On Stage: AVA – The Secret Conversations


The Best Alternative Festivals In And Around London 2020

Proving music festivals don't need to hog all the limelight

Everyone loves a music festival, particularly one in a muddy field: it's a staple of British summer time. But festivals don't just stop at music: there are book festivals, film festivals, wellness festivals, food festivals and even wackier types of festivals you haven't imagined yet, all waiting for you to get stuck into. Here are some of the best.

Camp Wildfire

Described as a 'summer camp for adults', this festival celebrates everything wild and wonderful. You can sign up to four activities a day to learn new and exciting skills, from circus aerial to kayaking to beekeeping. Or, perhaps, you'd like to know how to properly crack a whip? You can also get access to the spa for a couple of extra ££, or join a patrol gang to face off in games like the egg and spoon race, or the compliment-off. There are talks and music, too. Trust me, this is one festival where you won't be bored.

Sevenoaks, Kent, 4 - 7 September 2020

London Brunch Fest

We all know Londoners are brunch-obsessed, and this festival, now in its third year, only serves to prove the point. If you're an egg enthusiast, a French toast fanatic or a muffin buff, then you can get all your fix and more here. Now in its second year, the Brick-Lane based festival offers the best in brunch food and drink alongside a buzzing marketplace and even a DJ so you can boogie while you brunch.

Old Truman Brewery, Brick Lane, dates tba

Queen's Park Book Festival

One for the bookworms, this celebration of the literary arts sees authors, poets, actors and artists gather for a weekend of readings, talks, debates and special events. Back this summer by popular demand, the festival offers an exciting range of events and a fabulous array of authors, actors, chefs, musicians, journalists, poets and sportsmen in the line-up. Open for all ages, there will also be children’s events, special programmes and other fringe events interspersed in the main festival programme.

Queen's Park, 27 - 28 June

Taste of London

Fancy getting your hands on a plate of the tastiest grub London has to offer? Well, at Taste of London, you'll be able to try hundreds of them, if you have the stomach space. On top of sampling the fare of some of London's hottest restaurants, the culinarily-minded can try their hand at various workshops, from cocktail making and wine tasting to urban farming and food pairing.

Regent's Park, 17 - 21 June

Byline Festival

After the past few years' success, Byline Festival returns for a fourth go this year - and is possibly more important than ever. This one-of-a-kind festival promoting independent journalism and free speech is aimed at anyone who is interested or concerned about the current state of the media and politics. Byline wants to recapture the spirit of early festivals like Woodstock with a greater sense of purpose. This year, there are opportunities to create films, news articles, podcasts and dramas at the festival with leading writers, journalists and directors.

Uckfield, East Sussex, 28 August