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BLOOMSBURY: It’s a great weekend to explore WC1 and encounter stacks of free artsy Bloomsbury Festival events. Enjoy the World Music Stage in Russell Square and jazz in Bedford Square. Enter the Ministry of Communication, watch cabaret in a museum, play the festival piano, singalong with the Choir with no Name, watch dance performances, tour Senate House, join the shindig at Store Street, meet Jeremy Bentham and much, MUCH, more. Plan your time with the PDF programme here or visit the website. Free, just turn up.
ART FAIRS: Tis the season…. this weekend choose from Animal Art Fair, Contemporary African Art Fair, Independent Artist Fair, PAD, Frieze and Frieze Masters, the Other Art Fair and Moniker Art Fair, Touch, Moving Image, Sunday, Parallax, Big Deal, Multiplied and Sluice (which has a CAFF). Consult our guide to all the art fairs over “Frieze Week” and good luck to you, art lovers.
FILM: It’s the final weekend of the London Film Festival with flipping loads of stuff to see on Saturday and Sunday.
IDEAS: Debate, discuss, rant and reason at the Battle of Ideas at Barbican where hot topics range from films to new environmentalism, trust and transparency to R&B. Take a look at the website for more (much more) and prepare to argue your socks off and be immersed in ideas. Tickets £100 for a weekend pass, £60 day pass.
SPORTS WRITING: The first London Sports Writing Festival takes place at Lords, starting Thursday evening. Sessions discuss achievement, cheating, football stats, Andy Murray and cycling and there’s a chance to take part in a mighty sports quiz. Tickets £10 per event, prebook.
CHOCOLATE: Olympia hosts Salon du Chocolat, the chocolate sauce and sprinkles on the top of Chocolate Week, which includes a chocolate fashion show, hundreds of choccy exhibitiors, demos, workshops and tastings from Friday to Sunday. Tickets £15/day online in advance, £18 on the door.
LOVERS ROCK: As part of Enfield’s Black History Month celebrations, Lovers Rock stars Janet Kay and Caroll Thompson are joined by Victor Romero Evans performing live at the Millfield Theatre. Tickets £22.50 online, prebook, 8pm/7pm
NOUR FESTIVAL: Kensington & Chelsea’s Nour Festival of Arts continues, with exhibitions, Palestinian and Jordanian music, art and poetry discussion, an Iranian instrument workshop and Egyptian dance at Leighton House.
LATIN AMERICA: Notting Hill’s Acklam Village Market celebrates the best of Latin American with live music, food from Brazil, Cuba, Venezuela and Ecuador, fashion and shopping. An evening party (tickets £15) in aid of charity, Ephemeral Brazil. Free entry to the market, 11am-6pm
Saturday 19 October
PARLIAMENT: Take part in the Big Draw in the Houses of Parliament. Participants take a tour of the building then get to work on interpretations of the Central Lobby mosaics with artist Rachel Gadsden. Buy a tour ticket for Saturday to join in, cost £16.50 per adult, one accompanying child free, then £7 per child. Tours from 9.15am-3.45pm
HOME MOVIES: Dig them out and take them along to the Cinema Museum in Kennington for Home Movie Day. Get your home movies examined by a pro and shown on the big screen. There’s a special screening at 1pm of Benjamin Britten’s home movies for #Britten100 and as always, there will be cake. Free entry, just turn up, 11am-5pm
HORROR: Scare yourself silly with a bunch of short horror film screenings at the British Horror Film Festival, Empire Cinema, Leicester Square. Recover at the after-party in The Hippodrome! From 11am till late
BUS TOUR: Join the National Trust for a unique London road trips on board a restored Routemaster bus. Architectural historian-slash-bus driver-slash-Royal College of Art professor Joe Kerr will show you 1930s London. Tickets £30/£26, prebook, 11am-3pm
GOATS: Mark the end of the summer wildflower season on Queen Elizabeth Hall Roof Garden as it hosts Goat Grazing Fun Day. Free, just turn up, from 12pm
SEX WORKERS: The second London Sex Worker Film Festival presents an afternoon of sex workers on film at the Rio, Dalston. Tickets £10/£8, prebook (last year was sold out) 1-5pm
OXJAM II: It’s also the Islington Takeover on Upper Street with 100 acts over 10 venues. Tickets £12+bkg (although earlybirds are still available at time of writing), 12pm-2am
OXJAM III: The Chiswick Takeover sees another 100 acts over 10 venues, including hot London band The Divers. General ticket £13+ bkg, or pay more to see the Counterfeit Rolling Stones too. From 12-2am.
