There are now music festivals all around the world, but there’s no doubt that the UK was an innovator in hosting multi-day multi-genre events – and it continues to be home to some of the best and most varied music festivals in existence. The days of Woodstock may be over, but Glastonbury lives on. That said, there’s no need now to spend a week away in a tent surrounded by rain, as the capital has quickly become THE destination for city-based music festivals that require no camping.
This makes these events the ideal day trips for international students hoping to combine the best of the music scene with seeing new areas of London and experiencing a traditional English summer occasion!
Visiting London in the Spring or Summer will present lots of adverts for festivals posted around Underground stations, on billboards, at bus stops, and in magazines. With so much on offer, what’s best to attend? We can help!
The weather is beginning to warm, and as term time ends, festivals make a great opportunity to celebrate the year’s study! There’s plenty of offer in London to suit international students.
The month begins with Finsbury Park based Wireless Festival from 5-7th July, a celebration of MOBO, hip hop and dance music. Cardi B and A$AP Rocky are amongst this year’s acts, so tickets are selling out fast and will need purchasing in advance. Standon Calling is just a train ride out of the city and runs from July 25th-28th, with day tickets available. It’s a laidback festival to suit everyone and has a friendly, personable vibe. 2019’s line-up includes Rag‘n’Bone Man, Nile Rodgers and Kate Nash. Meanwhile, BST (British Summer Time) takes over centrally located Hyde Park for a series of day festivals across the month. Each day has a varied line-up and there’s truly something for everyone. Headliners include Celine Dion, The National, Josh Groban and Florence & The Machine.
August is prime holiday season in the UK, so festivals are often easier to get tickets for as locals tend to jet off elsewhere for their summer vacation. There’s still lots on though, so it may be worth arriving in London a few weeks before your semester starts in September to get your bearings in the capital and attend some great parties!
Dance music fans unite at Eastern Electrics in Morden Park on 3rd-4th August for an intense line-up of techno and drum and bass; and Art’s House takes a punt into the unknown on August 10th with acts only being announced on the day. For an atypical festival experience, the Southbank Centre plays home to a series of gigs curated by a single celebrity – this year, Nile Rodgers – from 3rd-11th August, known as Meltdown Festival.
The end of the month sees the majority of the festivals take shape: 80s in the Park at Three Mile Island is a fun throwback dance party on the 26th, and the South Park Festival (known as the ‘friendliest festival in the world’!) takes place on the 31st and this year will be at Crystal Palace Park. The highlight, however, of the London summer festival calendar is Notting Hill Carnival, a long-established street party that takes over the whole neighbourhood and is an incredible celebration of the Caribbean communities in the capital. What’s more, it’s totally free, and there’s no tickets to be booked – so you can walk around and discover it as takes your fancy!
Attending a music festival is a summer must-do in the UK, so if you’re studying in London, be sure to find one that you’d like to visit. Why not take your host family along for a day out to get to know each other better and treat them for their hospitality?