The Revel Puck Circus
When you’re watching circus artists deftly swing dozens of feet up in the air, walking along tightropes and balancing on each others’ shoulders with the greatest of ease, it’s easy to forget how much of a risk they’re actually taking. Which is the thinking behind Revel Puck’s latest show, where the performers want you to be aware of exactly how much they’re dicing with fate. You’ll be able to stop by and chat with the artists backstage as they get ready for the show, before watching them perform jaw-dropping feets with teeterboards, cloud swings and the wheel of death.
Details: 29th July – 8th August | Leyton Jubilee Park, Seymour Road, London E10 7BL | £15
A Midsummer Night’s Dream at Kew
What better time to go and see a Midsummer Nights Dream than on an actual midsummer night? And what better place than in an actual forest? And what better excuse to say the phrase ‘what a great Bottom’ a lot?
Details: 28th July–29th August (Tue-Sun) | Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, W9 3AB | £30
Secret Garden Concerts
After the COVID-shaped sledgehammer same thumping down on musical concerts last year, what was left when it came back up was Secret Garden Concerts. They’re outdoors, they’re intimate, and they take place in a palatial, hidden garden. And this year, they’re adding jazz (from the Jay Rayner Quartet, amongst others), comedy, theatre, and a pop up restaurant.
Details: 30th July to 12th September | 53 Mount Ephraim Lane, SW16 1JE | Various prices
Redchurch Street is basically its own mini neighbourhood, and to show off that fact, it’s getting a mini festival at the start of August, filling the street with art installations, live music, street food, ping pong tables, and exclusive Allpress coffee ice cream sandwiches.
Details: 31st July-1st August | Redchurch Street, E2
Shōtengai Japanese Market
Native & Co
If watching the Olympics has made you yearn for a (currently impossible) trip to Japan, you can find the next best thing at Coal Drops Yard at the start of the month. They’re hosting a pop-up shōtengai – a neighbourhood covered market – with traders selling all kinds of Japanese goods (including stationery, posters and homeware), alongside food from Rise Bakery and Brixton’s Osakan canteen, Okan.
Details: 31st July & 1st, 7th & 8th August | Lower Stable Street And Stable Street Coal Drops Yard, N1C 4DR | Free entry
Wong Kar Wai at Wun’s
If director Wong Kar Wai were to set a film in London, he’d almost certainly have a scene in the neon-laced Honk Kong haven that is Wun’s. So it’s extremely appropriate that they’re celebrating the director’s season at the BFI with a series of tribute nights. This August, you can get a welcome drink, and six course meal, and some live music all themed to the director’s sci-fi gem 2046. And if you see the film at the BFI too, that probably wouldn’t be the worst idea.
Details: 4th August | 23-24 Greek Street, W1D 4DZ | £48
See Some Live Jazz on the Canal
Events like this basically sell themselves. It’s live jazz from a floating platform, played by a Mercury Prize nominated outfit, with homemade Hackney spiced rum to make everything that little bit smoother. And it costs a fiver.
Details: 5th, 12th & 19th August | Grow, 98c Wallis Road, E9 5LN | £5-£6
Music at the Horniman Museum
Every Thursday in August, the bandstand outside the Horniman Museum is going to have a new pair of live acts playing the evening away. It’s all free (you need to pre-book tickets though) and the lineup is curated by talent-scouting radio station Balamii. Plus? You’re right next to the Horniman, which is already one of London’s most unusual & interesting museums.
Details: Thursdays in August (5th, 12th, 19th, 26th) | The Horniman Museum, 100 London Road Forest Hill, SE23 3PQ | Free
Lake Swims, Cocktails, Campfire
Given its refreshing exactly-what-it-says-on-the-tin name, there isn’t a huge amount that needs to be explained about Lake Swims, Cocktails, Campfire. But here are the details: it takes place on the pontoons of the West Reservoir in Stoke Newington, where you’ll enjoy a balmy evening of dips in the lake, following which – as the sun takes its own dip below the horizon – you’ll be invited to warm up your outsides by the campfire, while warming everything else with cocktails and toasted marshmallows.
Details: 6th August | West Reservoir, Stoke Newington, N4 2HA | £20
London Jerk Festival
Following hot on the heels of Jamaican Independence Day (we’ll give you one guess as to who they became independent from), the London Jerk Fest celebrates the food, music, and culture of the tropical isle in the most delicious way possible.
