43 Fantastic Things To Do In London This Month: June 2019

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43 Fantastic Things To Do In London This Month: June 2019
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CAMDEN ROCKS: 400 bands play across 20 venues at Camden Rocks, a weekend-long festival of rock 'n' roll music. One ticket gets you access to all the gigs, and the likes of Frank Turner, Deaf Havana, The Pigeon Detectives and Bang Bang Romeo are all on the line-up. 1-2 June

ALL POINTS EAST: The final weekend of All Points East festival takes place 31 May-2 June, with Mumford & Sons, Dizzee Rascal and The Vaccines among a plethora of acts playing 'big gig' type sets in Victoria Park. Until 2 June

LONDON FESTIVAL OF ARCHITECTURE:  Moving away from music to a more sedate festival, London Festival of Architecture is a month-long look at the capital's buildings through tours, talks, installations and other activities — including a comedy show at the top of the BT Tower. 1-30 June

HUGH JACKMAN: If you've had A Million Dreams of seeing Hugh Jackman performing songs from The Greatest Showman live in front of you... well, they're about to come true. The actor — who can hold a tune or two — brings his tour to the O2, where he performs hit songs from The Greatest Showman, Les Misérables and more from Broadway and film, accompanied by a live orchestra. 2-7 June

The English National Ballet presents Cinderella

GUN SALUTES: It's a big month for the senior royals, with the Queen's (official) birthday, Prince Philip's (actual) birthday, and the Coronation Day. Each of the events is celebrated with a royal gun salute in the Royal Parks — full details here. 3, 8 and 11 June

OPERA HOLLAND PARK: One of the most sophisticated nights out going in London. Opera Holland Park's summer season gets underway with performances of Puccini’s Manon Lescaut, followed by Verdi's Un ballo in maschera, with other operas following throughout the summer — all inside a temporary canopied auditorium inside the west London park. 4 June-9 August

THIS IS MANGA: Hot on the heels of British Museum's Manga exhibition, Japan House also opens a show dedicated to the art form, with specific focus on internationally-renowned artist Urasawa Naoki. Showing off the dynamic storytelling and sophisticated plots of Naoki's work, the exhibition demonstrates that Manga is so much more than kiddie comic books. 5 June-28 July

CINDERELLA: 90 English National Ballet dancers and a live orchestra bring the tale of Cinderella through life in an in-the-round staging of the ballet. 6-16 June

A fortnight of live music at Hampton Court Palace

HAMPTON COURT PALACE FEST: From Busted to Michael Ball, and Nile Rodgers to Jools Holland, it's safe to say the line-up at Hampton Court Palace Festival is an eclectic one. Pick your gig (if there are still tickets left) and watch the performances in the Tudor courtyard as the sun sets. Bring a picnic or buy dinner from the food stalls, and tuck in before heading through to see the performance. 6-22 June

NATALIA GONCHAROVA: Russian avant-garde artist Natalia Goncharova is the subject of a new Tate Modern exhibition, the first retrospective of her work in the UK. Her art ranged from futuristic body art to religious paintings and costumes for the Russian ballet. 6 June-8 September

FIELD DAY: Taking place in a north London warehouse for the first time — actually, make that four giant, interconnected warehouses — Field Day still promises to be a juggernaut of the 2019 festival scene, with the likes of Skepta, Julia Holter, Earl Sweatshirt, Jorja Smith, Sinkane and Deerhunter on the line-up. 7-8 June

ZOO NIGHTS: Every Friday in June, London Zoo hosts Zoo Nights, an evening event allowing the public to see the animals outside of normal hours. Take part in special tours and quizzes to learn more about the creatures, tuck into street food at the market, and enjoy live entertainment in the form of stilt walkers and acoustic music. 7-28 June

Stay late at ZSL London Zoo

LEONARDO DA VINCI: The British Library opens a new exhibition on artist, scientist and inventor Leonardo da Vinci. Three of his notebooks go on display, giving the public a chance to see his mirror handwriting close-up and get a glimpse of his intricate drawings. 7 June-8 September

TROOPING THE COLOUR: This regal military festival takes place over three days, but the highlight is the event known as the Queen's Birthday Parade. The Queen's personal troops, the Household Division, put on a display of pageantry on Horse Guards Parade, with 1400 officers and men, 200 horses and 400 musicians. Pomp and circumstance, indeed. 8 June

