Visit London Blog » city of london festival Enjoy the very best of London Mon, 20 Oct 2014 09:00:56 +0000 en-US hourly 1 Things To Do in London During Menswear Fashion Week Thu, 12 Jun 2014 09:00:37 +0000 Guest post by Fashion City Insider 

London is the home of men’s fashion. As well as enjoying over 400 years of expert tailoring on Savile Row , a glut of emerging designers will be showing their wares at this month’s London Collections: Men (LC:M), the London fashion week for menswear.

As the world’s sharpest dressed men descend on the capital for LC:M next week, we’ve threaded together a few fashion-related events to enjoy.

Jean Paul Gaultier exhibition

Paul Smith and Jean Paul Gaultier exhibitions

For art and design lovers, immerse yourself in the world of iconic designer Paul Smith at the Design Museum on London’s South Bank. Hello, My Name Is Paul Smith (until 22 Jun) shows Smith’s roots in menswear. The Barbican’s The Fashion World of Jean Paul Gaultier, From the Sidewalk to the Catwalk (until 17 Aug) celebrates Gaultier’s mastery of couture and ready-to-wear fashion, as well as film and music costume collaborations, with as much for guys as for girls.

John Deakin’s street style photography

The Photographer’s Gallery steps back into London of the 1950s and 1960s through the work of one of the best British photographers – John Deakin. Delve into the history of street style photography at Under The Influence: John Deakin And The Lure Of Soho displaying Deakin’s exploration of the hidden corners and colourful characters of London’s Soho. Until 13 Jul

Dapper gents on screen

The Institute of Contemporary Arts is celebrating the art of sharp tailoring and style with a special 35mm screening of The Million Pound Note (1954) staring Gregory Peck, hosted by Anthony Peck, son of the Hollywood legend and style icon. 17 Jun

Bowler Hat at The City of London Festival

And a giant Bowler hat!

The party continues in London even after the fashion media circus has left town at the The City of London Festival with a huge inflatable 10m-high bowler hat pop-up venue near St Paul’s Cathedral which will be hosting more than 100 events from drama, music , comedy to debates. 22 Jun-17 Jul

Fashion City Insider is a London fashion travel guide.

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Five Highlights Of The City of London Festival Mon, 09 Jun 2014 08:08:05 +0000 Guest blog by City of London Festival Director Paul Gudgin

The City of London Festival brings more than 250 events to the amazing buildings and spaces of the City of London from 22 June.  It is one of the biggest and broadest programmes in the festival’s 52-year history with music, comedy, dance, circus, cabaret and even a Korean production of Hamlet to whet the appetite.

FLOWN_PiratesOfTheCarabina_ Bowler Hat

The centrepiece this year will be the Bowler Hat; the iconic piece of City headwear has been turned into a large inflatable 200-seat theatre just beside St Paul’s Cathedral in Paternoster Square.

With so many events to choose from, here are a few festival highlights:

1. Immerse yourself in one of our 9th Symphony epics at St Paul’s Cathedral with the London Symphony Orchestra – Bruckner’s 9th Symphony (3 July) and Beethoven’s 9th Symphony (15 July). Seeing a massive orchestral concert under the dome of St Paul’s is an experience everyone should try, and tickets start at just £5.

St Paul's Cathedral

2. Soak up outstanding City views and great jazz with our ‘Jazz with a View’ series. Choose from Clare Teal at Unilever House (6 Jun), Kit Downes at The Gherkin (29 Jun) and Roberto Pla on the Roof Terrace of One New Change (8 Jul). This idea was inspired by Dizzy’s Club Coca-Cola at Lincoln Center in New York… we think our views are easily as good as their Manhattan skyline!

3. Enjoy music and beer in the Guildhall Yard with our City Beerfest (3 Jul). Sample a selection of beers from over a dozen of Britain’s most popular breweries while listening to live American bluegrass, folk and Old Appalachian music, overlooking the City’s ancient HQ.

4. See breathtaking circus performed in a giant Bowler Hat with exceptional contemporary circus companies PSiRC, Silver Lining and Pirates of the Carabina.

5. Have a good laugh with our comedy programme in the Bowler Hat – Doc Brown, Adam Kay, Russell Kane, Katherine Ryan, Andy Zaltzman, Richard Herring and many more well-known and up-and-coming comics.

