HIP HOP HOORAY: Breakin’ Convention Dance festival celebrates its tenth year with four days of the best of international hip hop crews and dance companies at Sadler’s Wells, including a free, afternoon Park Jam on Monday. Check out our preview and the Breakin’ Convention website for more info and tickets.
FREE FILM: New Cross & Deptford Free Film Festival offers you seven different films over Saturday and Sunday, including Cinema Paradiso in the London Theatre and E. T, in Telegraph Hill Upper Park. Check the website for times and locations.
COLOURFUL CANALS: Canalway Cavalcade is a pageant of boats and community festival at Little Venice. Think fete stalls, bands, morris dancers, real ale and pretty boats. Free, just turn up, Saturday – Monday 10am-6pm (Monday 5pm)
MAKE BELIEVE: A new “hybrid festival” proffers three immersive, adventurous events over the weekend. Make Believe Festival put on two decadent parties and a steampunk market at Islington Metal Works, Angel. Tickets £5/£15/£20, check the website for full details and get the dressing up box out.
PHOTO FAIR: A new, international art fair takes place in London for the first time this weekend. The Photo Art Fair exhibits the work of 50 up and coming photographers from around the world and across a variety of genres. Tickets £8/£11/£15, check the website for full details and listings.
WANDSWORTH: The annual Wandsworth Arts Festival and Fringe begin on Friday and runs till 19 May, with exhibitions, craft events, theatre, music, stories and more. Check the website for the full programme.
BEER: London’s Brewing is the London Brewers’ Alliance Festival at The Brewhouse, London Fields. As well as beer to be drunk, there’s live music to listen to, educational sessions about beer, a kids’ area and food to soak up the drink. There are only tasting tickets left at £20, prebook, open Saturday and Sunday, 12-5pm
CIDER: There’ll be 20 varieties of premium English ciders and perrys at the Alma Cider Festival, N1 from Friday to Monday, starting at 4pm
CHOIRS: A mass singalong of Waterloo Sunset and Jerusalem, will make the launch of the Southbank Centre’ Festival of Neighborhood a rousing one. There’s a whole weekend of choral singing going on, with workshops, concerts and mass singing sessions. Check out the programme and join in here.
STREETS OF SPAIN: Pop outside the Southbank Centre and you’ll encounter a celebration of Spanish food, wine, culture and art from Friday to Monday, 11am-6pm
SCI-FI: Sci-Fi-London runs until Monday with loads of films to see and things to do, including an Anime all-nighter, a Doctor Who 50th anniversary screening and talk, a Sci-Fi pub quiz and 80s favourite Inner Space. It’s happening at both at Stratford Picturehouse and BFI Southbank. Check the full programme here.
MUSIC & ALE: Bounds Green pub The Ranelagh hosts a music and ale festival, with live acts from 3-10pm on Saturday and Sunday and ale from London breweries.
FURNITURE & SWIMMING: Brockwell Lido hosts The Modern Movement fair, enabling you to browse 20th century furniture, vintage clothes and objets d’art while having an outdoor swim. Free entry to fair, usual swimming costs apply, open Saturday and Sunday 10am-4pm
FUNFAIR: There is one. On Roe Green in Kingsbury.
AWAY FROM IT ALL: The forecast looks good so if you’re getting out and about to enjoy London’s green spaces or bucolic fringes, take some photos for our project with London Transport Museum – deadline is Monday night and you could win a trip in a tube driver’s cab!
CLUBBING: Check out our bank holiday clubbing recommendations.