Trooping the Colour at Horse Guards Parade

WORLD NAKED BIKE RIDE: No clothes required for the London outpost of the World Naked Bike Ride, an annual event that protests car culture and asks for more rights for cyclists. There are several meeting points for cyclists, from where the route takes them to a joint meet-up in central London. 8 June

D-DAY WEEKEND: HMS Belfast marks the 75th anniversary of D-Day with a weekend of family activities. Meet veterans who experienced D-Day first hand, learn Morse Code and solve puzzles on board the ship, which was involved in the Normandy landings itself. 8-9 June

OPEN GARDEN SQUARES WEEKEND: Spend your weekend poking around in gardens that are normally off-limits to the public. Visit posh private garden squares, rooftop gardens and kitchen gardens, and take part in guided walks and cycle rides, and activities in some of the gardens. 8-9 June

Visit green spaces that are usually off-limits at Open Garden Squares Weekend

PRIDE IN LONDON: The main Pride in London parade isn't until 6 July, but the celebrations start a month early with various Pride in London festival events, including the Pride's Got Talent final. Full schedule here, with more events due to be added. 8 June-6 July

CROSS THE TRACKS: Chaka Khan performs in Brockwell Park for Cross The Tracks festival, surrounded by funk, jazz and some classic Motown soul. Martha Reeves and The Vandellas also represent the old guard, but with plenty of acts crafting the future of jazz, funk and electronic music. 9 June

ROYAL ACADEMY SUMMER EXHIBITION: For art lovers, the Royal Academy Summer Exhibition is one of the biggest events of the year. 2019 is its 251st outing, with 1,200 works on display, curated by British painter Jock McFadyen RA. Highlights include an animal-themed ‘menagerie’ in the Central Hall, and work exploring light and time. 10 June-12 August

MANOLO BLAHNIK: The Wallace Collection gets in on the current craze for fashion exhibitions with a show dedicated to shoe designer Manolo Blahnik. See shoe designs from Blahnik's private archives, with a programme of talks to accompany the exhibition. 10 June-1 September

Watch Royal Opera House performances for free on the big screen

ROMEO AND JULIET: Royal Opera House kicks off its season of free, open air live broadcasts with Romeo and Juliet, performed by the Royal Ballet. Head to one on the screening zones (options include Trafalgar Square, Wembley Park and Shepherd's Bush), for an evening of free culture. 11 June

ZIP LONDON: The world's highest and largest city centre zip line returns to Lambeth for three months of flying. This year, an extra line has been added, meaning up to four people can race at once. Wheeeeee! 12 June-15 September

DRIVERLESS CARS: Science Museum launches an exhibition about driverless cars, looking at how artificial intelligence might shape the future of transport. As well as covering the science behind current — and future — driverless cars, the exhibition delves into the ethical conundrums about putting machines in control. 12 June- October 2020

Zip wire across the London skyline

SPICE GIRLS: Zig-a-zag-ah your way to Wembley to see nineties pop group The Spice Girls back on tour — well, four of them anyway. Posh is a bit too posh these days. Tickets sold out faster than a bus launching over Tower Bridge, but you might get lucky on ticket resale sites. 13-15 June

BP PORTRAIT AWARD: We're hoping for something a bit fresh from this year's BP Portrait Award exhibition, after last year's same-y offering. The free exhibition brings together portrait painters from across the world to compete for the top prizes. 13 June-20 October

HANSEL AND GRETEL: Regent's Park Open Air Theatre continues its summer season with a family-friendly performance of Hansel and Gretel. Watch the familiar fairytale play out on an outdoor stage, tucked away in the middle of the park. Age 9+ 14-22 June

LIGHT IN THE PIAZZA: The London premiere of Broadway musical The Light in the Piazza opens at Southbank Centre. Set in Florence in summer 1953, the love story follows Margaret Johnson and her daughter Clara, whose hat is blown into the hands of local dreamer Fabrizio Naccarelli. 14 June-5 July

The Light In The Piazza opens at Southbank Centre

FLEETWOOD MAC: Another throwback tour that sold out very quickly (again, check resale sites... you might get lucky), Fleetwood Mac perform two shows at Wembley Stadium. 16-18 June

