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One of the largest street festivals in the UK will be kicking off in London this weekend. If you're a carnival virgin check out our selection of photographs from 2014 to get a flavour of what to expect. As you'll see, the rain didn't dampen anyone's carnival spirit last year!
Things to do
STEREOPHONICS AT THE O2:
The Welsh wizards will perform a one-night show at The O2 on Wednesday 16 December. Kelly Jones and co. will celebrate the release of their latest album, The Village Alive. Tickets start from £36.86 and go on sale at 9am today!
This exhibition at the National Gallery blends artistic masterpieces with new sound installations created by talented musicians, including DJ Jamie XX and composer Gabriel Yared. £6, prebook, 10am-4.30pm
MIND SPORTS OLYMPIAD:
Today you can take part in Decamentathlon at Mind Sports Olympiad in Hampstead. The Decamentathlon consists of 10 different events which test mental aptitude, memory skills, mental calculation, creative thinking and gaming ability. £10, prebook, 10am
COVENT GARDEN INSTALLATION:
Head to Covent Garden Market to admire a new installation created by French artist Charles Pétillon. Heartbeat takes the form of hundreds of white, pulsating balloons which reflect the dynamism of the area. Free, just turn up, until 27 September
KALEIDOSCOPE AT SOUTHBANK:
Walk through a giant kaleidoscope of shapes and colour today as Sutton Walk (the walk from Waterloo to Southbank) is transformed as part of Spark Your City. The installation is in collaboration with former Blue Peter presenter and children’s book writer, Helen Skelton, who is hosting kid's quizzes and games. Free, just turn up, 6am-10pm
Go to Islington Museum for a screening of films, as part of the Bevin Court Project. It's also your last chance to catch the accompanying exhibition which closes this Friday. Free, just turn up, 6pm-7pm
Take a partner or friend along to Dado54, a 200 year old venue in Farringdon where the pair of you can enjoy a bottle of wine accompanied by live music for under £20. £18, prebook, 7pm
RETRO GAMES NIGHT:
A brand new retro console games night hosted by The Bow Belly at Second Floor Studio Arts Canteen in Woolwich, a riverside venue in the heart of a bustling creative community. Tonight features a Mario Kart 64 Tournament and other nostalgic goodies, all accompanied by delicious BBQ food and BYOB at only £1-per-item corkage. Free, just turn up, 7pm-11pm
SOMERSET HOUSE BOOK CLUB:
Somerset House launches a new book club this evening at Pennethornes Cafe. Hear a live Q&A from the creative duo behind Rude Boy Salon, plus enjoy a delicious food and drinks pairing as well as a live DJ set on the elegant terrace (weather permitting). Free, register your interest, 7pm-9pm
Spend the evening listening to jazz aboard The Golden Hinde at London Bridge. You'll be blown away by the music and the venue. £8, prebook, 7.30pm
SHORTS ON TAP:
Head to Cafe 1001 in Brick Lane to see seven short films which explore, challenge and reinvent the theme of family kinship. £4.50 adv/£5 on the door, 8pm
TALL SHIPS FESTIVAL:
Greenwich Royal Docks Tall Ships Festival begins today. The ships will be docked at Royal Arsenal Woolwich Pier when not making daily sails along the river to Greenwich and Tower Bridge. Tonight, spend the evening cruising down the Thames before stopping off for a fantastic fireworks display. Food is included in your ticket and you're advised to leave your heels at home... £59.90-£79.90, prebook, 8pm
Coming in second at Sketchfest’s Best New Act category earlier in the year, Bosh and Babbs now have a full length show at Hen and Chickens. £8.50/£7.50, prebook, 9pm
Good cause of the day
The Canal and River Trust is a charitable organisation which keeps our waterways clear. Today you can help out by joining the paddle boarding litter pick. Your hard work will be rewarded with a BBQ in Paddington Basin. A fun way to keep fit, make friends and give something back. Free, just turn up, 6pm-8pm
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Find more London events in our Free & Cheap events listings. Want to see your event in these last-minute listings? Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org at least 48 hours before the event, and we will consider it for inclusion. Note: due to high volumes of email, we can’t always reply.