The best free festivals to party at in London this summer

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The days are longer, the sun is shining (most of the time) and it's all happening in London completely for free this summer. Get set to enjoy days out in the capital with live music, dance, theatre, food and culture completely free of charge.

We've found the best top free London festivals so your summer can be cheap as well as cheerful. Throw that wallet to the wind and get set to party... !

  • Urban Food Fest

    Where: 163-175 Shoreditch High Street, Shoreditch

    When: Every Saturday 5pm-12am

    Urban Food Fest is hosting 15 different street food trucks and stalls each week this summer, serving up a variety of gourmet global street food dishes. Nom nom.

  • Anxiety Arts Festival

    Where: London-wide

    When: Until June 30

    Anxiety 2014 is a new arts festival, curated by the Mental Health Foundation. Taking place at multiple venues throughout June 2014. Don't miss it.

  • The Crystal Palace Overground Festival

    Where: Triangle and Westow Park, London SE19

    When: 26- 29 June 2014

    A bumper weekend of festival fun, including performing arts, crafts, holistic and sports activities, live music, DJs and food, plus antique, craft and vintage shopping.

  • Dragon Boat Festival

    Where: London Regatta Centre

    When: 29 June

    Expect plenty of colour and rousing noise as around 40 decorated Dragon Boats race through the water, each with 16 rowers and a drummer on board.

    Second only to Chinese New Year in the Chinese festival calendar, the Dragon Boat Festival marks the beginning of the rainy season and the summer solstice. Don't miss the kung-fu demonstrations, the lion dance and don't forget to sample Chinese food and drinks to celebrate the new season in style.

  • Yoruba Arts Festival

    Where: Clissold Park

    When: 26 - 27 July

    From an African market to live music and arts presentations, expect a day packed full of cultural fun at this year's Yoruba Arts Festival celebrating the culture of communities from West Africa, the West Indies, Latin America and the UK with live performances of every beat under the sun from salsa to calypso to juju, Afro-beats, jazz and more.

  • Japan Matsuri London Festival

    Where: Trafalgar Square

    When: 27 September

    With stage performances, market stalls and events for kids, this festival is a huge celebration of all things Japanese. Last year's event included a chopsticks game, a treasure hunt, a chance to try on a traditional Yukata and a Manga Wall where you could draw your own manga character on a giant canvas. Brilliant.

  • More London Free Festival

    Where: City Hall, South Bank

    When: Throughout the summer

    Now in its twelve year, expect an impressive line-up of events and performances at a concrete amphitheatre near City Hall on the South Bank. There's also free Fringe theatre, opera and big screens showing Wimbledon and classic films.

  • City Of London Festival

    Where: Across London

    When: Until 17 July

    Each summer this festival brings the City's unique buildings and outdoor spaces to life with an extensive artistic programme of music, visual arts, film, walks and talks. Started way back in 1962 to revitalise the cultural life of the City it's one of the UK's leading arts events with over 100 free and unique events showcasing world-class artists in beautiful surroundings.

  • Summer Festival At Museum of Childhood

    Where: V&A Museum of Childhood, Bethnal Green

    When: 27 July

    Head to this summer festival for a day of family fun courtesy of the V&A.

    Rickshaw rides, children's performers, live music, dance, games, walkabout acts, craft activities and more to keep the little 'uns occupied.

  • Notting Hill Carnival

    Where: Notting Hill

    When: 25 - 26 August

    Get ready for two days of parades, dancing, food and plenty of festival fun at the biggest street party in London. Expect top performers, amazing floats, crowds, costumes and loads of party people taking to the streets in bursts of glittering colour.

  • London Festival of Architecture

    Where: Various venues across London

    When: Until June 30

    A month-long city wide celebration of architecture featuring debates, exhibitions, film screenings, walks, student shows, cycle rides, open studios and family activities. Headline events include a major public debate about the quality of London's changing skyline at the LSE and a talk on the Garden Bridge Project.

  • Festival of Archaeology

    Where: Across London

    When 12 - 27 July

    Dig into the past at the 23rd version of this fest which offers over 1,000 events nationwide organised by museums, heritage organisations, national and country parks, universities, local societies, and community archaeologists.

  • The Lambeth Country Show

    Where: Brockwell Park, Herne Hill

    When: 9 - 20 July

    Bringing the country into the city, the Lambeth Country Show hits town in the midst of the summer holidays. A perfect day or weekend out for kids and the whole family, or those with a yearning for the local delights of the country, the show is jam packed with stalls, live music, horse jousting and sheep dog displays.

  • City of London Festival Procession

    Where: Guildhall Yard

    When: 28 June

    Bringing music, colour and dance to the streets of the Square Mile, this lively fest sees thousands of young people take part in a vibrant street procession that winds its way around the Square Mile. This year, the procession has been inspired by forests of the world. The event ends with a thousand children giving a live concert on the steps of St Paul's.

  • London Mela

    Where: Gunnersbury Park

    When: August 31

    With a huge programme of live entertainment and family activities, thousands of Londoners will be present at Mela, considered to be the biggest one-day celebration of South Asian culture and creativity outside the Indian subcontinent. Expect music old and new, a 300-strong parade featuring giant floats, live music and spectacular costumes.

  • Love London Food Festival

    Where: Regent Street

    When: 13 July

    The whole of Regent Street will close to traffic for one day to showcase the best of what London has to offer, from the hottest street food vendors to independent restaurants, craft beers and fine wine. You can also expect entertainment, music, outdoor performing arts and activities for all the family.

  • Walthamstow Garden Party

    Where: Lloyd Park

    When: 26 - 2 July

    Following the huge success of last summer’s Open East Festival in the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park, this special weekend festival is offering up an eclectic mix of non-stop entertainment. Events include two days of cinema, music, theatre, arts and crafts, food and two music stages showcasing international and local artists and US soul legend Bobby Womack.

  • Eat the World - St.Food Festival

    Where: South Bank

    When: 26 - 28 September

    Set within the heart of South Bank, this dynamic and exciting festival of food culture is dedicated to showcasing the very best and most creative street food traders, as it celebrates the amazing multiculturalism of London’s street food scene.

  • Open House Festival

    Where: Across London

    When: 20 and 21 September

    This hugely popular, capital-wide annual festival of architecture celebrates its twenty-second anniversary allowing access to hundreds of buildings not normally open to the public – including private homes, government buildings, historic sites, educational establishments and many others.

  • Music Village Festival 2014

    Where: Across London

    When: June 25 - July 6

    This festival will feature over 100 London-based performers from Africa, Afghanistan, Brazil, the Balkans, Bangladesh, Colombia, Italy and many other countries.

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Stylist Team