Details: 7th & 8th August | Bohemia Place, E8 1DU | £5
Hidden Jazz Club
Ironically, The Hidden Jazz Club is probably now the most talked-about jazz spot in the city. But what it lacks in hiddenness, it more than makes up for in quality – you’ll still find some of the best musicians in town gathering in a beautiful, unusual venue, and spoiling you with wonderful music. SEE MORE JAZZ BARS IN LONDON
Details: 7th, 14th, 20th & 27th August | The Vaults Theatre, Waterloo, SE1 7AD | £20
Tunnel Walks at the Postal Museum
Many of us have been to the Postal Museum and ridden the dinky little train down the special secret tunnels that used to deliver mail across the city. Well, now the even more secret parts that aren’t covered in that particular ride are open for exploration on foot. Guides will take you into the previously dormant tunnels, and regale you with a century’s worth of stories, all the way from their construction in 1900 to their eventual closure in 2003.
Details: 10th & 24th August | 15-20 Phoenix Place, WC1X 0DA | £55
Jazz on the Lawn at Fulham Palace
Yes, Buckingham Palace has a la-di-da monarch. But does it have jazz on the lawn?? Didn’t think so. And the beautiful Fulham Palace most certainly will (for two days this August) giving it the edge in the ‘best London palace’ stakes. You’ll hear the sultry tones of Polly Gibbons, and see first-hand why Wayne Hernandez has worked with everyone from Tina Tuner to Blur, to Madonna, to Rag’n’Bone Man, to Kool & The Gang.
Details: 13th & 14th August | Bishop’s Avenue, Fulham, SW6 6EA | £18.50
The London Craft Beer Festival
Okay so, right off the bat, we need to acknowledge that the tickets for this year’s Craft Beer Festival are priced like champagne. But there’s a very good reason for that. Because your ticket allows you to try literally any beer at the festival, as many times as you fancy. There’ll be 100 breweries on site, some big names, some cult names, some impossibly rare names. Plus, there’s also live music (with DJ sets from Craig Charles & Django Django), and food from restaurants like 10 Greek Street, Big Apple Hot Dogs, Club Mexicana, and a whole lot more.
Details: 13th & 14th August | Tobacco Dock, E1W 2SF | £53-£175
Remember when everyone used to huddle around a campfire on school trips while someone played the guitar, and you all told stories, and had a singalong? Well, this is like that, except instead of your PE teacher, the person with the guitar is a celebrated folk musician, and there’s a full bar stocked with home-made wines, ciders, ales, and mead.
Details: 13th, 20th, 27th & 28th August | Various Locations | £13
See Romeo & Juliet In A Beautiful Gothic Church
See Baz Luhrmann’s 1996 classic Romeo + Juliet in a Grade I listed, Gothic Revival church, bookended by performances of the soundtrack by a live choir. Just be quick on the tickets, it’s would be a tragedy if you missed out.
Details: 17th-24th August | Union Chapel, Compton Terrace, N1 2UN | £29.70
The Multi-Story Orchestra
In an effort to make sure that the multi-story car park in Peckham does literally anything except park cars, the people at the The Multi-Story Orchestra are going to be playing a pair of gigs in it this August, featuring a punchy piece of music by composer Julius Eastman. And as a bonus? That same car park also houses Frank’s.
Details: 19th & 20th August | 7th-10th Floors Multi-Storey Car Park, 95a Rye Lane, SE15 4ST | £5-£10
Hot Sauce Festival
If you hate your tastebuds and want to set them on fire, then there’s no better way than by exposing them to the wares at the Hot Sauce Festival in Peckham this August. Over 40 of the UK’s premier tongue-immolation outfits will be there showing off their torturously spicy condiments, as will street food stalls, DJs, and a craft beer bar to help douse those flames.
Details: 21st & 22nd August | Copeland Park, 133 Copeland Road, SE15 3SN | £12
Farm by Firelight
If you’re going to watch a series of award-winning adventure documentaries, it’s best to do that in the adventurous setting while surrounded by fire and wild animals… by which we mean at Mudchute farm in East London (they have llamas!) which will be filled with fire bowls, and luxury marshmallows to toast on them.
Details: 27th August | Pier St, Isle of Dogs, London E14 3HP | £20
All Points East
APE (as it’s known to its acronym-loving friends) is back for 2021, and it’s going to be a stunner. And sure, it’ll be a slightly more condensed version of the festival that we’re used to, but that won’t make it any less special. In fact, it’s going to contain a whole other music festival within it…
Details: 27th-30th August | Victoria Park, E3 5TG | Starting at £66.40
Northern Lights in Greenwich
The snappily acronymed GDIF (Greenwich & Docklands International Festival) have had enough of mother nature’s bullshit favouritism, and decided that if she won’t being the Northern Lights to us, then we’ll just have to create them ourselves. Just one of the many free events on at the fest, Borealis will apparently involve a f**kton of lasers lighting up the sky. Other than that, there’s a whole load of cool theatre, dance, art installations, circus, street games, and music.
Details: 27th August-11th September | Across Greenwich & Docklands | Free
What Yam Carnival IS, is an all-new Afrobeat music festival which celebrates the African diaspora, from the Caribbean to Latin American culture and more. It’s all taking place on Clapham Common, and there’ll be music and food from across the world. What Yam Carnival is NOT is a sweet potato fair.
