It’s a fair cop, London certainly deserves its international reputation as a city that’s a victim to the weather – it can, like elsewhere in the country, rain a fair bit in the UK capital. Which means that when the sun does come out (and, don’t doubt it, it does), Londoners and tourists alike definitely like to take advantage of it in the mega metropolis. But how? Where should you go and what should you do when the clouds part and sky’s filled with brilliant blue and the sun gloriously shines down? Well, you could certainly do worse than check out some of the capital’s outdoor performance events – of which there’s a good number this late spring and summer to tempt both locals and visitors. Here are some of the highlights…
London Bridge City Summer Festival
(1stJune-31stOctober; London Bridge/ Tower Bridge area)
Taking its cue from the fringe-style festivals that are held all over the world nowadays (not least the internationally renowned one that blesses Edinburgh every summer), this five-month-long effort is set to grace the banks of the Thames between London Bridge and Tower Bridge throughout the summer and into early autumn – good news if we get an ‘Indian Summer’ then!
Entirely free for each and every attendee, its aim is to host a variety of interactive arts and entertainment events, at the heart of which will be a pop-up food and drink experience that’s sure to delight and captivate the taste buds of all and sundry. Among the highlights promised are live music sets, big screen showings of the summer’s major sporting events (that’d be Euro 2016 and the Olympics/ Paralympics then) and screenings of both much-loved classic and cult movie favourites. Be sure to keep your eyes peeled on the festival’s website for details of individual events when they’re announced!
Open-air theatre at The Scoop
(6th-31st August; Queen’s Walk, SE1 2DB)
Actually, one of the highlights of the summer festival mentioned above that’s already been announced are two London open-air events to be held at this 1,000-seater venue beside the iconic City Hall building (just a short walk from Tower Bridge). These two theatre productions will be inspired by Richard Wagner’s Ring Cycles opera saga and put on and performed by the Gods and Monsters Theatre company. Expect a dynamic retelling of the magical Viking myths of old then, featuring lashings of furious swordplay, fearsome creatures and alluring nymphs – plus, of course, the legendary Ride of the Valkyries section with that unforgettable stirring music. A free event that no Games of Thrones fan – and nobody who fancies experiencing some quality open-air theatre – could surely resist!
Broadgate Live at Broadgate Circle
(Until 15thJune; Broadgate Circle, EC2M 2QS)
programme showcasing young, up-and-coming London-based musical talent, Broadgate Live is taking place right now through to the middle of June on Wednesday evenings (5.30-8.30pm) and Saturday afternoons (12noon-3pm).
Featuring artists influenced by everything from natural singer-songwriting to hip hop and rap and from folk rock to electro pop, it’s a great opportunity to wind down for an hour or two in the bustling but relaxed environment that’s Broadgate Circle, an open space surrounded by restaurants, cafés and bars that’s ideal for performance just metres away from the Liverpool Street mainline station in the heart of The City.
Scheduled to appear as part of Broadgate Live are:
The Tailormade (Wednesday 25th May)
Described by the event’s publicity as ‘a trio of singers, lyricists and wits’, this group likes to combine hip hop and rap with Motown-inspired pop and rock. They were 2014 champions of the ‘Mayor of London’s Gigs’ competition and have gone on to play some of the capital’s top venues, as well as celebrity chef eateries and The Brits music awards ceremony.
Lucy May Walker (Saturday 28th May)
A Worcestershire-hailing folk-pop singer-songwriter, Lucy was an ‘Open Mic UK 2014’ competition finalist, before she appeared on the Forum Live Stage at the LG Arena in Birmingham. On its release, her debut EP ‘We Know the Score’ scaled the iTunes singer-songwriter charts to hit a high of#14 and among its four tracks is the acclaimed ‘You’re Not Mine’.
S.O.S. (Wednesday 1st June)
Just 22-years-old, this electro-pop artist was born in Malta writes and produces all her own – admittedly – quirky material. Before adopting her present moniker, she was better known as Sophie DeBattista.
Natalie Shay (Wednesday 8th June)
Having performed already at prestigious venues such as Hyde Park, The Roundhouse and Hard Rock Café (at which she’s appeared alongside legends like Soul II Soul and Sex Pistol Glen Matlock), this 17-year-old has already experienced a vaster array of impressive gigs than most artists do in their entire careers. Twice named winner ‘Mayor of London, Gigs: Big Busk’, as well as a winner of the likes of ‘Open Mic UK’, ‘The Guardian 2014 Music Award’ and ‘The London Music Award’, she’s definitely a folk rock/ pop performer to look out for– catch her at Broad gate Circle before she goes huge!
(The Broadgate Live season concludes with ‘Busk in London artist collaboration’ on Wednesday 15th June)