Free events in London this summer include the More London festival, the Big Dance and the highlight of London’s summer, the annual Notting Hill Carnival.
More London at The Scoop
The More London at The Scoop is a series of free events over several months this summer, held at the riverside business area on the south bank of the Thames, between Tower Bridge and London Bridge.
The festival features theatre performances, free film screenings and lots of music in The Scoop, an outdoor amphitheatre by the river Thames. Starting from the end of June, free concerts are held every Wednesday, Thursday and Friday lunchtime and evenings. There are outdoor theatre performances between June and September, and free open-air film screenings over two weeks in the end of September.
No tickets are required for the events, and seats are given on a “first come, first served” policy. Some events can be very popular, so it is best to get there early to get a seat.
The Big Dance from Hip Hop to Ballet
The week-long Big Dance festival celebrates all styles of dance in locations around London from the 3rd to the 11th of July. There are shows, performances and workshops on dance from tango to Bollywood, and most events are free. The week culminates in the Big World Dance on Trafalgar Square on Saturday the 10th of July, a free choreographed dance that is expected to attract thousands of participants. Anyone can join!
The Notting Hill Carnival
The Notting Hill Carnival is the biggest street party in Europe and has been celebrated in Notting Hill in West London since 1966. It has come a long way from its roots as a carnival for the local West Indian community, and is now a massive event. The Carnival takes over the Notting Hill neighbourhood and surrounding areas on Sunday the 29th August and Monday the 30th of August.
The weekend starts on Saturday with a steel band contest, Sunday is traditionally a children’s day, and the main party day is Monday, also a national holiday (Bank Holiday) in the UK. Be prepared for more than 40 static sound systems, good food and lots to drink, and very large crowds: the Carnival usually brings at least a million people to the small Notting Hill area and getting home on public transport can be a challenge.