May 20, 2022
Summertime in London sounds like jazz... and classical… and reggae… and pop… Actually, there’s no end to the variety of live music in outdoor settings ready to meet your ears during the warmest months. And best of all, you needn’t pitch a tent in a muddy field to enjoy it all; even London’s most lavish multi-day music festivals are within easy reach of the city’s centre, which means at the end of the day, you can retire to the clean, refined trappings of some of the best posh hotels in London.
When making a London hotel booking for music festival-related purposes, the Blue Orchid Hotels trio of Tower Suites, The Wellington and The Rochester should be prime candidates. All three offer central locations with excellent access to major transportation routes (Tower Suites is minutes away from Tower Hill Underground, while Victoria Station is convenient to Westminster Abbey hotels, The Wellington and The Rochester) which can take you even to the outer edges of the city with minimal fuss.
All three hotels are also destinations in themselves, offering a level of luxury, service and amenities that will certainly be music to the ears. Tower Suites London, for example, welcomes tired festival-goers with spacious, contemporary style rooms equipped with everything needed for an effortless evening in – 24-hour room service, LCD television, high-speed internet, and little niceties like a bathrobe, slippers and complimentary tea/coffee. World-class dining is available in the form of Cento Alla Torre – and cocktails with a world-class view at the alfresco Skyline. For those in need of extra rejuvenation, the in-house Adamo Spa awaits with a selection of treatments, massages, and even nail care.
You’re in for a similarly cossetting experience at The Wellington and The Rochester, both located at Vincent Square near Westminster Abbey. The difference is in the details, with both hotels offering a cosier, quieter atmosphere that is almost residential in feel.
Being comfortably quartered goes a long way to leaving you free to enjoy the sounds of a London summer. And just what kind of sound are you looking for? Here is a selection of upcoming music festivals to get you into the rhythm:
May 27th to 28th
Held at Brockwell Park in Herne Hill, this south London music festival is geared for music fans looking for something a little different from the mainstream. This year’s line-up certainly should deliver on that promise, with a torrent of indie, post-punk, electronica and jazz from the likes of Primal Scream, Caribou, Bicep, Overmono, Floating Points, Kiara Scuro, Loraine James and many more.
Following immediately after Wide Awake comes this one-day reggae/dancehall festival at the same Brockwell Park location. Lovers of Caribbean and African-influenced sounds will be entranced with a roster that includes Mr Eazi, Barrington Levy, Sister Nancy, Kranium, Stonebwoy, Luciano, King Tubby’s, CVSS, Saxon Sound and Mad Professor. Pair up the music with the mouthwatering menu served up by a selection of on-site Caribbean street food vendors, and you’ve got a day to truly savour.
June 3rd to 4th
Brockwell Park again echoes with the sound of music with the two-day reign of Mighty Hoopla. Easygoing and just plain fun, the ‘pure pop’ line-up offers a little of something for everyone, from nostalgic acts like Sugababes and Steps to Macy Gray, Basement Jaxx, Jessie Ware, and even an appearance by Brazilian ‘drag superstar’ Pabllo Vittar.
Cross the Tracks
If the preceding three festivals don’t grab you, maybe this one-day funk, soul and jazz-fest will. Hosted once again at Brockwell Park, Cross the Tracks offers up plenty of first-class street food and craft brews to help crowds wash down the sounds of Khruangbin, Joy Crookes, Seun Kuti & Egypt 80, Roy Ayers, Romare Live, Etta Bond, Norman Jay MBE and others.
June 8th to 25th
Hampton Court Palace Festival
Experiences don’t get much more memorable than enjoying an open-air concert in the splendid Tudor Courtyard of Hampton Court Palace. Taking place over three weeks, headliners include such established acts as Lionel Richie, Elbow, George Benson, Jack Savoretti and Crowded House. Enjoy them from the provided seating, or simply let the music waft over you as you picnic nearby. There’s even VIP concert and dining packages available.
