If you're a music lover, and who isn’t, London will never disappoint. Year round this bustling city hosts lots of exciting and eclectic music festivals, concerts and stadium gigs in an amazing range of venues from world-class arenas to architecturally-stunning concert halls and smaller grassroots pubs and clubs.
Not surprisingly in 2017, after hosting nearly 20,000 live shows the year before, London was named Europe’s live music capital. Globally, London came third, after New York and Los Angeles, prompting Mayor Sadiq Khan to praise the capital’s “world-class” music venues.
So it is little wonder that its reputation as an internationally recognised music hub just keeps growing and music lovers come from across the globe to enjoy the city’s incredible music scene. Whatever your taste there is something on offer from classical to jazz, indie to electronic, folk, blues, rock - the list is endless.
If this year’s Glastonbury is still ringing in your ears or you missed out don’t worry, there are lots of other concerts throughout the rest of the summer. If muddy fields and beer tents aren’t your cup of tea, there are more sedate options! The Royal Albert Hall, Royal Festival Hall, Syon Park in West London, Kew Gardens, Hampton Court Palace and Kenwood House in Hampstead all stage musical events. And the O2 and Wembley Stadium have upcoming performances by some of the world’s biggest stars.
Not to be missed!
If a carnival atmosphere is up your street, after a two year hiatus, Notting Hill Carnival returns from August 27-29. Enjoy Caribbean music, watch elaborate floats and costumed performers wind their way through the streets and dance to the sound of steel bands and calypso music.
All Points East is a festival running over two weekends (with a restful gap in the middle) between August 19-28 in Victoria Park in East London. First held in 2018, it attracts big name artists such as Bjork, Mumford and Sons and James Blake. Attractions this year include Gorillaz and Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds. All Points East always has an eclectic line-up of cool acts.
Clapham Common is a massive park area based in SW London. This large green space with a capacity of up to 45,000 is used for a variety of events throughout the year, including big music concerts and smaller ones around the Bandstand. August sees the return of Electric City.
They don’t come much bigger than Coldplay who will perform live on stage in the Music of the Spheres World Tour at Wembley Stadium on 13th August 2022.
Over at the O2 near Greenwich in London’s South East you can see Christina Aguilera in August, Robbie Williams in October and Rod Stewart in November. Check out the website for other great acts.
Something a bit different.
In November, Syon Park once again hosts the Enchanted Woodland, which sees the 600-year-old gardens transformed by a display of lights and music. The trail winds through the arboretum, passing the sixteenth century Syon House, and ends at the spectacular Great Conservatory.
At the Royal Albert Hall you can experience cinema’s most iconic films with the score performed live by an orchestra - think Star Wars and Harry Potter - all in these spectacular surroundings.
Pub in the Park Chiswick in September sees TV chef Tom Kerridge headlining at his own festival. As well as feasting on culinary delights from some of the best UK chefs, the 2022 line-up at Chiswick Park's three-day event features lots of acts including Craig David and Sophie Ellis-Bextor.
The EFG London Jazz Festival is the capital’s largest city-wide festival, with over 2,000 artists performing in 70 venues across London between 11-20 November. This 10-day celebration of jazz delivers a mix of world-class artists and emerging stars and takes this genre to an ever-growing audience.
Our place on the world music stage is only to be expected considering the artists who hail from the UK - Adele, Ed Sheeran, The Beatles, The Rolling Stones, Elton John and David Bowie - not forgetting classical artists like Gustav Holst, Edward Elgar and Benjamin Britten.
Music is definitely a universal language. As William Shakespeare wrote: “If music be the food of love, play on.”