THE BEST OUTDOOR VENUES IN LONDON
WRITTEN BY JASMINE LEE KENNEDY
Springtime is here and it’s time to make the most of this fabled thing called ‘sunshine’ that we so rarely see in London. It would be a shame to be inside during these warmer days after the wet, gruelling winter we’ve just had, wouldn’t it? So, if you’re keen to see some music but don’t want to miss out on catching the rays, here are some of the best outdoor music venues in London.
One of our absolute favourites is the famous Somerset House; a stunning neoclassical building located just off the Strand. This shape-shifting arts centre transforms into many things throughout the year: an ice rink, a modern art gallery and, of course, an open-air music venue. Here, you can catch live gigs and DJ sets from some of the very best up-and-coming artists, which you can enjoy while basking in the sweet, evening sunshine of the warmer months with a glass of vino or two. They also host a highly anticipated ‘Summer Series’ every July – just make sure to get tickets asap as they sell out fast.
Strand, London WC2R 1LA
Not long ago, rooftops became ‘the thing’ in London, didn’t they? Well, Netil360 was one of the OGs in the bars-with-a-view game, trumping many others as an East London summertime staple. In the daytime, you can lounge here on the faux grass with a refreshing glass of Pimm’s and in the evening, you can get your feet pounding as the DJs come out to play. The decks are usually spun until 2am on Saturdays and entry is almost always free, but beware that this can make it very busy. They’re closed from the end of December and reopen in April – just in time for you to start catching those hopeful rays of springtime sunshine.
1 Westgate St, Hackney, London, E8 3RL
Flat Iron Square
Another lovely spot for catching music in the sun is the lively Flat Iron Square. Within its artsy walls, you’ll find lots of tasty pop-up bars and restaurants, which makes it a great spot for friends who can’t agree on a place to eat. This foodie heaven also has live music and DJ sets on occasion – for example, last year they hosted amazing names like Fatima and DJ Jaguar Skills. This summer in June, they have plenty more planned, including an exciting two day festival, which sees Fat White Family headlining – so you know it’s going to be a wild one.
53b Southwark St, London SE1 1RU
We adore NTS Loft, not just because of its quirky decor and tasty tipples but because of its never-ending stream of quality gigs. It’s partially an inside venue, but during the summer they have a lovely rooftop where you can enjoy a drink and a boogie to amazing sets from legendary DJs year-round. With names such as Patrick Forge, Josh Tautz and many more hitting the decks, you’ll bound to be tapping your feet to beats of Brazilian funk, nu-dub and groovy house. They also have jazz Wednesdays, so if you fancy a mid-week musical treat, pop over for an evening visit. Tip: In the summer, it’s a top spot to watch the sunset over the panoramic views of Hackney.
207, 1 Westgate St, Hackney, London E8 3RL