Summer in Hackney

That’s it Hackney, we’ve decided that summer has arrived! Here’s our pick of what we’ve got to look forward to this season.

Africa Week Dalston

African food, music, art and dance, including a Papa Wemba night at Dalston Roof Park and a South African jazz jam at the Vortex. The focus of the event is Africa Day on May 25, inaugurated in 1963 for Africans to celebrate their unity and independence.

May 21-27

River Fest

Summer isn’t all about incinerating sausages in the park – we also have a river! The River Lea runs Herts through Hackney, and this festival celebrates it, with headliners Hackney Colliery Band, a community choir, walks, talks and food.

May 29 

Antiuniversity Now

This innovative project was kicked off in 1968 with the Antiuniversity of East London, and revived by the Hackney Museum in 2015. It’s now UK-wide, but includes a ton of Hackney-specific events, including a lecture on black British music in the UK, and anarchic experiment Fuck It Let’s Make a Band.

June 9–12

Field Day

Tenth anniversary of this envelope-pushing Victoria Park festival. Headliners James Blake and PJ Harvey will be joined by the likes of Air and the Avalanches, Beach House, John Grant and Lets Eat Grandma. Hackney’s Five Points are brewing up a Ten Points Pale especially for the event.

June 11-12  

Well Street Common annual festival

A community festival featuring music from Monserrat, Northumbrian bagpipes, a dog show, coconut shy, capoeira, five-aside football and much more.

June 12 


Founded in 2002 by electronic-music wizards Groove Armada, mighty Lovebox takes over Victoria Park for a weekend of music from LCD Soundsystem, Major Lazer, Run the Jewels, Jungle and lots more.

July 15-16 

Stoke Newington Early Music Festival

Held in the lovely Elizabethan Old Church on Church Street, this is a celebration of Renaissance and Baroque music.

July 8-16

East London Fringe festival

A split new arts festival in an array of locations including Shoreditch Park, Hoxton Square and Birthdays. Elements include InstaGrime’s street party, a pop-up cinema, Hoxton Radio’s fashion throwdown and open-air comedy.

July 1-Aug 7


Brilliantly named Grimeborn is an emphatically un-elitist two-week festival of opera at the Arcola Theatre, showcasing new and experimental pieces.

August, date tbc