Saturday 4 May
INDEPENDENT FILM: The British Independent Film Festival screens the four films shortlisted for Best Feature award with director Q&As after at the Empire, Leicester Square, prior to its evening awards ceremony. Screenings £9.95, prebook through Empire website, starts 11am
IMPERIAL FESTIVAL: A big science funfair at South Kensington Campus of Imperial College with talks, demos, food and drink, and interactive robots. The Imperial Festival is suitable for all the family. It starts on Friday and finishes today. Free, just turn up, noon-6pm
HARRINGAY WAREHOUSE PARTY: The artists who inhabit the Harringay Warehouse District are throwing a Mayday bash, featuring live music and ceilidh dancing, a roving mariachi band and more. Free, just turn up, from 1pm till late
MAY DAY: Bermondsey Square Community Trust is holding its first ever May Day Festival with arts and crafts sessions, a farmers’ market, face painting and an outdoor film screening after sunset. Free, just turn up between 2-10pm
ROBOT ART ON A BOAT: Kinetica Museum gets aboard MS Stubnitz at Canary Wharf for an afternoon of artist performances, film screenings, sound art and music shown alongside an exhibition of innovative artworks. Tickets £10, prebook or just turn up, from 2-11pm
TEDDIES: Join the open source style Teddy Bears Picnic in Green Park. Free, just turn up, from 2-5pm
MONSTER PUPPET: A spectacular giant monster puppet will leave Camden Arts Centre to take part in a special performance of Aping the Beast at Whitestone Pond, Hampstead Heath. Free but you must book your place, 3-5pm
LAST NIGHT: Of the Last Refuge’s First Festival in Peckham, with an absurd mix of variety acts for Soirée Pompette, “ze French-tongue-in-cheek cabaret”. Tickets £7, prebook, starts 7pm
STAR WARS: May 4th be with you! Dress up Star Wars stylee and head to Phoenix Artists Club for their Star Wars party. Starts 7pm
SCIENCE CABARET: Jugular Experiment 2 features a heady combination of top scientists, storytellers, poets, actors, musicians, visual artists and circus performers, each putting their own spin on the marvels of the universe at Rich Mix. Tickets £12, prebook, 7.30pm
COMEDY: The fabulous Susan Calman plays the Udderbelly tonight. Expect acerbic wit and cats. Tickets £15.50, prebook, starts 7.45pm
FREE FILM: Herne Hill Free Film Festival closes with Muriel’s Wedding at Brockwell Lido. Free, just turn up (early), starts 8pm
AIR GUITAR: Who is the UK’s greatest air guitarist? Find out at The Boston, Tufnell Park as hopefuls take to the stage to be judged by an expert panel, including our favourite occult comedian and steampunk guitarist, Andrew O’Neill. The winner represents the UK at the world championships in Finland! Spectator entry £12 on the door (includes £2 donation to Teenage Cancer Trust), starts 8pm
Sunday 5 May
CINCO DE MAYO: You don’t need an excuse to eat Mexican but a national holiday is a good one. Read our run down of where to find the food and parties.
GODLESSNESS: The Sunday Assembly talks about play and promises handy fun by way of “Danish Clapping” in its new venue at Conway Hall, Holborn. Free, just turn up, two sittings, at 11am and 1.30pm
PIRATES: The Cutty Sark and National Maritime Museum get a piratical makeover for a day of pirate partying. Tickets £12, prebook or just turn up, from 11am-4pm
VAISAKHI: Celebrate the Sikh New Year with music, Bhangra and Punjabi dance, food and children’s activities in Trafalgar Square. Free, just turn up, from 12-6pm
A FETE WORSE THAN DEATH: The Book Club put on a village fete with a Shoreditch twist… think bunting, maypole, foraged food, cider, live bands, games and vintage wear. Free, just turn up, between 12noon-9pm
MARKETS UNITED: Discover the best of London market shopping, enjoy live music and look at some top photos of London markest at the pop-up Markets United event in the basement at Shoreditch Town Hall. Free entry, just turn up, from 12noon-10pm
STREETFEST: Party in a car park with the Shoreditch kids for Streetfest, an all-day, urban culture festival of live art, music, dance, graf, spoken word, fashion etc. at Hearn Street car park. Tickets £15, prebook or just turn up, from 1-11pm
NEW ORDER: Classic Album Sundays play New Order’s LP “Power Corruption and Lies”, preceded by music that either inspired or was relevant to the recording such as Joy Division, Kraftwerk and Giorgio Moroder at the Hanbury Arms, N1. Tickets £8, prebooking recommended, 5-8pm
Monday 6 May
MAY FAIR: Christ Church Southgate holds a traditional May Fair on Southgate Green, with maypole dancing and the crowning of the May Queen. Also, it’s a good opportunity to admire Southgate Tube station. Free just turn up, from 11am-4pm
MAY DAY ON THE DOCKS: Museum of London Docklands lays on a free, family day of traditional May Day fun, with folk tales, Jack in the Green and Morris dancer crafting, folk dancing and a May Day procession at 3pm. Free, just turn up, 11am-4pm
CHILDS PLAY: Families and small children get a Dalston festival too, Land of Kids which takes place in and around Ashwin Street, E8. Expect workshops and activities, fancy dress, disco and ceilidh, arts and crafts, puppets and a scavenger hunt. Single ticket £19.50, group of 4 £60, prebook, runs from 12-7pm
Other good stuff
- What’s on stage and art shows to see
- Live comedy in London
- Booky and spoken word events
- Events for curious-minded Londoners
- Free things to do in London
- What’s on in the big Museums and Galleries
- Food and drink
- Listen to our latest podcast
Photo from Sci Fi London costume parade by Paul Rowson via Londonist Flickrpool