Details: 28th August | Clapham Common, SW4 | £67-£100
Between the Bridges
Between the Bridges is London’s huge new 4,000 sq ft festival of fun – which can most boringly be described as a “really big beer garden” but should more accurately be described as “a massive, mostly free to enter (other than £5 on Fri & Sat nights) alfresco adult playground which fuses a smorgasbord of bars, street food, DJs, live music and crazy golf with themed markets, drag brunches, a famous exploding throwing game from Colombia and four different dining zones (The Garden; The Riverside; The Dock; and The Pier)”
Details: Throughout August | Queen’s Walk South Bank SE1 | Free to enter (£5 on Fri & Sat nights)
Somerset House has just become the perfect place to bump into an old friend. Because they’ve filled their huge courtyard with dodgems. And not just any run-of-the-mill, ho-hum, garden variety funfair bumper cars either – these are musical dodgems, tricked out with wireless tech to help create unique compositions each hour. And they’re all surrounded by art installations and street food…
Details: Until 22nd August | Somerset House, Strand, WC2R 1LA | £5pp
The Perfect Crime
True story: in the early hours of March 18th 1990, two men broke into the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum in Boston and stole half a billion dollars worth of irreplaceable canvas, including Rembrandt’s The Storm on the Sea of Galilee (a snip at $100m) and The Concert by Vermeer (at $250m, it’s the most valuable stolen object in the world).
And in this immersive experience, you get to steal them back.
The talent pool they’ve got onboard includes a director who designed Time Run, and co-founded the Crystal Maze Live, and they’ve pulled out every trick in their voluminous books for this one…
Details: Throughout August | Theatre Deli, 2 Finsbury Avenue, EC2M 2PF | £20-£30
Regent’s Park Open Air Theatre
Outdoor theatre always brings the house down. And London’s most iconic al fresco arts space, the Regent’s Park Open Air Theatre, is back open for business this summer. This August sees a production of the classic Rodgers & Hammerstein musical Carousel, plus comedy, film screenings, and even a ‘live improvised movie’.
Details: Throughout August | Inner Circle, Regent’s Park, NW1 4NU | Tickets start at £17 for the films & £25 for Carousel
London Wonderground is relocating this year from its regular digs on The South Bank to sunny Earl’s Court, and it’s bringing with it a gigantic, 1000 person-capacity Big Top hosting a veritable buffet of top-notch entertainment, plus a bandstand playing live music; old school fairground rides (helter skelter, swing rides etc.); lots to eat & drink from a variety of food stalls & trucks; and an actual sand-between-your-toes beach.
Details: Until September 26th | Empress Place, Earls Court, SW6 1TT | Free to enter, but events are ticketed
Van Gogh Alive
Van Go? Van Goff? Whatever, you know his paintings. Maybe you’ve even seen them in real life. But have you seen them blown up as larger-than-life projections that swirl around you in perfectly choreographed synchronicity alongside the sights, sounds and smells of France and the Netherlands? No? Well 7,000,000 people around the world have; they seemed to like it; and as of June, you can join them.
Details: Until September 26th | East Albert Lawn, Kensington Gardens, SW7 2AP | £24-£29
Go Swimming Outdoors
You know what the best bit of swimming outdoors is? Even if it rains, you’re already wet. So take advantage while you can, and check out the best spots for open-air bathing in the capital, broken down into heated, unheated, and wild categories… COME ON IT, THE WATER’S FINE
See Some Mind-Expanding Exhibitions
There’s a host of new exhibitions to check out, and they include a chance to play a game of virtual reality croquet; explore Britain’s female surrealist movement in the ’30s; and see some of the most intense colours nature can create in a botanical garden… SEE WHAT’S ON IN LONDON’S MUSEUMS
Get Some Brunch
August contains 4.5 weekends. And that means you can squeeze in at least 9 brunches, if you do it correctly. HUNGRILY EXPLORE LONDON’S BEST BRUNCHES
Hit The Theatre
Not to get too dramatic about it, but yes, the theatre is back. No, Andrew Lloyd Weber is not in jail. Yes, you should definitely check out what’s on this month, because the city’s been saving up some excellent shows… SEE WHAT’S ON THE STAGE
Watch a Classic Film Outdoors
Despite rumours to the contrary, summer isn’t over. In fact, we have weeks of warm weather left, which is best enjoyed while watching a classic film outdoors. So, pick a date, because we have a list of every outdoor screening taking place in London across the entire summer… CHECK OUT THE LINEUP
Have a Drink on a Rooftop
The window of time you have to enjoy a drink on a rooftop is quickly diminishing. By September, many of the bars will be ruthlessly snatched away, and your FOMO will become good old MO. So take advantage of the sun, and check out these bars… SEE WHAT’S UP