Top 5 Music Festivals in London for Summer 2024

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A lively music festival at night, featuring a large stage with vibrant lighting and two big screens. Multicolored streamers shoot out over a dense crowd of concert-goers. A logo with colorful squares is visible in the top left corner.

The capital always has the best selection of day festivals in the country, spread across the many urban parks London has to offer. Given the wide selection, us at Culture Calling will make it simple: here are the top 5 unmissable festivals in London this summer.

May Bank Holiday Festivals

While the optimistic among you may consider the May Bank Holiday festivals to be quote unquote "Summer Festivals", and be wondering why none of those great options are to be found on this article, we have already written our guide to London's May festivals which can be found here.

All Points East

A green graphic on a green background depicts a mushroom-like object with dark green and brown patterns. To the left, the text All Points East is displayed in a bold white font with stylized > symbols before All and East.

16th, 17th, 23rd, 24th, and 25th of August | Victoria Park, Grove Road, Bow, E3 5TB | Tickets from £60

The multi-weekend, star-studded, frankly behemothic All Points East (or APE for short) has risen to the top, now the cream of the crop of London’s summer festivals.

Despite only hosting their first festival in 2018, wherein they won the UFA award for Line-up of the Year, and missing a year due to Covid, they have gone on to devour other smaller London festivals in their wake, including the prestigious Field Day that is now presented under the All Points East banner.

Their presence cannot be ignored. Friday 16th of August presents Kaytranada, who despite his immense popularity and influence rarely comes to the UK, as well as Thundercat and Channel Tres. The following day hosts Loyle Carner, Nas (yes, that Nas), Ezra Collective, and Sainte.

The following week has LCD Soundsystem, Pixies, Floating Points, and Jockstrap, and the following day (Field Day) has Justice, PinkPanthress, and Charlotte De Witte headlining.

We are still not done, as the 25th of August presents The Postal Service and Death Cab for Cutie (both lead by Ben Gibbard), The Decemberists, Phoenix, and Sleater-Kinney. And these are only selected headliners, the line-up poster goes on like a Lidl receipt.

With a line-up so comprehensive, so diverse in genres and styles across eras, held over two weekends on multiple days, it’s fair to say that All Points East wins the accolade of Best London Summer festival. Already monolithic and only growing in size, its foreseeable that by 2030, Victoria Park may be renamed ‘All Points East Playground’.

See their website here

Chaka Khan's Meltdown

A vibrant yellow promotional poster for Southbank Centre: Chaka Khan's Meltdown, showcasing black-and-white photos of Chaka Khan singing energetically. Event dates are noted as Fri 14 - Sun 23 Jun 2024.

14th - 23rd June | Southbank Centre, Belvedere Road, London SE1 8XX | Tickets from £25

For those unfamiliar with the Meltdown festival, each year, an acclaimed artist is responsible for curating ten days of events at the Southbank Centre.

This year, soul and disco legend Chaka Khan takes the reigns, selecting a line-up of a wide variety of artists in the soul, jazz, and funk tradition.

Inaugurated by Chaka Khan performing a night full of her greatest hits, some highlights include Speakers Corner Quarter and Guildhall Session Orchestra on Monday 17th, rising star Judi Jackson on Thursday 20th, Afro-jazz collective Balimaya Project on the 21st (seriously, give these guys a listen), and downbeat kings Morcheeba on the 22nd.

And to cap it all off, Chaka Khan performs on the final event of the festival with Nu Civilisation Orchestra, aka ClassiKhan, performing orchestral reworks of her classics backed by one of the country’s best ensembles. Unmissable may just be a gross understatement.

See the full list of events here

Mighty Hoopla

A group of six adults in festive costumes pose for a photo outdoors. They wear colorful wigs, sunglasses, and playful accessories like a police hat and feather boas. One person holds a hula hoop. They appear to be at a lively event with trees and tents in the background.

1st and 2nd of June | Brockwell Park, Herne Hill, Brixton, SE24 0NG | Tickets from £55

The major LGBT+ festival in London, Mighty Hoopla attracts a diverse audience of old-school lovers, pop fanatics, cheese-eaters (as in lovers of cheesy pop music), as well as the wider queer community.

Nothing more than simple, fun-loving excitement, Mighty Hoopla offers a welcoming, lackadaisical atmosphere for festival-goers bored of the macho nonsense.

Held over just two days, they present a line-up that would befit a week-long Saturnalia. The first day: Nelly Furtado, Kim Petras, Bananarama, Artful Dodger, Cher Lloyd, and Rebecca Black (lol); the following day, Jessie Ware, Rita Ora, Alison Goldfrapp, Cat Burns, Girls Don’t Sync, and Rachel Stevens, just to name a few highlights. Need I say more?

See their website here

Summer Dayes Festival

A colorful poster for the Summer Dayes event at Crystal Palace Bowl on August 4, 2024. The image features a vibrant sunset sky, bands performing on a stage surrounded by lush greenery, and a pond with lily pads in the foreground.

4th of August | Crystal Palace Bowl, 59 Crystal Palace Park Road, London SE20 8DT | Tickets from £50

Curated by none other than our Album of the Year winner Yussef Dayes, the Summer Dayes festival offers much more than just music.

Jelly coconuts, Caribbean food, Yoga classes hosted by Yussef Dayes’ dad, and hosted by Munya Chawawa, the unbeatable summer vibes are only here matched by a quality line-up consisting of Masego, Greentea Peng, Charlotte Day Wilson, and of course, Yussef Dayes himself.

Held at Crystal Palace Bowl, we are here praying for good weather to bring light to Yussef Dayes hometown, an event that means much to the artists. For fans of modern jazz, soul, and alternative rap, this will be your summer destination.

The festival has no official website, but all the details including booking can be found on Yussef Dayes' website here

Big Smoke

Promotional image for the Big Smoke Festival, featuring a gradient text logo in orange and yellow with the event date 6th July 2024 and location Crystal Palace Park in bold letters against a backdrop of greenery and city buildings.

6th of July | Crystal Palace Park, Thicket Road, SE19 2GA | Tickets from £72

Curated by one of the UK’s greatest musical exports and Grime legend, Skepta, the highly-anticipated Big Smoke festival is more than just a chance for Skepta to engineer his headlining a festival.

Held at Crystal Palace park, the Skepta-curated line-up includes some huge names in the scene, including UK underground legend The Streets, Mahalia, Skepta’s brother and accomplished rapper JME, K-Trap, labelmate Frisco, internationally acclaimed MC Flowdan, and ubiquitous producer and DJ Sir Spiro, all on mainstage.

The secondary stage, Mas Tiempo, goes more in the house/dance/Latin direction to offer a break from the bass-heavy, MC-driven mainstage acts. Undoubtedly impressive for Skepta’s first day out.

See more info and tickets here