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What's on in London in May 2017

Picture of Georgina Wilson-Powell
Updated: 13 April 2017

Spring is fully in bloom and everything’s starting to kick off. As May approaches, here’s how we’re going to celebrate that summery month, from foodie pop ups and hummus menus to art fairs, big gigs and blockbuster exhibitions.

MON, MAY 1st –  SUN MAY 7th

Battersea Arts Centre, Turkish coffee and an artichoke

© Pixabay / © Anisa Kadri, Flickr / © Pixabay

FOOD | Artichoke festival

📅  Until May 6th

Last chance to catch the most glorious of vegetables, the artichoke. Over at Enoteca Turithey’ve turned the Italian globe into a cocktail and a dessert. Try an artichoke negroni or a slice of Cynar zabaione.

📍 Enoteca Turi, 87 Pimlico Road, London

MUSIC | Borderless festival

📅  Thursday May 4th-18th

Borderless music festival returns to the Battersea Arts Centre with folk, dub and Afrobeat performances throughout May. Catch the likes of Fatima & The Eglo Live Band, Trim, Soweto Kinch, Kate Simko and London Electronic Orchestra, Melt Yourself Down and Jodie Abacus, all curated by GOAT music.

Tickets: From £12.50

📍 Battersea Arts Centre, Lavender Hill, London

FOOD | Try a Locksmith dinner

📅  Tuesday May 2nd, from 7pm

Yosma is London’s first Turkish meyhane and it runs a weekly ‘çilingir’ Locksmith Dinner, which is a communal event designed to make new friends and share stories from the week. Cheers with raki, tuck into meze plates and get chatting.

Tickets: £39

📍 Yosma London, 50 Baker St, London

MON, MAY 8th –  SUN MAY 14th

Paints, a Jimi Hendrix poster and hummus

All © Pixabay


ART | Affordable Art Fair

📅  Wednesday May 11th-14th

Pop up to Hampstead Heath to purchase your first piece of art or add to a burgeoning collection with the summer instalment of the Affordable Art Fair. The theme is the relationship between art and travel.

Tickets: £10.80

📍 Hampstead Heath, London

MUSIC | Shavasana Disco

📅  Friday May 12th, 9.30-11am

It’s disco but not as you know it. Take part in a group meditation and full album playback of Jimi Hendrix’s “Are You Experienced?” – made 50 years ago this year. It will take place in the very studio it was recorded in, Olympic Studios in Barnes and tickets can be won via a ballot.

📍 Olympic Studios, Church Road, London

FOOD | Celebrate National Hummus Day

📅  Friday May 13th

Hipster shawarma masters Berber & Q will come up with a special one-off menu that celebrates the mighty hummus.

📍 Berber & Q, Acton Mews, London


MON, MAY 15th –  SUN MAY 21st

British museum, Somerset House, London Transport Museum

© Pixabay / © Pixabay / © Adrián Pérez, Flickr 

EXHIBITION | Sounds of the City

📅  Friday May 19th, 6.45pm-10pm

The London Transport Museum launches its new illustration exhibition, Sounds of the City, with a special late night event featuring a painting workshop, bar, DJ and music quiz. The exhibition is the 100 finalists of the Prize for Illustration 2017, whittled down from 2,000 entries.

Tickets: £18.50

📍 London Transport Museum, Covent Garden Plaza, London

EVENT | Museums at night

📅  Wednesday May 15-17th

Twice a year London’s museums open their doors after dark for special events and this summer you can try a Victorian Variety show at Fulham Palace, take part in Renaissance Lates at the National Gallery or go goth at The Original Gothic Experience at Strawberry Hill House.

📍 Various venues

EXHIBITION | Photo London

📅  Saturday May 18th-21st

Photo London is back at Somerset House for the year’s biggest photo love in. There are 97 exhibiting galleries, but don’t miss the Juergen Teller exhibition or Skye Gyngell’s Scratch menu at pop up food waste restaurant, Table.

📍 Somerset House, The Strand, London

MON, MAY 22nd –  SUN MAY 28th


MUSIC | Ariande Grande

📅  Thursday May 25-Friday May 26th

The Floridian pop princess will fill the O2 with sound for two nights. Pint-sized she might be but her voice has carried her all the way to the top of the A-list.

📍 O2, North Greenwich Peninsula, London

FESTIVAL | Alchemy Festival

📅  Friday May 19th-29th

Head to the Southbank Centre for Alchemy, the UK’s largest South Asian cultural celebration. Ten days will see the premiere of Sukanya, the only opera by world famous musician Ravi Shankar, performances from Abida Parveen, one of Pakistan’s finest Sufi vocalists and stand-up comedian Tez Ilyas amongst many others. 50% of the programme is free. KERB will also operate a South Asian street food market.

📍 Southbank Centre, Belvedere Road, London

MUSIC | Catch London Posse

📅  Thursday May 25th-6th

Back in the 80s British hip hop went by one name, London Posse. Catch them on two nights at Cargo, added by popular demand – all three surviving members (Rodney P, Bionic & DJ Billy Biznizz) will perform for the first time in 30 years.

Tickets: £20

📍 Cargo, Rivington St, London


MON MAY 29th – WEDS MAY 31st

Wyndham Theatre, Keyboards

© John Seb Barber / Flickr / © Pixabay

THEATRE | Don Juon in Soho

📅  Until June 10th

Catch David Tennant in Don Juan in Soho at the Wyndham Theatre – an imagining of the famous hedonist and lover in today’s debauched world. Tennant is meant to be blisteringly good.

Tickets: from £26

📍 Wyndham Theatre, Charing Cross Road, London

MUSIC | Catch !!!

📅  Wednesday May 31st, 7.30pm

Electronica dance band !!! (Chk Chk Chk) will be taking over Hackney’s Oval Space on the last day of the month.

Tickets: £16.50

📍 Oval Space, The Oval, London