There really is nothing like a good festival to really transport you from your everyday life and completely immerse you into another world: even if for just a few hours. Event planners of the highest calibre have been running on all cylinders for months – even years – to make sure that every little detail has been thought out and every eventuality has been considered so that they can come back year after year and just keep getting bigger and better. There are very many such grand events taking place all over London this year: but a lot of the big ones already have limited tickets left even if they are months away.
British Summer Time and Open House Festival
The number one grand-scale festival that everyone looks forward to every year – both for the love of the season and the sensational international acts that come with it – is British Summer Time in Hyde Park. I have never seen seas of people stretching out so far, all over Hyde Park, than I did at this festival last year and I can only imagine that this year will be just as extraordinary: if not even bigger because they have brought some amazing acts.
The main part of the festival takes place over two weekends and that is where the big stars come to play: Post Malone on Thursday, 2 July; Little Mix (with special guests Rita Ora, Kesha and Zara Larsson) on Saturday, 4 July; Kendrick Lamar (featuring James Blake, Brittany Howard and others to be announced) on Sunday, 5 July; Pearl Jam (with both Pixies and White Reaper as special guests) on Friday, 10 July and finally Taylor Swift closing up on Saturday, 11 July. Be warned though: The Pearl Jam event is already entirely sold out and the Taylor Swift event only has the super fancy (and therefore super expensive) tickets left – so you’ll need to look out for official resales as your last hope. But only through official sites because it is really not worth the risk of being scammed.
The best news is that this festival really wants the whole of London to embrace all the wonders of music in the summer and therefore also hosts the Open House Festival daily from Monday 6 July until Thursday 9 July: starting at 10:30am and ending at 10:00pm – FREE ADMISSION FOR ALL. At this festival, you will find live music & entertainment, art workshops, pop-up bars (serving every variety of alcohol imaginable), street food from all around the world, outdoor movie nights, live screenings of the tennis straight from Wimbledon and much more.
Kew the Music
This is clearly the golden week of music in London because you will find some pretty exceptional shows over at the Royal Botanical Gardens, Kew over on the Western side of London. You will still find yourself getting to listen to some amazing live music while enjoying the outdoors: but the crowds will be ever so slightly smaller, and you will be surrounded by the widest array of botanical treasures that only Kew could cultivate into one magical place. Kew would also like its prospective guests to know that they are more than welcome to pack their own picnics and bring their own drinks but also that there will be plenty of places where they can purchase them too.
Starting off on the evening of Tuesday, 7 July: the stage will be occupied by the likes of Bananarama with supporting acts from Gabrielle and Rebecca Ferguson. On Wednesday the 8th, you will be listening to James Blunt while Thursday the 9th brings you Jack Savoretti. Friday, 10 July is the big night with two big names co-headlining: Will Young and James Morrison. It does not slow down on Saturday the 11th, because DJ Spoony will present Garage Classical while the last show takes place on Sunday the 12th by the swooning Spanish vocal stylings of the Gipsy Kings.
Fans of music and sunshine will have some serious decisions to make over July about which festivals to prioritise. While you will probably be able to fit in a couple of events from each of those festivals, you will definitely need some time to wind down and take a breather: specifically, a quiet and tranquil one. Fortunately, there is the M By Montcalm Spa in Shoreditch for that and you can be sure to be fully relaxed and revitalised upon your exit. This particular hotel is so sought after that it has been the subject of a Loyalty Rewards Program tug-of-war, with the Marriott Bonvoy Program emerging victorious.
The Montcalm Club Loyalty Program members need not worry though: not only is M By Montcalm just a short walk away from its sister hotels (The Montcalm Royal London House and The Montcalm at The Brewery) where you will continue to accumulate points as normal, but both groups are working to make a seamless transition for all of its loyal customers. Personally, I think the solution is pretty simple though: just join both loyalty programs and get even more benefits from the extended family of hotels that you will now have exclusive access to – perks and all.
London Literature Festival
For those who were hoping for quieter festival suggestions that appeal to more than only extroverts, then you’ll be relieved to know that there are also some events that are less rambunctious, more on the intellectual side and every bit as fun if you visit the Southbank Centre between Thursday, 17 September and Sunday, 27 September. Running from 10:00am to 10:00pm, this festival brings together the finest authors, poets, performers, public speakers and bibliophiles from all over to revere and discuss their mutual love of the written word. Specific events will be announced closer to the time and you will have the option to buy tickets individually or in a bundle at a discount. This is also a wonderful event to bring the little humans to if you wish to spark their love of literature early with their magnificent Fairy-Tale Trail.