London Dance, RnB and Pop Festival Guide 2012

Florence Welch plays radio 1 Hackney Weekender

London is hosting a fine selection of dance, electro, RnB and pop festivals this year, with line-ups that make the rock and indie festivals seem like village fetes.

Most exciting is the return of Snoop Dogg for London’s inaugural Bloc Weekender alongside Orbital. There’s also a Rihanna double with appearances at Wireless and Radio 1’s Hackney Weekender, the latter also featuring Jay Z and our local darling Florence Welch with her Machine.

Of course, this summer’s running and jumping has inspired a wave of outdoor music, with Dizzee Rascal at the super-bargain Torch Relay Concert, and Scissor Sisters at the BT River of Music. Plus, if you wish really hard there might just be some Kylie. Whatever your dancing style, you’ll be sure to find an outlet, and a decent cider tent.

Diamond Jubilee Concert @ Buckingham Palace 4 June
We say: Wave your flags with enough vigour and Betty just might wave back.
Headliners:  Elton John, Paul McCartney, Queen
Key London Acts: Jessie J, Madness, Lizzie herself
Hot Tips: Stevie Wonder and …er…Ed Sheeran.
Tickets: free via ballot www.bbc.co.uk

Lovebox @ Victoria Park 15-17 June
We say: After a decade of dancing the beat’s still growing stronger.
Headliners: Hot Chip, Groove Armada, Grace Jones
Key London Acts: Magnetic Man, The 2 Bears, Patrick Wolf
Hot Tips: Blondes, Chic, Ben UFO and Panagea, Azari and III
Tickets: £99 http://www.lovebox.net

Hackney Weekender @ Hackney Marshes 23-24 June
We say: The world biggest acts descend on East London, unlike Kanye West’s no show.
Headliners: Jay Z, Rhianna, Jack White, Kasabian
Key London Acts: Florence and the Machine, Bombay Bicycle Club, Leona Lewis
Hot Tips: Santigold, Azelia Banks, Rizzle Kicks
Tickets: Free via ballot www.bbc.co.uk/radio1/hackneyweekend

Bloc Weekender @ Pleasure Gardens 6-7 July
We say: It’s an honour to have such eclectic electronica relocate to London.
Headliners:  Orbital, Snoop Dogg, Richie Hawtin
Key London Acts: Four Tet, Radioactive Man
Hot Tips: Doom, L Vis 1990, Ikonika
Tickets: £99 www.blocweekend.com

Wireless @ Hyde Park 6-8 July
We say: Ditching the erratic line-ups and sticking to dance and RnB makes for a fantastic weekend.
Headliners: Rhianna, Deadmou5, Drake
Key London Acts: Clement Marfo, Delilah, Jessie J
Hot Tips: Jaguar Skills, The Wkend, Metric
Tickets: £49-£52.50 www.wirelessfestival.co.uk

Hit Factory Live @ Hyde Park 11 July
We say: Relive your childhood with a hairbrush to sing into and Smash Hits annual for the lyrics.
Headliners: Steps, Rick Astley
Key London Acts: Bananarama Pepsi and Shirlie
Hot Tips: Kylie and Jason? Just maybe.
Tickets: £48.50 www.livenation.co.uk

BT River Of Music @ Various venues along the Thames 21-22 July
We say: Spectacular range of acts celebrating global variety with the Thames centre stage.
Headliners: Babba Maal, Scissor Sisters,
Key London Acts: The Noisettes, Transglobal Underground,
Hot Tips: Mariza, Zakir Hussain, Wizzboy
Tickets: Free with £3 processing fee www.btriverofmusic.com/page/tickets

Torch Relay Concert @ Hyde Park 26 July
We say: A bargain party oozing with faultless pop gems.
Headliners: Dizzee Rascal, You Me At Six, The Wanted
Key London Acts: Eliza Doolittle, Katy B, Mark Ronson
Hot Tips: Little Comets, Rizzle Kicks,
Tickets: £15 www.ticketmaster.co.uk

BT London Live Olympic Opening Ceremony Celebration Concert @ Hyde Park 27 July
We say: The home nations are represented in celebration of how safe The Sport will be.
Headliners: Duran Duran, Stereophonics, Paulo Nutini, and Snow patrol. But the real headliner is good old Blighty.
Hot Tip: Underworld’s soundtrack to the actual opening ceremony.
Tickets: £66, yes that’s £66. www.ticketmaster.co.uk

SW4 @ Clapham Common 24-25 August
We say:A summer of raving’s topped with a monumental line up.
Headliners: Skrillex, Chase and Status, Paul Van Dyk
Key London Acts: Skream and Benga, Maya Jane Coles, Simian Mobile Disco
Hot Tip: Green Velvet, Seth Troxler, Joris  Voorn
Tickets: Day £47.50, Weekend £87.50 www.southwestfour.com

A guide to London’s Indie and Rock festivals can be found here and here are the best commuter festivals.

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