CANAL ZORBING: Take to London's canals without getting wet at two days of canal zorbing. Float on the surface of the waterways around Paddington in a giant inflatable ball — not one for those who get seasick. 19-20 June

TASTE OF LONDON: A highlight in the foodie calendar, Taste of London brings the capital's best restaurants, chefs, food suppliers and others in the culinary industry to Regent's Park for tastings, masterclasses, cooking demos from world-class chefs and much more. At the very least, you won't leave hungry. 19-23 June

INDIAN FILM FESTIVAL: Four films showing different aspects of the South Asian political landscape are screened at the London Indian Film Festival. The perils of social media are explored in #Gadvhi, Reason looks at activists and dissenters in modern India, Widow Of Silence follows a 'half-widow' in Kashmir, and Saturday Afternoon is a thriller based on the Holey Artisan Bakery terrorist attack. 21-25 June

Expect impressive acrobatics at Greenwich + Docklands International Festival

GREENWICH + DOCKLANDS INTERNATIONAL FESTIVAL: A huge festival spanning two weeks and several locations, GDIF offers free outdoor theatre and performing arts shows, including stilt walkers, singing spheres, acrobatics, circus and dance. Full programme here.  21 June-6 July

SPACE SPECTACULAR: Star Wars, Gravity, Alien, Predator... all films set in space, all with excellent soundtracks. The London Concert Orchestra plays these soundtracks — plus other space-themed offerings — at the Royal Albert Hall, with lights, lasers and indoor fireworks. 22 June

WEST END LIVE: Every June, cast members from the biggest musicals in the West End put on West End Live, a free open air show of songs from the stage. This year's line-up is yet has been announced, with show including Waitress, Come From Away, 9 To 5 The Musical, Only Fools And Horses and Magic Mike Live. appearing for the first time 22-23 June

See West End performers for free at West End Live

CLASSIC CAR SHOW: 150 vintage motors park up in the usually-sedate Belgravia Square Gardens for the third incarnation of the Belgravia Classic Car Show. Live music and food stalls are also part of the event, keeping you fed and entertained as you snap a selfie with the sexy motors. 23 June

BEACH BOYS: Party like it's still the 1960s at a Beach Boys concert. For two consecutive nights, the latest incarnation of the American pop group — led by Mike Love — performs at the Royal Albert Hall. 24-25 June

CIRQUE DU SOLEIL: The world-famous Cirque du Soleil has a five-day run of its latest show, Toruk at The O2. The show is inspired by James Cameron film Avatar — with input from Cameron himself — and combines puppetry, multimedia projections and massive set-pieces. 26-30 June

Cirque du Soleil's Toruk comes to the O2

CATFEST: A purr-efect day out for feline fans, CatFest 2019 brings cat themed food, drink, stalls, activities, art and exhibitors to Beckenham Place. Hear talks from experts including Giles Clark, who runs The Big Cat Sanctuary in Kent, and James Bowen, author of A Streetcat Named Bob. 29 June

MAJOR LEAGUE BASEBALL: Two regular season Major League Baseball games are being played in Europe for the first time. See the Boston Red Sox and New York Yankees in action at the London Stadium. 29-30 June

The Dragon Boat Festival brings a touch of Hong Kong to east London

DRAGON BOAT FESTIVAL: Hong Kong comes to east London in the form of the Dragon Boat Festival. Watch teams go head to head in a traditional dragon boat race — with City Airport planes as a backdrop — and tuck into Chinese food, visit stalls and take part in craft activities. 30 June

SOHO WAITER'S RACE: The Soho Society's Summer Fete has one highlight every year... the Soho Waiter's Race. Waiting staff from the local restaurants compete in a race around the area's streets, while balancing a tray with a champagne bottle and ashtray. 30 June

Watch waiters race around Soho

ZIP LONDON: For one day only, a zip wire is set up in Canary Wharf, raising funds for The Fire Fighters Charity and Evelina London Children’s Hospital. It runs from the top of One Canada Square — a height of 210 metres — 600 metres down to Westferry Circus. Taking part is something of a commitment — you'll need to raise an impressive £50,000 in sponsorship money, but if that's a bit of a stretch, watching is completely free. 30 June

Last Updated 08 July 2019