June 10th to 19th
Grace Jones’ Meltdown
Curated by the iconic Grace Jones, the 27th edition of this annual South Bank festival is sure to be one of the most dizzying. Look, brace yourself and listen as the likes of Solange, Peaches, Skunk Anansie, Sky Ferreira and Honey Dijon take the stage and shake you to the core.
June 24th to July 10th
BST Hyde Park
The centre of London has trembled to the sound of this annual festival since 2013, and it’s still probably the city’s biggest event of its kind. Accordingly, it offers such upmarket trimmings as a VIP zone and a vast selection of food and beverage options. But as always, what really matters is up on stage, with the 2022 line-up including performances by Elton John, Eagles, Pearl Jam, Duran Duran, and Adele. The immortal Rolling Stones will perform on June 25th and July 3rd as part of their UK and Europe 60th anniversary tour.
June 25th to 26th
West End LIVE
Head to Trafalgar Square on 25th to 26th June as the cream of West End musical performances come together in the heady mix that is West End LIVE. This year’s free programme has yet to be announced, but the 2021 edition featured excerpts from all the theatrical heavy hitters – from Andrew Lloyd Webber’s Cinderella to The Great Gatsby to Les Miserables to Tina – The Tina Turner Musical.
Till 23rd September
Every summer CampFire Club gathers in some of the most beautiful green spaces in the city. Hear some of the best folk music by artists from all over the world, all to the glow of a roaring campfire.
July 7th to 17th
Somerset House Summer Series
Back after two years, this 11-day programme rivals that of BST Hyde Park for sheer star power and variety. Located right on the Strand in central London, the 2022 series is set to wow the crowds with Brit Award-winner Arlo Parks, the poppy Carly Rae Jepsen, American MOR master John Legend, the always-intriguing Squid, and many more.
July 15th to September 10th
2022 BBC Proms
Is there anyone on earth who wouldn’t want to be swept up in the soaring spirit of the world’s greatest classical music festival? Mainly hosted at the splendid Royal Albert Hall, the 2022 programme includes too many highlights to list; for starters, look forward to John Wilson conducting his Sinfonia of London, Omer Meir Wellber conducting the BBC Philharmonic in Bruckner’s Sixth Symphony, and performances of Shostakovich’s Last Symphony and a Concerto for Theremin.
A summer festival like no other, for music fans, families and comedy aficionados. The show-stopping lineup includes The Happy Mondays, Orbital, Craig Charles, and comedians Dom Joly, Ed Byrne and Jessica Fostekew. Families can look forward to magic, games, interactive art, and even a mini Land Rover adventure.
If you missed out on this year’s festivals at Hampton Court Palace and Somerset House, you can still get your fill of ‘music in classical surroundings’ at this one-day event on the grounds of Alexandra Palace. The line-up is rich with female indie rock, with Spelling, Nabihah Iqbal, Joviale, Connie Constance and Nadine Shah as well as the legendary Patti Smith featuring.
August 19th to 18th
All Points East
A bit edgy, experimental and indie, the roster of All Points East makes room for both established stars and rising upstarts. This year, its two weekends is simply amazing, featuring IDLES, Gorillaz, King Gizzard And The Lizard Wizard, Tame Impala, Nick Cave And The Bad Seeds, Michael Kiwanuka, James Blake, Greentea Peng, Remi Wolf, Caroline Polachek, Fred Again, Perfume Genius and more. Accompanying all this eclectic power in Victoria Park will be ‘In the Neighbourhood’, a programme of free community-focused events and activities.
Rounding off the summer festival season is possibly the hippest of them all – Field Day. Hosted at Victoria Park for the first time since 2017, the programme is only a one-day adjunct to All Points East – but what a day it will be, with Peggy Gou, The Chemical Brothers, Kraftwerk, Floating Points, HAAi, Logic 1000 and others energising crowds with a dance-centric festival within a festival.
August 27th to 29th
The Nottinghill Carnival
The capital’s biggest street party has come together every year on this weekend since the 1960’s. The streets are awash with colourful parades, street food and lively music for this annual Caribbean festival. Featuring Steelpan music, Dancehall Reggae, Hip Hop and R&B House.