Culture | London Mela
1 September 2013
A celebration of South Asian culture which brings together the large Asian community in London, London Mela promises to be a bonanza of musical, culinary and artistic treats from the subcontinent and beyond. The festival promises a family friendly environment in the environs of North London’s Gunnersbury Park, where there will be an array of outdoor arts, dance, sports, fashion, children’s activities and food for visitors to enjoy. The festival has partnered with BBC Asian Network for the 8th successive year and the various stages of the festival will be bursting with South Asian stars, including legendary singer A S Kang, Sufi songstress Harshdeep Kaur and up and coming Sri Lankan British singer Arjun. London Mela will be one of the cultural events of the year in its celebration of the rich culture of South Asia, and the thriving diasporic community in the UK.
For more info visit: London Mela.
Design | London Design Festival 2013
14 — 22 September 2013
London’s annual Design Festival returns with more events, talks and exhibitions than ever, and a line up which proves that this city’s love affair with great design continues unabated. There will be hundreds of events taking place across the city over the course of the week-long festival at venues ranging from the iconic to the pop up. Highlights will include a residency at the V&A in which leading designers will pick their favourite pieces from the museum’s extensive collection, and the latest in the Landmark Projects series, an Endless Stair outside the South Bank’s Tate Modern. The festival, which has grown exponentially since its inaugural edition in 2003, has fostered awareness of the many small design firms producing innovative work in the city, and has helped develop London’s reputation as the design capital of Europe.
For more info visit: London Design Festival.
Architecture | Open House London
21 — 22 September 2013
Open House London has developed into one of the highlights of the cultural calendar in the city, as it gives both history buffs and architecture lovers a unique opportunity to explore buildings in the city which are usually closed off to the public. The weekend event celebrates all that is great about London’s buildings, highlighting hidden architectural gems, fascinating historical structures and cutting edge architectural constructions. Over 800 sites are opening their doors to the public for the event from Grade I listed mansions to innovative eco homes and towering skyscrapers. At many of the participating buildings there will be guides who can explain the historical, architectural and cultural significance of the structures, but guests are also free to explore at their leisure, and to uncover the profound architectural riches of this ancient city.
For more info visit: Open House London.
Theatre | CASA Latin American Theatre Festival
27 September — 6 October 2013
A celebration of Latin American culture across the British capital, this pioneering festival brings the best of Latin American theatre to London. The festival features seven outstanding plays from Bolivia, Brazil, Chile and Ecuador as well as new work from UK based practitioners, writers, musicians and artists. The festival symposium is organised in conjunction with Out Of the Wings Project, Canning House, King’s College and the Institute for Latin American Studies (ILAS), and venues will include Rich Mix and the Barbican. It promises a wide array of potential highlights with award winning theatre companies travelling from throughout the South American continent including Teatro de los Andes from Bolivia, Teatro Malayerba from Ecuador and Grupo Sobrevento from Brazil.
For more info visit: CASA Latin America Theatre Festival.
Food | London Restaurant Festival
3 — 21 October 2013
London’s restaurant scene is a thriving mecca which attracts top chefs from throughout the world, and belies the stodgy reputation of British food. The London Restaurant Festival aims to highlight the best creative talents working within this thriving scene, both the established international names and new up and coming chefs who are on the verge of global acclaim. The festival allows patrons to enjoy discounted meals at a wide range of London’s top tables, including luxurious eateries such as Yauatcha, Marco Pierre White and The Ritz Restaurant in Piccadilly. Other festival events will include Eat Film, in which Jonathan Ross will curate a three-course dinner inspired by his all-time favourite film, Spirited Away, and the Sunday Lunch to Remember Series, in which patrons can enjoy a bespoke lunch menu prepared and hosted by some of the country’s top chefs, including Angela Hartnett, Jason Atherton and Theo Randall.
For more info visit: London Restaurant Festival.
