As the summer gets underway, London pours out of its buildings and into its squares and streets for show after show. This is the season to spend a sunny day or warm night in the city at one of London’s numerous outdoor concerts. Here’s our guide to the best of what’s on this year:
Over two weekends, six concerts will take place on the main stage in Hyde Park and you couldn’t ask for a more high-profile lineup. See Bon Jovi supported by the Kaiser Chiefs on Friday, July 5; the Rolling Stones supported by The Vaccines on Saturday, July 6; or Elton John and Elvis Costello on Friday, July 12. The Rolling Stones return, this time with Jake Bugg and Tom Odell, on Saturday, July 13, and Sunday, July 14 sees Lionel Richie and Jennifer Lopez take to the stage. Each concert also features a long lineup of supporting acts from 2 p.m. and there are other concerts throughout the week, including A Day at the Park on Sunday the 7th, with JLS and the Beach Boys.
Every summer, the central courtyard of Somerset House comes alive with a series of open-air concerts featuring a lineup of mostly pop and indie artists playing each evening. The series kicks off on Thursday, July 11, with South Londoner Alex Clare, who fuses traditional songwriting with bebop and dubstep. Other highlights include South Carolina–based Band of Horses on the 12th; local soul-funk-pop artist Lianne La Havas on the 13th; Icelandic indie folk band Of Monsters and Men on the 16th; and Tom Odell, winner of a Critics’ Choice Award at the Brits this year, on the 17th.
August 23–September 1
English Heritage runs an eclectic program of concerts at Kenwood House, with the stately neo-classical home as a backdrop. Suede, one of the biggest names in Britpop, starts things off in style on Friday, August 23, while the 24th sees a very different vibe as the Royal Choral Society and Royal Philharmonic Orchestra present an evening of choral classics. The evenings end with a fireworks spectacular. On Sunday, August 25, pop-rock quartet Keane will take the stage to finish the weekend. Friday, August 30, offers a unique experience — the chance to see a screening of 1952 film Singin’ in the Rain with the Royal Philharmonic Concert Orchestra providing the soundtrack.
Photos courtesy of Somerset House