Pumpkins, Pride and West End Live!
by Jen (follow Jen on Twitter:@JenBarnes207)
It’s beginning to feel more like summer after the typical mental May weather but I think London could try a little harder in the weather department. Here’s hoping for more sunshine and less rain this month because almost all of these are outdoors! As always, if nothing on my list tickles your fancy, some of my fellow BrokeinLondoners have some more ideas for you in the Free Entertainment in London section.
#1 West End Live | 18th & 19th June
West End shows are notoriously expensive and sometimes you still can’t get the cheap seats after trying all of the suggestions from Broke in London – when that happens, just remember that once a year the West End head to Trafalgar Square for West End Live for a whole weekend. It’s super popular so get there early if you want a good spot.
When: 18th & 19th June,
Where: Trafalgar Square
#2 Pride Parade | 25th June
Pride is a 16-day event in London but the festival ends with a bang with the Pride in London Festival marching from Baker Street to Whitehall by way of Oxford Circus, Regent Street, Piccadilly Circus, Pall Mall and Trafalgar Square. If you’re feeling a night out, the party continues in Soho.
When: 25th June, 1pm
Where: From Baker Street to Whitehall
#3 Street Orchestra | 16th – 19th June
Apparently someone has started a Guerrilla Orchestra! Honestly, I can’t figure out why it hasn’t happened sooner. There is one concert confirmed at Dalston Square on the 17th at 830pm but word on the street is that this 40-strong orchestra might just pop-up anywhere and start playing so keep your eyes and ears peeled.
When: 16th -19th June
Where: Various Venues
#4 Brixton Windmill Open Day | 11th June
Last month there was a festival and now the Brixton Windmill is back open for visitors! It’s free and you don’t need to book for shorter tours of the lower floors but you might have to queue – but honestly, when do you NOT have to queue in London?
When: 11th June
Where: Brixton Windmill, Windmill Gardens, West end of Blenheim Gardens , London SW2 5EU
#5 The Royal Opera’s Nabucco | 9th June
If you aren’t ready to commit to a night at the opera in Covent Garden then just grab a blanket and head to Trafalgar Square for the BP Big Screen showing of Nabucco instead. You can enjoy the music without all the pomp and circumstance and black ties. Give it a shot- you might just like it!
When: 9th June, 730pm
Where: Trafalgar Square
#6 Cockpit Arts Open Studios | 2nd – 5th June/10th – 12th June
Cockpit Arts is a fantastic social enterprise in Holborn and Deptford that supports artists and makers. Twice a year they open their doors to visitors and shoppers for a weekend at both the Holborn and Deptford locations for their Open Studios. It’s a great opportunity to see behind the scenes at the studios and to meet the makers themselves.
Holborn, 2 – 5 June
Where: Cockpit Yard, Northington St, London, WC1N 2NP, Holborn, Chancery Lane & Russell Square
Opening times: Thurs 6 – 9pm, Fri, Sat + Sun 11am – 6pm
Deptford, 10 – 12 June
Where: 18-22 Creekside, London, SE8 3DZ, Deptford Bridge Deptford (one stop from London Bridge)
Opening times: Fri 11am – 9pm, Sat + Sun 11am – 6pm
#7 Yayoi Kusama | All Month
You’ve probably seen the photos on Instagram already – but if you haven’t you need to get to Victoria Miro asap to be the first of your friends with a photo of infinite pumpkins. Yayoi Kusama is famous for her polka dots and her whimsy and the new exhibition has loads of both. Even if contemporary art isn’t usually your thing, give this exhibition a go – you won’t be disappointed.
When: All Month, Tuesday – Saturday 10am – 6pm
Where: Victoria Miro, 16 Wharf Road, London N1 7RW
#8 Street Food & Craft Beer Festival | 18th – 19th June
Alexandra Palace is hosting a number Street Food & Craft Beer Festivals this summer and entrance is FREE. There’s live music, food and beer galore so head North, exit at Wood Green and stuff your faces to your heart’s content. Then, if you liked it, you can do it again in July!
When: 18th – 19th June, 11am – Late
Where: Alexandra Palace,
#9 Serpentine Pavilion & Summer Houses | From 10th June
This year’s Serpentine Pavilion is and ‘unzipped wall’ designed by Danish architect Bjarke Ingels, but it’s not the only new structure on show This year there are four summer houses designed by Kunle Adeyemi, Barkow Leibinger, Yona Friedman and Asif Khan.
When: From 10th June
Where: Serpentine Pavilion, Hyde Park
#10 World Naked Bike Ride | 11th June
I think I include this every year because it’s too funny to ignore. Not only is Naked Bike Ride an opportunity to embrace your birthday suit and ignore societal norms – it’s also a protest against oil dependency and car culture. Whether you want to take part or just watch from the sidelines, make sure this one is in your calendar.
When: 11th June, 230pm
Where: Six start points: West Norwood, Clapham Junction, Tower Hill, Kings Cross, Regents Park & Hyde Park