If June is anything to go by, July is going to be a scorcher! June saw temperatures in London go over 30 degrees for several days in a row and it was bloody hot. The tube was like hell on earth and going anywhere in London caused for sweaty armpits post trip. July is not only my birthday (YAY!) but it is also an amazing month in the city with lots of events on. You can watch the Wimbledon tennis finals, head to one of London’s multiple music festivals and we see the start of the summer holidays too. Beware of the kids from 20th July onwards… escape them and head to one of London’s rooftops bars. Here are my highlights of the very best things to do around town in July.
Getting into the Wimbledon Championships at the All England Lawn Tennis Club requires quite a bit of prep. Seats on Centre and Number One courts are distributed by ballot the preceding year, although enthusiasts who queue on the day may gain entry to the outer courts. You can also turn up later in the day and pay a reasonable rate for seats vacated by spectators who have left early.
British Summer Time: Kings of Leon
Seven albums in and the Kings continue to serve up epic rock that simply belong in arenas, stadiums and massive parks. If you’ve only been listening to them through headphones on the tube it’s time to enjoy ‘Use Somebody’, ‘Sex On Fire’, ‘Wait For Me’, ‘The Bucket’ and ‘Supersoaker’ in all their glory. Support comes from The Pixies and Nathaniel Rateliff & The Night Sweats.
That colourful, crowded, loud and unquestionably fun time of year is rearing its head again. No, we’re not talking about Notting Hill Carnival, although they do both replace London’s noxious traffic with joyous partying. We’re talking about the Pride in London Parade, which this year sees its biggest ever celebration to date.
Soul of a Nation: Art in the Age of Black Power
This exhibition looks set to flip the idea of ‘black art’ on its head, tracing an underlooked 20-year period of creative innovation among African-American artists, against the seismic backdrop of the Civil Rights movement.
Consistently one of the finest festivals in London, catering for cool kids and party monsters, Lovebox packs as much fun into two days as many festivals manage in three. The sublime, but elusive, Frank Ocean is the first headliner to be announced and his only London date on a European tour. It’s one of the highlights of the London summer thanks to a genre-blurring line-up of DJs and live bands.
Lambeth Country Show
The Lambeth Country Show has brought countryside pursuits to Brockwell Park for the last 42 years and the 2017 instalment will once again feature home grown vegetable and flower competitions, sheep shearing, sheep dog and owl displays, an on-site mini farm and lots, lots more. Live music can be heard from two stages over the weekend (don’t miss Roots Reggae Day on the Main Stage, Sunday).
If we’re being honest, Sundays at a festival are usually a bit of a damp squib. After days of abuse, both your inflatable mattress and soul are dangerously deflated. Going to a festival on a Sunday all fresh and rested, on the other hand, sounds a lot more appealing, especially if it’s tailor-made for the day of rest. On top of the class music line up there’ll also be various arts-driven distractions and entertainment throughout the day.
Get ready to be all shook up at this tribute concert marking the 40th anniversary of the passing of the only King in history worth knowing about – Elvis Presley. Listen to a line-up of world class Elvis tribute acts as well as rock and roll bands guaranteed to get your blue sude shoes shuffling. There’ll also be rides, attractions, stalls and pleanty of tasty food and drink.