It’s a London summer in full swing this week, with parades and festivals galore. Take advantage of all the great events on offer without spending any of your hard-earned holiday savings since most of the events in this week’s roundup are completely free. Plus, Tuesday bears the ridiculous forecast of a 28-degree day of full-sun, prompting us to make sure we had not accidentally set the weather location to Greece. That doesn’t, however, mean that you are obliged to spend the week in a beer garden, brilliant as they are. Onwards!
Monday: This week transforms Holland Park into an al fresco opera theatre as Mozart’s Magic Flute and Puccini’s Tosca trade nights. Performances start at 7.30, £10.
Tuesday: Check out an exhibition of celebrity portraits by Warhol, including the rarely-seen prints of the Queen, Lenin, and Beethoven. Coskun Gallery, through 22 July. Free.
Wednesday: Praise be! It’s Open Churches Day in London, where over 40 historic 16th and 17th century city churches and synagogues open their doors to the public, including a choice of guided tours each day. A lovely way to see a bit more of London’s ecclesiastical beauty. 10 am – 6 pm.
Thursday: The Laughter in Odd Places movement brings comedy to the museum space. Tonight, four different stages at the Museum of London will bear witness to a mini-comedy festival, featuring stand-up acts like the brilliant Richard Herring and Stewart Lee. Free, but email firstname.lastname@example.org to reserve a space.
Friday: Celibrate your long lost brethren today by heading to the Tate Modern for a lunchtime talk by Conservator Trish Smithen examining the abstract artistry behind American Cy Twombly’s Four Seasons series. Free with exhibition ticket, 13:00-13:45. At night, zip yourself into some Levi’s and cowboy boots and head to Brixton for a full-on Independence Day party where good ol’ fashioned American rockabilly, rock ‘n’ roll, and country will be played by both live and DJ sets at the Prince Albert with New York street photography sliding by in the background. Free entry, yee-haw!
Saturday: Whoa, lots going on today. Sixth annual Holloway Arts Festival takes the arts to Islington. Check website for details. Or, head to Trafalgar for a brightly-coloured Fairytale-themed homage to London’s 6 million-strong LGBT population at the Pride Parade.
Is your summer of love in reality woefully lethargic? Get this party started at the Xfactor Summer Singles Event at Orchid in the West End. Tickets are normally priced £22.50 but get in free by registering here and using the discount code ‘london is free’.
Sunday: Head to Southbank for a peek around the Bossa Nova festival, celebrating 50 years of Bossa Nova by introducing Londonists to Brazilian music and culture. Coin Street, free.
The image of the unbridled joy of a London summer courtesy of mlazopoulou‘s flickrstream