May City Events in London
If you are in London during May you’re likely to be overwhelmed with things to see and do. So check out our guide to the best bits this month:
1. Field Day at Victoria Park – 25th May
One of the earliest music festivals in the London calendar is Field Day. Although underneath it seems like just another music festival it is so much more. Aiming to celebrate the village feel of this little slice of London there will also be loads of rustic entertainment accompanying the more mainstream focus of the rest of the festival. Why not try your hand at the classic tug of war, the sack race or maybe even the egg and spoon race? If you love the idea of a village fair in the heart of the city then this event is for you. Plus the music is usually awesome – this year’s line up includes Egyptian Hip Hop, Dark Dark Dark and Rainy Milo.
2. FA Cup Final 2013 at Wembley Stadium – 11th May
Some say the final to beat all finals is the FA Cup Final. For more than 130 years football teams have bitterly fought, sweated blood and tears to win this coveted cup. This year the fight will be no less dramatic with some of the top teams in the premiership in the final running. The atmosphere in the ground will be electric and the celebrations afterwards promise to be legendary. The defending champions are Chelsea who beat Liverpool 2-1 in last year’s epic final. If you are a footie fan then you have probably already got your tickets – may the best team win!
3. Some Like It Hip Hop at Peacock Theatre – 3rd May – 30th June
After a sensational run at the Saddler’s Wells late on in 2012 the exhilarating “Some Like It Hip Hop” is back. This time it’s at the Peacock Theatre on Portugal Street not far from Convent Garden. The brains behind the dance play belong to Kate Prince who has taken the classic comedy “Some Like It Hot” and given it a modern twist. Two of Hip Hop’s hottest female stars lead the play and dress up as unlikely looking men to get work in the misogynistic city. Despite the modern feel the issues are still age old and Prince uses humour to do some pretty hard poking at old wounds. On top of this fantastic plot there is some truly amazing dancing on the stage. So if krumping or popping and locking is your thing then this is a must see.
4. RHS Chelsea Flower Show 100th anniversary at Royal Hospital Chelsea – 21st – 22nd May
What can we say about the RHS Chelsea Flower Show that hasn’t already been said in its 100 year history? The avant garde show gardens are simply stunning and you could spend hours examining everything. Highlights not to miss this year include the B&Q Sentebale ‘Forget-me-Not’ Garden inspired by Prince Harry’s work in Lesotho and designed by Jinny Blom, Jo Thompson’s garden which aims to show some of Britain’s threatened plant and tree species and the SeeAbility garden which celebrates life in all its forms. A gardening feast for the tree hugging, green fingered among us.
5. Udderbelly at Southbank Centre – All Month
Just think Edinburgh Fringe in London and head for the giant upside down purple cow. No, really, it’s at the Southbank Centre, just as easy to find though. With eight weeks of fun there are too many gigs to name here, but we like Comedy in the Dark with Arthur Smith, David Morgan, Sean Mcloughlin and Matt Rees, your favourite stand ups for one hour with no lights! Also good is Susan Calman, Carl Donnelly and don’t miss The Bowler Debates with lots of shouting, arm waving and audience participation.
6. Highways at Museum of London, Transport – All Month
They say that the average vehicle speed in London is around 10mph and that it is roughly still the same as when horse-power really meant that! With new technology, the congestion charge and better signing the roads in London have changed almost overnight. Take a photographic journey with us to see just how much the roads in the city have adapted over the past 10 years. Photographer John Davies has explored the major arteries in London in a positive, growth kind of way and now you can see what he thinks and decide if you agree with him. The best bit it’s absolutely free to get into the Museum of London, plus there is loads of other great stuff to see here.
7. Museums at Night, city wide – 16th – 18th May
Ever wished you could go to Berlin’s Long Night of Museums? Well now you can, albeit in London. Loads of London’s famous museums will be having special events but we like the look of the Cockles & Mussels event at the Museum of London Docklands. This is a mouth-watering history of British seafood and includes samples from Billingsgate Seafood School and Tubby Isaacs – tasty! Perhaps exploring the universe is more your thing, if so head to the Royal Greenwich Observatory for fun with aliens, learning about our solar system neighbours and much more. Or maybe Design Overtime at the London Design Museum is to your liking; taking a look at past and present visions of the future.
8. Vaisakhi on the Square at Trafalgar Square – 5th May
Now for some real culture. Trafalgar Square is the traditional venue for many multicultural festivals in London – Chinese New Year, St Patrick’s Day and St George’s Day, now add another one to the list: the Vaisakhi Festival. If you are not familiar with this one it originates in the Indian sub-continent and is primarily a New Year festival. So what can you expect to see? A glorious riot of Asian colour and music will fill the square. And if you are partial to Asian grub then don’t miss the food stalls and why not join in the dancing? Although the festival is mainly a religious one with prayers, processions and hymns, there will be plenty of time and room for dancing and DJ music.
9. London Farmer’s Market Acton at Acton Market – All Month
There is something delicious about strolling around a farmers’ market. And the one every Saturday next door to Acton Market is no exception. Whether it’s the sultry smells of freshly baked bread or brewed coffee, the tempting sounds of the stall holders calling you to their wares or simply the fabulous colour palette the experience is one we love.
10. Covent Garden May Fayre and Puppet Festival – 12th May
If you have been to Covent Garden before you will know there is usually some form of street entertainment around. But in May things reach a fever pitch with the May Fayre and Puppet Festival. The star of the show is, of course, Mr Punch who is celebrating his 351st birthday. The day kicks off with a toast to this lovable, yet irascible figure, and then follows on with a procession, folk music, dancers, clowns, jugglers and stalls. So, to appease your inner child, why not head down there and have some fun?