OXJAM IV: The Dalston Takeover stays up latest, natch, with 50+ bands across nine venues. There’s a free stage in Gillett Square from midday till 6pm, showcasing some of the best of Oxjam Dalston next to a Routemaster bus. Wristband gets you access to everything – tickets £10+bkg (earlybirds still available at time of writing), 2pm-7am
WOOLWICH: Find fine heritage and ingenious characters alongside dockside dirt and decay with invention and discovery expert, Laurence Scales on a 3.5 mile Woolwich walk. Tickets £11 (£8 London Historians), prebook, 1-5pm
UKRAINE: Seek out Ukrainian food, Cossack games, folk music and dance in Potters Fields Park for the Days of Ukraine festival and concert. Free, just turn up, 1.30-8pm
GREEK LIT: It’s all Greece at the Southbank Centre. Historian Bettany Hughes and poet Katerina Iliopoulou host an afternoon of Greek fiction and poetry, with guests including Dionysis Kapsalis, Vassilis Amanatidis, Victoria Hislop and Ioanna Karystiani: £10, 2.30pm. Paul Mason talks about the economic crisis in Greece and the rest of Europe: £10, 5.30pm. And Katerina Vrana hosts an evening of literature, music and comedy: £10, 8pm
TANGO: Baile D’Buenos Aires in Blackheath Halls is a massive Argentine Tango event. It starts at 5pm with a tango concert and performance and is followed by social dancing and other performances throughout the night. Tickets £18+bkg, 5-10.30pm
CONCERT: London Gay Symphony Orchestra play Britten, Arvo Part and Sibelius at St Sepulchre without Newgate. Tickets £10 advance, £12 on the door, 7pm
Sunday 20 October
DANCE: Try New Jack Swing, Argentine Tango, Brazilian Zouk Lambada, African, contemporary, tap, jazz, ballet, street dance and more at Danceworks Open House day of taster lessons. Classes are free, bookable on the day on a first-come, first-served basis. Get there early – it’s near Bond Street! Free, 11am-6pm
DRAW TOMORROW: The Big Draw Family Day at Artsdepot in Finchley is looking to the future. Join in and use giant sketchbooks, get face painted, play games and puzzles – oh, and bring your kids too. Tickets £2, just turn up, 11am-5pm
STATUES: Stephen McKenna leads a walk “For Queen and Country” around some of the capital’s finest statues and memorials in aid of the Disabled Photographers’ Society. Donation £5, meet Westminster station at 11am
APPLES: There’ll be apple bobbing, apple juicing, apple pies and -um – lots of apples at Hackney City Farm Apple Day. Free, just turn up, 12-4pm
CUBA: A night of Cuban culture awaits at Bolivar Hall with Cuban Gala Night. Enhoyt Cuban food and drink, salsa dancing and live performances from top Cuban artists. Tickets £15+ bkg, 5-10pm
AUSTEN: Catch improv containing Cariad Lloyd in Austentatious at the Leicester Square Theatre, along with Rachel Parris, Joseph Morpurgo and others. They’ll make up a ‘lost’ Jane Austen novel on the spot – we think it’s a work of genius. 20 October, £12.50 / £10, 7pm
POETRY: Part of the Artwalk Festival, Farrago runs a Poetry SLAM at the Arcola Theatre with Dudley Sutton, Idil Sukan, Katie Bonna and your host John Paul O’Neill. £8, 8pm
Other good stuff
- What’s on stage and art shows to see
- Live comedy in London
- Booky and spoken word events
- Free things to do in London
- What’s on in Museums and Galleries
- Eating and drinking
- Listen to our latest podcast, as recommended by The Telegraph
Photo of Senate House by Secret Pilgrim via Londonist Flickrpool.