The best London events this August Bank Holiday 2021
With the August bank holiday within touching distance, we’ve rounded up some of our favourite events that are happening over the long weekend, so let’s hope the sun stays shining and we can soak in everything our wonderful capital has to offer.
Free outdoor cinema at Wembley Park
Watch a feel good movie – for free – with a backdrop of the impressive Wembley Stadium. Wembley Park’s Summer on Screen is back with a programme of blockbusters, Bollywood faves, cult-classics and of course family-friendly films. Yesterday, Paddington, and Happy Ending will screen across the bank holiday, Friday to Sunday respectively. Pack some popcorn, a rug, and a thermos of hot tea, and nestle into a deckchair and settle in for the evening.
London’s spectacular, (mostly) free, outdoor Greenwich + Docklands International Festival returns for 2021 with an edition sure to be dominated by talk of ‘Borealis’, a laser show which aims to recreate the Northern Lights over Greenwich and Woolwich. But there’s plenty of other cool stuff besides, from a version of Dennis Potter’s classic ‘Blue Remembered Hills’ on a forbidden landfill site, to ‘Black Victorians’, a dance piece celebrating Britain’s pre-Windrush Black population.
English National Opera (ENO) at South Facing Festival
This shiny new festival arrived in London this summer and has wowed audiences over the last month with performances from the likes of Dizzee Rascal, Sleaford Mods and more. On the bank holiday weekend, why not be treated to the moving sounds of the English National Orchestra in a very special performance at the Crystal Palace ball? Exactly, that’s a no-brainer
YAM Carnival on Clapham Common
YAM Carnival is an incredible “immersive experience of Black culture, food, music and more,” taking place on Clapham Common this bank holiday. Hear tunes from artists including Davido, Femi Kuti, Kehlani, and Honey Dijon who will take over three stages. Great food and powerful art will make it a must-visit.
London Wonderground at Earls Court
There’s an artificial beach with deckchairs, a helter-skelter, bumper cars, endless bars… and, of course, a giant inflatable upside-down purple cow, aka the Udderbelly performance venue. You could probably spend a nice enough evening there without taking in a show if the weather was right. But it’s the shows that provide the main impetus to go. As ever with the Wonderground, the genre is ‘a bit of everything’: you’ll find comedy, music and a smattering of cabaret.
Covent Garden’s Neon Lights installation
During the long dark of the winter lockdown, one could spot a glimmer of light at Tate Britain, where artist Chila Burman festooned the exterior of the art gallery with colourful neon lights, in a celebration of Diwali. It was a welcome mercy during a pretty tough time, and proved so popular with passers-by that it was extended by a month. Now, Burman will bring her electric neons to another famous canvas: Covent Garden. From August 26, the artist will fill the South Hall of Covent Garden’s central Market Building with dazzling neon sculptures.
Where are you heading this weekend? Let us know on our socials!