Film | The BFI London Film Festival
9 — 20 October 2013
The 57th edition of the globally renowned BFI London Film Festival promises to be one of the best ever, with an exciting line up combining international blockbusters with independent films from around the world. The festival will open and close with two films featuring Tom Hanks; Captain Phillips, a harrowing tale of kidnap at sea will open, whilst Saving Mr Banks, a depiction of the battle to bring Mary Poppins to the screen, will close the festival. In between these two features the festival will bring its usual array of international talent to the London screen, with features, documentaries, shorts, animation and experimental films from around the world, all of which will attract large public audiences to venues across the city.
For more info visit: London Film Festival.
Art | The EY Exhibition – Paul Klee: Making Visible
15 October 2013 — 9 March 2014
This autumn exhibition will see the Tate Modern present a retrospective of the work of Swiss artist Paul Klee for the first time. Considered one of the forefathers of European modernism and a hugely influential figure in the development of abstraction, Klee’s extraordinary work has never before been presented in such a comprehensive exhibition. The Tate Modern will bring together paintings, drawings and watercolours from collections around the world, many of which have not been exhibited together since Klee created them. It will also focus the exhibition on Klee’s work at the Bauhaus, the centre of modernist design in the early 20th century, where Klee expounded on his views on art and design, and created some of his most memorable works. Klee’s small but expressive canvases are obliquely powerful works, which bring together the central strands of modernism and foreshadow the work of later abstract painters; this exhibition will reveal his true place at the forefront of the European canon.
For more info visit: Paul Klee: Making Visible.
Art | Frieze Art Fair 2013
17 — 20 October 2013
The Frieze Art Fair in London’s Regent Park remains one of the biggest in the world, and a forerunner of the blockbuster art shows which are now held throughout the world. Set in the beautiful surrounds of Regent’s Park, every edition of the annual art fair attracts over 170 of the most prestigious and exciting contemporary art galleries in the world. Visitors will be able to buy over 1,000 works by the world’s leading artists, whilst discovering the latest trends in contemporary art. The art fair also includes Frieze Projects, a unique and critically acclaimed programme of artist commissions, and Frieze Talks, a programme of debates, panel discussions and keynote lectures, which will bring the academic heavyweights of the art world to London. Alongside the London Frieze, Frieze Masters will present a contemporary perspective on historical art, and will exhibit and sell art works from every era.
For more info visit: Frieze London.
Music | London Jazz Festival
15 — 24 November 2013
A London wide musical festival which brings the best jazz musicians from around the world to the British capital, The EFG London Jazz Festival is renowned as one of the musical highlights of the cultural calendar. Iconic venues such as Ronnie Scott’s in Soho, the South Bank’s Royal Festival Hall and the Barbican will play host to international stars and rising talents from the jazz world and beyond. The festival originally grew out of Camden Jazz Week, an annual event started in the 1970s as part of the Camden Festival. It has now developed into one of the largest and most prestigious jazz festivals in the world, and has featured such legends as Ornette Coleman, Cecil Taylor, Anthony Braxton and Archie Shepp on its bill over the years. Highlights of the 2013 edition include Wayne Shorter, Paolo Conte, Toumani Diabaté & Trio Da Kali, Matthew Herbert + Hello Skinny and much, much more as the city turns into a jazz lover’s paradise.
For more info visit: London Jazz Festival
Music | Spitalfields Winter Festival
6 — 17 December 2013
Bringing world class performers and artists to London’s East End, the Winter Festival from Spitalfields Music is the ideal way to pass the dark winter evenings. Taking place in venues across Spitalfields and the surrounding area, this will be a celebration of the culture and community of London’s East End, combining music, history and performance. Highlights will include an array of performances and stalls in Spitalfield’s market, a series of classical concerts in Christ Church and a programme of contemporary offerings in Spitalfield’s various bars and clubs. Spitalfields Music has been organising events in the area since 1976, and has developed a reputation for community focused, family friendly programmes, and the 2013 Winter Festival promises to uphold that tradition.
For more info visit: Spitalfield’s Winter Festival.
By Thomas Storey