, Bleach Hair Salon, Fri-Sat. The hippest hair salon in Dalston is hosting a pop-up bar for the next two months. Cocktails include ‘Slushinos’ and ‘Grotbags’ alongside many other colourful creations.

The Snack Happy Parlour, Bateman Street, Fri-Sat, free. Tuck into blue cheese and crackers-flavour ice cream.

Meantime Brewfest, Old Brewery, Sat-Mon, £20. Meantime Brewing produce craft beer in Greenwich all year round, but this third festival of theirs sees 40 breweries from all over the world gather at The Old Brewery in The Royal Naval College for three days of beer tasting, food pairing and live music.

… or see the latest restaurant reviews.

Camden Fringe: Tasty Combo Go to Hell


Camden Fringe: Tasty Combo Go to Hell, Camden Head, all weekend, £9, £7. Following a hit run at last year’s Camden Fringe, promising sketch quintet Tasty Combo are back with more sharp-witted skits.

Simon Evans – Leashed, Soho Theatre, Fri- Sat, £15-£17.50. Bone-dry jokes about middle-class woes in this slick ‘Live at the Apollo’ star’s latest solo show.

Camden Fringe: Joanna Neary vs Dyball & Kerr, Camden Head, Sat-Sun, £7, £6 concs. Ace character comic Joanna Neary teams up with duo Dyball & Kerr for an hour of sketches.

99 Club Piccadilly Circus, Queen’s Head, Sunday, £10, £8 concs. Excellent value Sunday night LOLs with crafty storyteller Brett Goldstein.

…or check out all the critics’ choice comedy shows.

Art Brut

Live music

Art Brut, Tooting Tram and Social, TONIGHT, £12.50. Eddie Argos’s angular, awkwardly artful and admirably sharp-tongued indie troupe are still the closest we’ve come to a second Pulp.

Courtly Love, Sebright Arms, TONIGHT, £6 adv. Smoky psychedelic rock, drawing musically on The Brian Jonestown Massacre and Gainsbourg.

Wayne Hernandez, Hideaway, TONIGHT, £15. London Community Gospel Choir veteran and session singer Hernandez has worked with everyone from Kool And The Gang to Blur, via Tina Turner, Tori Amos, Madonna and Gorillaz.

Imogen Heap, Roundhouse, Sunday, £30-£35. Heap rounds off her ‘Reverb’ season at the Roundhouse with a live performance, where you’ll hear the whole of her new album ‘Sparks’.

The Pains Of Being Pure At Heart, Rough Trade East, Bank Holiday Monday, free. The band are back in town to showcase their new album ‘Days of Abandon’ at this free in-store.

…or see all 26 music events happening this weekend.


Hot Wuk]

 Club nights

Kurv, Egg London, TONIGHT, £15-£25 adv. Purveyor of some mighty fine, mighty sleazy, glitchy R&B, Jimmy Edgar channels the weirder side of Detroit’s electronic music persona at this edition of Kurv, dipping into garage, funk and minimal techno along the way.

Carnival 2014: Trouble Vision Carnival Warm-up, Corsica Studios, TONIGHT, £5-£8. The TV crew return for their ace annual Carnival warm-up at their usual warehouse-styled arch in Elephant & Castle.

The Hydra 2014 Launch Weekend, Fri-Sun, Studio Spaces E1, £10-£20. Launching in style, new night Hydra offers Carl Craig + Zomby on Friday, Ghostly International with Matthew Dear + Com Truise on Saturday night, and M-Plant with Robert Hood + Blawan on Sunday. All killer no filler.

Carnival 2014: Hot Wuk Truck Party, Koko, Saturday, £12-£18 adv. Acclaimed bashment crew The Heatwave are bringing a Carnivalled-up truck to Koko.

Orlando Boom, Queen of Hoxton, Saturday, £7, £3-£5 adv. The upfront and up-for-it party returns for a huge summer party, settling down back at the Queen of Hoxton.

Troupe Terrace Party with Dennis Ferrer, Egg London, Saturday, £10-£20. NYC house ace Dennis Ferrer headlines this mammoth (19-hour) party in north London.

Oval Space Music: All Day and Night Bank Holiday Special, Oval Space, Saturday, £27.50 (day and night combined ticket), £23 (night only). Rave-dipped, jungle-rinsing, bassy house-relaying chameleon Paul Woolford (aka Special Request) headlines this huge bank holiday party at Oval Space.

Carnival 2014: Pineapple Jam Carnival Afterparty, Canavan’s Peckham Pool Club, Saturday, £4. Furiously funky club night Pineapple Jam celebrates Carnival in its own tropical, dancefloor-ready style.

Carnival 2014: Memory Box ‘History of Bass’, The Horse & Groom, Saturday, £5, £3 adv, free before 10pm. Jungle royalty Bryan Gee and Jumping Jack Frost join Memory Box founder Robin Ball for a night of ’80s house, breakbeat, drum ‘n’ bass and much more, raising the dancefloor temperature and stirring up a Carnival atmosphere.

