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Camden Lock Live - Camden

This urban boutique festival takes place at buzzing Camden Market with live music (folky singer-songwriter Marcus Forster headlines), DJs, talent from Roundhouse Presents (including spoken word artists and hula hoopers), global street food, and a Sailor Jerry cocktail bar on a boat on the canal. Not to mention all the ace market stalls this north London district is famed for.

Free, July 12, 10am-10pm Camden Lock,
54-56 Camden Lock Place, NW1 8AF  
Tube | Camden Town


Crystal Palace Garden Party - Crystal Palace

Despite the strawberries and cream-suggesting name, this is a music fest in the stately surrounds of the former Victorian ‘pleasure ground’ (posh for park) in Crystal Palace.

Up-and-comers the Van Susans sit on the bill alongside legends such as Ian Dury’s The Blockheads, tribute acts Floyd and Secret Police, and a Last Night of the Proms-themed Saturday night with fireworks, a rock ’n’ roll choir and Shakespeare recitals.

£12+ Aug 16-18, times vary SE19 2BS  
Station | Crystal Palace

Abbey Fest - Merton

This 52-day-long local arts and culture fest – which will be celebrating its 16th year – has something for everyone. There are a total of 10 theatre shows, 10 free open air concerts, eight Edinburgh Fringe previews (including brilliant Aussie Benny Boot), as well as a blues mini-fest, classical performances and loads of food stalls to sustain you through all the cultural quaffing. Some events are ticketed.  

£10+, Until Aug 31, times vary 
Merton Abbey Mills, SW19 2RD  
Tube | Colliers Wood

Bastille Festival - central London

This is London’s largest celebration of the French national day and brings together all things red, white and blue – so expect cheese and wine, live performances, a slowest snail race (the winner might get eaten afterwards), and maybe the odd necklace of onions. 

Free, July 14, times vary 
Borough Market, SE1 1TL 
Tube | Borough


Balham Comedy Festival - Balham

The south London area famously lampooned by comedy legend Peter Sellers hosts this nine-day fest, with Milton Jones, Dave Fulton, Lee Mack and loads more. 

£16, July 5-13, times vary 
The Bedford, SW12 9HD 
Tube | Balham


New Voices Fest - Bethnal Green

Live music, arts and food at this diverse new musical talent- supporting free event.

Free, July 13, 12pm-7pm 
V&A Museum of Childhood Gardens, E2 9PA  
Tube | Bethnal Green


Local summer festivals: From literary love-ins to gin-drenched chap-offs and comedy events
Digital Mag

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