Best music and food festivals in London this summer
Grab your glitter, your wellies and a spork: it's festival season. Don't know where to start? Read on to find out the best of the fests
You're knee-deep in mud, there's music playing and in one grubby little mitt you're holding a pint of craft beer; in the other you've got a juicy pulled pork burger, and it's pissing it down – but by God you're happy. Say what you like about the UK and its notorious weather, but we know how to put on a brilliant festival, and that, really, is what summer is all about.
And part of those festivals, after the music, the comedy and all the other fun stuff, is the food. Whether it's banquet table feasts or superlative street food, a good festival knows how to keep its guests well fed.
With that in mind, we've rounded up our favourite summer parties, whether that's a music festival in Brockwell Park, a weekender devoted just to beer, or a big ol' BBQ on steroids at Tobacco Dock.
Get ready to clear your diaries, folks; the party is only just beginning...
21 July; Alexandra Palace, London
What is it: You thought festivities at Ally Pally peaked with a spin around the ice rink, didn't you? How wrong you were. Taking over the palace and park for a day, Kaleidoscope is a blend of music, literature and theatre.
The line-up: This is a delicate balance of gigs, readings, workshops and parties, so here goes nothing: must-sees include The Flaming Lips, shouty punk poet John Cooper Clarke, culture clash Caught by the River and infectious house and techno tunes from The 2 Bears.
1-2 June, Brockwell Park, London
What is it: Undeniably one of the hottest festivals on the London circuit, this June weekender has snowballed into an absolute must over the last 11 years. This is the first year away from its original Victoria Park home, but you wouldn't know it from the frankly brilliant line-up, which is jam-packed with an array of jazz, alternative and electronic music that's as far-reaching and eclectic as ever.
The line-up: This two-day extravaganza has always managed to scoop some of the hottest names in electronic and alternative music, and this year's line-up definitely has a heavy contemporary jazz feel. There'll be big hitters like Fever Ray, Erykah Badu and Charlotte Gainsbourg, plus sets from likes of Four Tet, Daniel Avery, Floating Points and Daphni. Then, if you're into jazz and soul, you've got London stalwarts like Nubya Garcia, Sons of Kemet, Ezra Collective and Jordan Rakei to enjoy, as well as a DJ set from Gilles Peterson. Phwoar.
Food & drink: London's biggest, baddest weekender comes with big, bad London street food to match. This year will see a food line-up curated by Street Feast and Venn Street Market, which is sure to have you sorted for brunch, lunch and any part of the day when you find yourself stumbling around drunk and hungry. Drinks, meanwhile, come from London Brewers' Market – a lively mishmash of indie brewers from around the city, led by craft favourite Five Points.
From £44.50; fielddayfestivals.com
31 August-2 September; Tobacco Dock, London
What is it: Meatopia isn't all about the meat. Be it from land, sea, bone or, er, hop, this (mostly) carnivorous carnival is a celebration of the very best in taste and provenance.
The line-up: You can't spend every waking moment of the weekend stuffing your face, so take part in one of Meatopia's workshops or work off those meat sweats in front of the live bands and headline DJ sets.
From £23.85; meatopia.co.uk
London Craft Beer Festival
3-5 August; Tobacco Dock, London
What is it: Does what it says on the tin. London Craft Beer Festival is back for its sixth year, taking over Tobacco Dock from 3 to 5 August. This hop-heavy festival contains more than 60 international brewers pouring out a selection of over 300 different beers to keep you cool in the summer sun.
The line-up: Thirsty festivalgoers will also be treated to an impressive musical line-up, including DJ sets from Two Door Cinema Club, Huey Morgan, Toddla T, Everything Everything, Greg Wilson, The Heatwave, Trojan Sound System and Hip-hop Karaoke. What more could you possibly want? Nothing, that's what.
Food & drink: Helping to soak up at least some of that alcohol is a range of eating options, with pop-up kitchens from the likes of Hoppers, Luca and Big Apple Hot Dog, all providing the perfect accompaniment to your pint. Even more tasty food pop-ups are set to be announced, so make sure to follow the good folks at the London Craft Beer Festival on Facebook and Twitter for updates on who else might be making an appearance.
From £46.50; londoncraftbeerfestival.co.uk
7-8 September; Printworks, Canada Water, London
What is it: Following the success of last summer, the festival is happy (or is that hoppy?) to announce that this time the party will be bigger and even better. With 90 different international breweries pulling pints over the weekend, last year's 77-strong line-up pales in comparison.
The line-up: Whether you're a committed crafter or a novice looking to learn more, don't miss the opportunity to quench your thirst – and your curiosity – at one of Good Beer Hunting's beer-illiant talks.
Food & drink: You could make a beeline for homegrown favourites like Pressure Drop, Kernel or Brew By Numbers. But with so many to choose from, this is the place to sip, glug or chug something new. Take care, though – make sure you soak it all up with a visit to one (or more) of Kerb's 18 food trucks.