The Best Summer Festivals in London
By Isa Morgan

The summer season in London brings with it an eclectic mix of festival-based fun. Each year, an unforgettable array of events take place in the capital, many of which are free to attend. Summer festivals are certainly one of the most exciting ways to experience this vibrant city - here are just a few that you won't want to miss out on:

Spitalfields Summer Music Festival

London plays host to a number of music festivals during the summer, but none of them are quite like Spitalfields Summer Music Festival. If you're not keen on braving the crowds of Hyde Park's mega-festivals, then this is the perfect alternative, with a range of classical, folk and contemporary music performances across a variety of small east London venues and outdoor spaces. This biannual festival also offers a series of talks and debates, walks, visits, and interactive workshops, too.

Greenwich and Docklands International Festival

For those spending the summer on a budget, this nine-day free festival is not to be missed! Bradley Hemmings, Co-Artistic Director of the London 2012 Paralympic Opening Ceremony, is the man behind the occasion, bringing exceptional dance, music and theatre performances to the streets of Greenwich. Prepare to be wowed by this packed programmed of creative installations and events from around the world.

Clapham Common Foodies Festival

Deck chairs adorn south London's Clapham Common for this food-based festival, with celebrity chefs in attendance and cooking demonstrations galore. Sample signature dishes from some of London's top restaurants
and be filled with culinary inspiration during this three-day event which is sure to encourage even the most modest chef to become more creative in the kitchen.

City of London Festival

This annual festival is comprised over 100 free outdoor events, as well as concerts in some of the capital's most iconic buildings, including St. Paul's Cathedral. Seeking to "entertain and inspire" those who work and live in the City, as well as the capital's many summer visitors, the City of London Festival programme is packed full of music, visual arts, films, walks and debates - so there's sure to be something for everyone. This year's festival centres around three themes: city walls, conflict and resolution, and trees.

The Scoop at More London Free Festival

Another free festival, The Scoop amphitheatre at the South Bank's More London offers a range of film screenings, theatre performances and musical events throughout the course of the summer season. Suitable for all ages, seats are allocated on a first-come, first-served basis and offer stunning views over London's Tower Bridge, as well as the perfect al fresco way to enjoy the arts. Keep comfy by bringing a blanket or hiring a cushion!

If you're looking for cheap summer accommodation in London, Sanctuary Management Services (SMS) manages over 9,000 student bed spaces which are available to all during the summer months of June, July and August. Visit http://www.summerbreaks.org to book your affordable central London accommodation.

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