Bank Holiday BBQ with Justin Martin, Dalston Roof Park and The Nest, Sunday, £8-£12.50. This enticing party begins in the daytime on top of Dalston Roof Park, where you can lounge in the gardens and munch on tasty BBQ food, before moving a short hop up the road to The Nest, where the proper partying begins.

Gilles Peterson… Up on the Roof, Prince of Wales, Sunday, £14 adv. Gilles Peterson, whose smooth, soulful, electronic mixes always get sophisticated ravers grooving, will be DJing on the terrace at this Brixton venue.

… or check out all the Notting Hill Carnival warm-up and after parties.



FrightFest 2014, Leicester Square, all weekend, prices vary. Over the past 15 years London’s FrightFest has grown from a bunch of mates screening films to a can’t-miss for horror fans.

Prince Take-Over, Prince Charles Cinema, Saturday, £17.50, £15 concs. The Minneapolis sex-midget takes over the appropriately named Prince Charles Cinema for an extended evening of leather kecks, high camp and wailing guitars.

‘Alien’ 35th anniversary, Genesis Cinema, Sunday, £20. Join editor Terry Rawlings and producer Ivor Powell to celebrate 35 years of terror in space.

Alibi Film Club: ‘Natural Born Killers’, Alibi, Monday, free. Revisit Oliver Stone’s 1994 violent media satire, with Juliette Lewis and Woody Harrelson leaving a trail of devastation in their wake.

Or at the cinema…

Two Days, One Night ★★★★★ Marion Cotillard gives (another!) Oscar-worthy performance.

Lucy ★★★☆☆ Luc Besson’s latest beat ’em-up is unexpectedly weird – and surprisingly fun.

What If? ★★★☆☆ Daniel Radcliffe bucks the success-to-mess path of many child actors in this romcom.

Charulata, ★★★★★ This graceful portrait of a lonely woman in late nineteenth-century Calcutta is a masterpiece of world cinema.

…or take a look at the latest film reviews.

The Picture of John Gray

At the theatre

The Picture of John Gray, Old Red Lion Theatre, Fri-Sun, £10-£15. Oscar Wilde does not appear in this bright new play from CJ Wilmann, but his presence is felt keenly.

The Ring Cycle Plays, The Scoop at More London, Fri-Sun, free. A sassy, pared-down adaptation of Wagner’s epic blend of German and Scandinavian myths, staged for free as part of the More London Free Festival.

Muswell Hill, White Bear Theatre, Fri-Sun, £14, £10 concs. It’s a sharp and angry play; a painful portrait of a middle-class milieu, more connected than ever but barren with loneliness.

Jezebel, Soho Theatre, Fri-Mon, £15, £10 concs. Mark Cantan’s play is a very knowing, often very funny comedy of misunderstanding that follows the fraught love lives of affable, some would say dull, statistician Alan and his feisty self-help-guru girlfriend Robin.

A Streetcar Named Desire, Young Vic, Fri-Sat, Mon, £10-£35. Genius director Benedict Andrews sends Gillian Anderson into a spin.

…or check out the critics’ choice theatre reviews.

Hans Hillmann: Film Posters

The best new art

Hans Hillmann: Film Posters, Kemistry, Fri-Mon, free. The late German graphic designer was responsible for interpreting the films of Jean-Luc Godard, Ingmar Bergman, Jean Cocteau, Michelangelo Antonioni, Federico Fellini, Luis Buñuel and Akira Kurosawa into poster form.

BMW Tate Live: Up Hill Down Hall: An indoor carnival, Tate Modern, Saturday, free. Get engaged in some Carnival activity at the Tate with this mass-performative event.

Bronwen Buckeridge: This is Not a Dog Show, Matt’s Gallery, Saturday, free. As a teaser for the gallery’s autumn exhibition programme ‘Revolver’, Buckeridge has invited dogs to participate in a audio performance taking place along the canal by the gallery.

Ian Whittlesea: A Breathing Bulb, Marlborough Contemporary, Fri, Mon, free. Whittlesea’s pulsating bulb is a meditative piece of art. As the light grows, it stings your eyes, then as it fades away, a sense of calm returns.

Tim Hetherington: Infidel, Photofusion, Fri-Mon, free. The late photojournalist’s images and videos capture individual perspectives of war, both military and civilian.

Open For Business, Science Museum, Fri-Mon, free. The Science Museum is the first stop for this touring exhibition, which tells the story of contemporary British manufacturing and industry.

Something Very Extraordinary, Peckham Platform, Sat-Sun, free. Drawing from the personal collection of the Whitten family and those of the Museum of London, this exhibition showcases rare images of the Grand Surrey Canal over the last 100 years.

…or see the all the London art reviews.

And finally…

Win… tickets to Totally Thames’ Fire Garden by Carabosse, or a trip to Malawi’s Lake of Stars Festival.

Grab… £12.50 tickets for the ‘Designers In Residence’ late event on September 13.

Book… these gigs while you still can. 

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