Free Festivals in London This Summer
Greenwich + Docklands International Festival 2014
An epitome of local culture, GDIF 2014 takes outdoor performing arts to a whole new level right in the streets of the capital. A nine-day free festival in London replete with theatre, arts, dance, comedy, and music! From mesmerizing street theatre to giggling stand-up comedy, there is a lot to keep you active and entertained. The festival features around 150 performances by 30national and international companies, making it a must-visit event. Celebrating cultural vibrancy, the ambitious performers also include disabled artists and people from diverse backgrounds. This year, the festival promises to transport you to unique settings including an Island of sand, a giant head, a flying ship, and a larger than life house too.
Venue: Greenwich and East London
Event Website: http://www.festival.org/
City of London Festival Procession 2014
Another dose of culture and celebration, City of London Festival brings dance, music, and colour to the streets of the Square Mile in the summer months. Thousands of carousers take part in this vibrant community project and weather is often kind during this time so you can expect to have a great time. The main parade (which is free) is the highlight of the event winding its way around the Square Mile. Last year, world forests and trees inspired the procession. The parade featured vibrant costumes representing wildlife and sculptors made of recycled material. The grand procession is accompanied by Children’s parade with live music concerts on the stairways of St Paul’s Cathedral right in the heart of the city. Make sure to book your accommodation in City of London in advance to stay in proximity to the venues.
Dates: 22nd Jun 2014 – 17th July 2014
Venue: Various locations
Event Website: http://www.colf.org/
Notting Hill Carnival 2014
The largest street festival of its kind, Notting Hill Carnival is an annual free event that packs the streets of West London with Calypso music, tempting food stalls, and steel bands. It’s a huge party and you are invited too! Expect over 50000 costumed performers bringing a Caribbean inspired sea of colours into the streets of London. The main parade takes place every year on the Bank Holiday but the festivities continue long after the big party is over. Almost 2.5 million people attend the carnival weekend and make sure that you are part of these this year.
Dates: 24th Aug 2014 – 25th Aug 2014
Venue: Various locations
Event Website: http://www.thelondonnottinghillcarnival.com/
iTunes Festival 2014
Here’s one for music lovers! Plan a month long vacation to London if you haven’t yet, as iTunes Festival brings a free gig every night for the whole month! To get your excitement level up, the line-up of gigs is kept under wrap until the final moment, making it even more intriguing. Tickets are free of cost but you have to enter a competition on the official website. You can compete for as many gigs as you want but don’t worry if you don’t win as the recording of the gigs is sold exclusively on iTunes. However, keep a track of the event website as previous year’s festival included many exciting acts and names like Jessie J, Jake Bugg, Justin Timberlake, Jack Johnson, 30 Seconds To Mars, Queens of the Stone Age, Primal Scream, and Phoenix.
Date: 6th Sep 2014 - 5th October 2014
Venue: Roundhouse, Chalk Farm Road, Camden, London NW1 8EH
Event Website: http://www.itunesfestival.com/
Mayor Thames Festival 2014
An inspiring 10-day celebration dedicated to the iconic River Thames, Mayor’s Thames Festival brings music, outdoor art, theatre, and education along the banks and bridges. Instead of the usual carnival and fireworks, this free summer festival in London is now focussed on what it was intended for which is Thames. Last year’s highlights included1513: A Ships’ Opera by Richard Wilson and Zatorski + Zatorski, 600-voice children’s choir, riverside film screenings, Adrift by Hew Locke, and various Thames walks and talks. Most of it is free at many venues from Westminster Bridge to Tower Bridge.
Dates: September 2014 (TBC)
Venue: Various locations along Thames
Event Website: http://thamesfestival.org/
Along with the shining sun, there’s a lot that’ll brighten up London this summer. Make sure to be a part of these wonderful festivals in 2014 to make the most of your London vacation.
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