Book events for The City of London Festival

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Things To Do Outdoors in London This Summer Wed, 21 May 2014 09:00:54 +0000 The South Bank

Enjoy the great outdoors in London this summer with these top five activities.

1. Regent’s Park Open Air Theatre
Regent’s Park Open Air Theatre is a cultural highlight of every London summer. The outdoor, 1,250-seat amphitheatre in London’s beautiful Regent’s Park hosts a varied programme of plays, music and comedy each season including Shakespeare, musicals and newer works. The 2014 season includes a new version of Shakespeare’s Twelfth Night suitable for all ages from six upwards, The Gershwin’s Porgy and Bess and the return of award-winning production To Kill A Mockingbird. 15 May–13 Sep

Rooftop Film Club

2. Cinema under the stars
Outdoor cinemas have become increasingly popular in London in recent years. From the grande dame of the Film 4 Summer Series at Somerset House to funky newcomers including Rooftop Film Club in Dalston and Peckham and Hot Tub Cinema (yep, you guessed it). There’s also Nomad Cinema, which pops up in parks and squares around London, Luna Cinema, screening films at stately homes in and around London such as Hampton Court Palace and Greenwich Park and the Floating Cinema – located on a canal boat and coming to London’s waterways again this summer.   

Black Sabbath headline British Summer Time festival in Hyde Park

3. Festivals
London is awash with awesome festivals this summer and there’s something for every taste, whether it’s the foodie heaven of Taste of London, one of the many summer music festivals, cultural conglomerations including Southbank’s Festival of Love, and family-friendly outdoor events such as the Mayor’s Thames Festival and the City of London Festival. Can’t decide? Here’s our pick of the Top 5 Summer Festivals

Prudential RideLondon

4. Ride London
London’s world-class festival of all things bike returns for a second year this August. The 2014 Prudential RideLondon will include all of last year’s favourites, of which there are events suitable for everyone from amateur cyclists right up to Wiggins-wannabes. Join the eight-mile Family Ride past some of London’s most iconic attractions or turn up to cheer the pros in the London-Surrey Classic. 9-10 Aug

Thames RIB Experience 5. Ice cream and water play
London has some fantastic lakes and lidos for you to enjoy this summer. Take a look at our list of recommended Lidos and Boating Lakes where you can turn up with your bathers or hire a boat to while away the hours. If you’re after something more adventurous, book yourself a speedboat tour of the Thames on a London RIB, or check out Lee Valley White Water Centre. Want more? Read our guide to action-packed activities for kids in London. Feeling exhausted? Chill out with one of London’s best ice creams!

What’s your top tip for outdoor fun in London this summer? Tell us in the comments below…

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What’s On in London This Weekend: 13-15 July 2012 Thu, 12 Jul 2012 09:00:27 +0000
Brand new music and a brand new festival head up this weekend’s activities in London. There’s also the chance to sample top tapas and wear a French wig (not at the same time).

New Music 20×12 Weekend at the Southbank Centre
Beat boxing, fire artists and even giant wasps are promised in this weekend of musical premieres and activities at the South Bank Centre. Twenty new pieces have been commissioned for 2012 as part of the London 2012 Festival. They’re all 12 minutes long and are inspired by the dynamism of the Games. You can fit rather a lot into 12 minutes – take the short opera Our Day, which tells the story of Olympic gold medallist Mary Peters against the backdrop of the troubles in Northern Ireland in 1972. Most events are free but some workshops are ticketed.
13-15 Jul

Bastille Day celebration at Canada Square Park
This not-so-British celebration is part of the City of London Festival which runs in June and July. Bring your own wine and cheese to commemorate the turning point in the French revolution when the Bastille prison in Paris was stormed in 1789. The anniversary is France’s national day, and so it’s fitting that French acts will perform in Canada Square Park in Canary Wharf in the afternoon and early evening. Entertainment starts with euro ska jazz from Santa Macairo Orkestar, followed by young musician L whose songs are twists on French music, and finally the KKC Orchestra which fuses hip-hop and electro swing.
14 Jul

Vietnam Summer Festival at Spitalfields Market
Vietnam is proudly waving its flag at this brand new festival at the renowned Spitalfields food market, where food stalls from different regions will offer tasters of dishes like the classic Pho noodle soup – often eaten for breakfast in the country. If you’re feeling energetic, try out traditional Vietnamese games like jute-bag jumping (much like sack races in the UK) or the intriguingly named “dragon-snake”, a complex group game involving a script, a doctor and a very angry dragon.
14 Jul

