Summer Festivals 2012 (London Edition)

There is no need to venture to the country for your Summer Festival fix this year, London will be showcasing an impressive amount of festivals in the next few weeks.

Check out our selection of Summer Festivals taking place in London below, where all you’ll need is a travelcard (plastic ponchos and wellies are entirely optional).

BBC Radio 1’s Hackney Weekend
When: 23 – 24 June
Where: Hackney Marshes, Homerton Road, London, E9 5PF
Nearest tube station: Leyton
The free Radio 1’s Big Weekend music festival comes to Hackney Marshes this year for the biggest event of this kind that the BBC has ever organised, to celebrate the London Olympics. An army of British and international artists including Jay Z, Rihanna, Leona Lewis, Will.i.am, Jessie J, Florence & The Machine, Lana Del Rey, Ed Sheeran and Tinie Tempah will be performing across the six stages to 100,000 people.

Bloc 2012
When: 6 -7 July
Where:  London Pleasure Gardens, Royal Victoria Docks, London, E16 2BS
Nearest tube station: Canning Town
Set against the impressive backdrop of London’s docklands in the new London Pleasure Gardens. Snoop Dog headlines with Veteran dance act Orbital who make their comeback to the UK festival scene alongside Gary Numan, Hudson Mohawke, Squarepusher, Detroit exports Jeff Mills and Carl Craig. The was created by the Glastonbury party people behind Shangra-La and promises a ‘rock-solid sense of community and togetherness’.

Wireless Festival
When: 6  – 8 July
Where: Hyde Park, Rangers Lodge, Hyde Park, London, W2 2UH
Nearest Tube Station: Knightsbridge
This festival will be celebrating its eighth year this summer, the Wireless Festival with Barclaycard returns with some of pop’s biggest stars will be joining Rihanna in the line-up, that includes Drake, Jessie J and Labrinth. Wireless may not have the old-school camping festival atmosphere of Glastonbury (ie: weirdo’s in costumes, stands, tepees, organic trade food and odd performing acts are substituted by bland corporate logos – but the line-ups are reliably crowd-friendly.
 
Summer Series at Somerset House
When: 7 – 19 July
Where: Somerset House, Strand, Covent Garden, London, WC2R 1LA
Nearest Tube Station: Temple
A Series of unique and unforgettable concerts drop into the central courtyard of Somerset House for this year’s Summer Series set in an intimate, calm and almost hidden location.
The series of acts includes Tim Minchin, Katy B, Jill Scott, Temper Trap, Anna Calvi, The Enemy and Paloma Faith. Make sure you book early, the Somerset House Summer Series tickets are very popular.

Hard Rock Calling
When: 13 – 15 July
Where: Hyde Park, Rangers Lodge, Hyde Park, London, W2 2UH
Nearest Tube Station: Knightsbridge
Hard Rock Calling will be back in Hyde Park with Bruce Springsteen (or The Boss) and The E Street Band set to headline. The legendary singer-songwriter Paul Simon on Sunday on a rare appearance.  This 3-day festival saw over 150,000 music lovers last year and this summer.

Lovebox
When: 15th – 17th July
Where: Victoria Park, Grove Road, Tower Hamlets, Tower Hamlets, London, E3 5SN
Nearest Tube Station: Mile End

London’s version of Glastonbury celebrates 10 years of love this year with three days of non-stop partying. The Lovebox Weekender returns to Tower Hamlets’ Victoria Park with an celebratory line-up with Friendly Fires, Hot Chip, Lana Del Ray and Grace Jones. Set up by Groove Armada, Lovebox is the park party that comes closest to capturing the vibe of a proper festival, with a huge range of musical styles across multiple stages, and a friendly, music-loving crowd. Each day will have its own distinct musical personality.
  
One Love Peace Festival
When: 15 July
Where: Mabley Green, Lee Conservancy Road, London, E9 5RN
Nearest Tube Station: Leyton

Inspired by the One Love Peace Concert in Kingston, Jamaica back in 1978, this festival celebrates the very best in reggae and Caribbean music with as a peace background theme. The line-up includes several world renowned names such as T-Pain, Chipmunk, Rev Run and Bunny Wailer.

The Retreat
When: 27 July – 12 August
Where: The Brewery, Chiswell Street, City, London, EC1Y 4SD
Nearest tube station: Moorgate

If you enjoy the fun and games of festivals, but hate plastic ponchos, Portaloos and queuing to drink warm beer from a paper cup in a damp overcrowded tent. This might be the summer festival of your dreams. And even better, there will be no need to lower your hygiene standards at The Retreat, a luxurious, exclusive and glamorous 17 day festival that runs throughout the Olympic period. Offering ticket holders access to six luxury escape areas and a chance to enjoy the excitement of the Olympic season in true British style with live music, DJ’s, performances, in other words an extremely desirable place to over indulge this summer.
  
South West Four Weekender
When: 25 – 26 August
Where: Clapham Common, Windmill Drive, London, SW4 9DE
Nearest Tube Station: Clapham South

The South West Four Weekender welcomes electronic music fans to Clapham Common during the August bank holiday weekend for two days of dance-music. The line-up has an impressive  list of big names including Chase and Status, Carl Cox, Foreign Beggars and Skrillex to the bill this year.
 
Underage Festival
When: 31 August
Where: Shoreditch Park, New North Road, Tower Hamlets, London, N1 6TA
Nearest Tube Station: Old Street
 
The Underage Festival moves to Shoreditch Park this year, allegedly the world’s first and best under 19s music event of its type – with a twist, where many of its performers (ok, the lesser known) been themselves teenagers. The concept of this festival has been critically acclaimed by the media and the enthusiastic adolescent audience it benefits.

PS: this is an alcohol-free event and it has an 8pm curfew.
   
1-2-3-4 Shoreditch
When: 1 September
Where: Shoreditch Park, New North Road, Hoxton, London, N1 6TA
Nearest Tube Station: Old Street
 
This music festival set in Shoreditch Park returns for its 5th year and this summer it has come over all autumnal, bringing you the best new underground music alongside inspirational international acts. Possibly the least corporate music festival this year, the 1-2-3-4 will no doubt inspire many ‘heard-them-here-first’ bands along with (just as many) many ‘will-never-hear-of-again’ propositions. After the live music ends the party moves on to nearby locals-usually including Hoxton Square Bar & Kitchen, Electricity Showrooms, Bar Music Hall, Queen Of Hoxton, Old Blue Last, The Joiners Arms and Mother. Tickets start at a mere £15 and your festival wristband should get you into all the after parties for free, which is sounds  like a pretty good deal to us.
 
iTunes Festival
When: 1 – 30 September
Where: Roundhouse, Chalk Farm Road, London, NW1 8EH
Nearest Tube Station: Chalk Farm

The iconic and intimate Roundhouse hosts a month of free gigs throughout September. The iTunes Festival takes over the Roundhouse this September with a free gig every night for the whole month, a rare opportunity to see big names acts up close and personal for an intimate affair. This year Jack White, Norah Jones, Usher and One Direction will all be performing. To get everyone guessing and excitement levels to the max, performers are announced gradually closer to the time of the event. Tickets are free one must enter a draw, check www.itunesfestival.com