Summer’s golden tickets: The best UK and London gigs and festivals that can still be booked

·6-min read
Party on: Cross the Tracks, main. From l-r, Mahalia, AJ Tracey, Nbuya Garcia, Lewis Capaldi and Jack Harlow (Getty)
Party on: Cross the Tracks, main. From l-r, Mahalia, AJ Tracey, Nbuya Garcia, Lewis Capaldi and Jack Harlow (Getty)

Forget the downpours; this summer is far from a washout. Sure, a last-minute sojourn to heaving Cornwall is likely off the cards, but frankly, this summer should be about getting out and celebrating what we’ve been denied so often this year: a chance to enjoy the glory of live music, a chance to dance. There was no dazed wandering around huge fields last year, but it’s a rite of passage for those of any age and we have to make up for lost time. Below, we’ve listed the festivals and year’s biggest gigs that still have tickets going (correct at the time of going to print). While one-or-two are officially full-to-bursting, there are festival and show-approved reseller sites that are trustworthy. Have fun, it’s everything.

The Festivals

South Facing

Who and what? This month-long series is making the most of the once-neglected Crystal Palace Park bowl, with a series of shows from the likes of The Streets, Supergrass and even the ENO. Look out for the two funk and soul shows being staged by the Cross The Tracks festival team.

When and where? Aug 5-31, Crystal Palace Park, SE19

Tickets: from £35,

51st State

Who and what? Head over for a seven-stage, 100 act-strong marathon of acid house, dancehall and garage. Expect to get raving to the likes of Masters At Work, Hannah Wants and Roger Sanchez.

When and where? Aug 7, Trent Park, EN4

Tickets: from £65,


Boardmasters (Handout)
Boardmasters (Handout)

Who and what? Determined to make like the rest of the country and head down to Cornwall? Try this celebration of surf (the sport, not the music). Jorja Smith, Gorillaz and Foals top the bill.

When and where? Aug 11-15, Newquay, Cornwall

Tickets: from £79,

All Points East

Who and what? Impressively enough, one of London’s biggest and best-loved still has a little space. Jamie xx, Kano, Mahalia, Slowthai and Little Simz are all set to get Victoria Park hollering along. On the Sunday, the festival will host another, as Field Day takes over.

When and where? Aug 27-30, Victoria Park, E9

Tickets: from £66,

Victorious Festival

Victorious (Handout)
Victorious (Handout)

Who and what? Another one if you do like to be beside the seaside, this Portsmouth festival always draws in the big names from Britpop, indie and that ilk; this year, look out for Richard Ashcroft, The Kooks, Madness, Royal Blood and even Mel C.

When and where? Aug 27-29, Portsmouth

Tickets: from £40,

Yam Carnival

Who and what? Organisers of this newcomer are promising “a celebration of black culture from around the world”, with Nigerian star Davido topping a bill that also boasts Kehlani, Honey Dijon and Pa Salieu.

When and where? Aug 28, Clapham Common, SW4

Tickets: from £66.95,

Maiden Voyage

Who and what? The crew behind Camden’s Jazz Cafe bring their love of the stuff to the fore with a line-up including Moses Boyd, Roy Ayers and the brilliant Ashley Henry.

When and where? Aug 29, Lee Valley Showground, EN9

Tickets: from £55,

Wide Awake

Who and what? This one-dayer has a hand in everything from left-field indie to the new wave of British jazz. Black Midi, Daniel Avery, Lena Willikens and Erol Alkan all play, with Idles giving an afternoon set.

When and where? Sept 3, Brockwell Park, SE24

Tickets: from £54.45,

Isle of Wight

Who and what? Later than usual — to, they say, “see out the summer in spectacular fashion” — the Isle of Wight is always a nod to roaring rock festivals of yore. This year’s names include Liam Gallagher, Snow Patrol, Tom Jones and Duran Duran. A few modern names have slipped in, too, including Sam Fender.

When and where? Sept 16-19, Seaclose Park, Isle of Wight

Tickets: from £75.20,

The gigs

The Proms (PA)
The Proms (PA)

The Proms

Who and what? The beloved annual festival returns in all its glory and while much is heavily booked up, as ever, there’s always a chance to get “day promming” tickets on the morning of each show, typically at 9am. Otherwise, there are still a few big names to book up, including the saxophonist Nubya Garcia (Prom 21, Aug 18) and Nicholas Collon and the Aurora Orchestra (Prom 14B, Aug 11), who are certain to astonish with a by-memory performance of Stravinsky’s fairytale ballet, The Firebird.

When and where? Until Sept 11, Royal Albert Hall, SW7; Cadogan Hall, SW1

Tickets: standard seats from £7.50, until Sept 11,

Rag’n’Bone Man


Who and what? It’s been a big year for the gruff-voiced, face-tatted singer. Rag (presumably few call him Bone?) has scored big hits with the likes of All You Ever Wanted and the beautiful P!nk duet, Anywhere Away From Here. Expect him to be on roaring form.

When and where? Aug 19, Kenwood House

Tickets: from £46.85,

Jack Harlow

Who and what? Head North to see apostrophe-shy Industry Baby Jack Harlow, who first made waves with his smash Whats Poppin, as he tours debut album Thats What They All Say.

When and where? Aug 30, O2 Forum Kentish Town, NW5

Tickets: from £24.25,

Lewis Capaldi


Who and what? There are still a handful of tickets for the straight-talking Scots’ rescheduled shows; sing your heart out to Someone You Loved while nudging your mate as you both go, “You know, he is related to Peter Capaldi after all.”

When and where? Sept 1 and 2, the O2, SE10

Tickets: from £39.77,

Martha Wainwright

Who and what? It’s a rare chance to see Wainwright in the UK, given she hasn’t toured here in four years. With new music promised soon, the show promises a first glimpse at what she’s been working on and is a chance to listen to a gig in the Union Chapel, which is one of London’s finest spots for new music.

When and where? Sept 20, the Union Chapel, N1

Tickets: from £43.45,

AJ Tracey

 (Michael O’Donnell)
(Michael O’Donnell)

Who and what? Prefer your grime from west London, instead of east? AJ Tracey is following his acclaimed Flu Game release with a night at the O2. Promises to be a joyful, wild one.

When and where? Nov 23, the O2, SE10

Tickets: from £32.50,

Alanis Morissette

Who and what? Morissette, who recently released On The Road Again with Willie Nelson (ironic, huh? Still no), is heading through the UK with her postponed 25th anniversary tour of the album that made her name, Jagged Little Pill. While the November 23 date is all but sold out, there’s plenty of room for the following day.

When and where? Nov 23 and 24, the O2, SE10

Tickets: from £52.90,

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