Rioja Tapas Fantasticas at Potters Fields Park
It will be fiesta time on the South Bank for this celebration of top Spanish cuisine. Raise a glass of red, white or rosé Rioja wine in Potters Fields Park, overlooking Tower Bridge. Tapas – the perfect walk-and-eat cuisine – will be on sale from London’s Spanish restaurants and live Spanish music and cookery demonstrations are also on offer. You might return as a wine buff after some workshops and wine walks with experts Olly Smith and Susy Atkins.
14-15 Jul

What are you up to this weekend? Post your tips below.

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Video of the Week: City of London Festival Fri, 08 Jul 2011 10:00:34 +0000 Have you been to the City of London Festival yet? If not, you’ve got until 16 July to go along and find out about the City’s cultural offering.

This video of last year’s festival highlights, which included dancing, bee-keeping and street pianos, gives a taste of what to expect:

This year’s festival theme is Australia, New Zealand and the South Pacific.

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Participation is the Name of the Game in London this Summer Tue, 07 Jul 2009 16:40:07 +0000 Little Boots requests you take part in Smirnoff's UR The Night at Matter

In a world where we’re able to have our say on everything from who our next chart-topping stars should be to who’ll supply our tabloid fodder for the foreseeable five minutes of fame, it’s perhaps unsurprising that London’s cultural scene is also picking up on the participation trend.

After all, we’re now used to voicing our interests, our approval (or otherwise!), to take part in things online in blogs, twitter, flickr, facebook and so on.

What is surprising is the large number of different London events scheduled over this summer where you, traditionally the passive figure in the audience, are required to take a key part in making that event happen.

Participation, collaboration, perhaps the spirit of communitarianism (?I only recently learnt about the latter hearing about Michael Sandel’s Reith Lectures) is flowing through London’s events calendar this summer.

Whatever the event, it seems, you’re invited to take part.

It’s possible all this started with Antony Gormley’s Fourth Plinth plans. Or perhaps you’d suggest this kind of thing has been around for 100s of years, with the Royal Academy Summer Exhibition.

But surely not in these numbers.

Ordinarily, you wouldn’t be offered the chance to decorate a new shopping centre in the name of art. But the al fresco art studio at One New Change has altered that. Until tomorrow, you can see what London mural artist Richard Tait, and 100s of members of the public created to decorate the hoardings near the new shops. With Peter Newman’s new circular sculpture Skystation, you’re required to relax in the installation, look up and take photos of the sky above. Adding your pictures to the collaborative website brings this art project to life.

Once upon a time, you’d go to a club and, aside from a lucky Madonna-esque “Hey Mr DJ, put a record on” request, you couldn’t be sure you’d have any say about the night’s playlist. Bring&Share DJs, who are taking over the Green Room at the National Theatre as part of Watch This Space until 29 August, have changed that. Here’s a DIY disco where you set the playlist. They request you

“Arrive armed with your favourite records, CDs and MP3s and help create this unashamedly unpredictable music policy.”

Smirnoff’s UR the Night have gone one further. In order to get tickets to their collaborative club night at Matter, you have to take part. Hit their facebook page and have your say on everything from which drinks are behind the bar to what the DJs play, and you’ll be rewarded with a pass to get in.

Theatre, too, is asking you to get more involved than ever, with collaborative shows coming up over the summer from Fan Made Theatre in South East London (a promenade theatre production of the Odyssey, suggested by and voted for by members of the public), or if you prefer, as part of LIFT. Taking place in Barking and Dagenham, the LIFT Molten Festival has such a wide range of chances for you to get involved, we can’t possibly list them all here.

Just know we’re excited about Classy-oke at the end of August: karaoke with a live 50-piece orchestra. Oh my.

Of course, if all the above seem a little to restrictive, why not find one of the City of London Festival’s Street Pianos for the ultimate in free-form audience participation?

And we’re wondering if you’re about to go and see something more traditional in London this summer, an art exhibition where you’re just encouraged to go round and look at someone else’s art, or a performance where you’re expected to sit quietly until the end, then take part in a little polite clapping… and if you are, do you feel like you’ve been short changed in this new collaborative, participatory London?

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