London prides itself on being one of the cultural capitals of the world, and celebrations of every conceivable form of art and entertainment happen throughout the year. Here are five of the finest festivals and fairs you can attend during the month of October in the great metropolis.
London Literature Festival
The leading lights of literature descend on London in October for this festival of words at London’s Southbank Centre. The loose theme this year is ‘the power of words’, and guests appearing across the fortnight include Stephen Fry, Hilary Mantel and one of the hottest spoken-word artists of the moment, Kate Tempest.
Southbank Centre, 30 September – 13 October
If it’s October, it’s time for Lederhosen, Schlager music and enormous, foaming glasses of beer. London’s version of the famous German beer festival actually begins in September, though after a few days’ recovery time at the end of the month it’s back from Thursday to Sunday for two weeks of October, at Millwall Park on east London’s Isle of Dogs.
Millwall Park, 2-12 October
Horniman Halloween Fair
There will be various Halloween celebrations across the city packed with horrible hordes of ghosts and ghouls, and one of the best will be at the Horniman Museum and Gardens in Forest Hill, south-east London, where you’ll find a spooky trail, a range of disturbing stalls to get yourself painted up like Frankenstein’s monster and various themed food stands.
Horniman Museum and Gardens, 25-26 October
Africa on the Square
A brand new addition to London’s festival line-up, Africa on the Square will be a celebration of African cultures and arts, including fashion shows, African food stalls and all manner of interactive stalls for people to get involved with African arts and crafts. Live music will come from Dele Sosimi’s Afrobeat Experience and a range of African drummers and dancers.
Trafalgar Square, 11 October
BFI London Film Festival
Various London venues, 8-19 October
The annual celebration of international cinema takes place at 17 venues across the city over 12 days of the month. Highlights of the schedule include post-Obama campus comedy ‘Dear White People’, and demented homage to the Spaghetti Western ‘No Man’s Land’, plus numerous talks, interviews and masterclasses, including a debate with the Daily Show’s Jon Stewart.
Kinetica Art Fair
Anyone with an interest in how art and technology converge will be intrigued by the sixth edition of the Kinetica Art Fair. This event showcases artists who specialise in robotic, light, sound and time-based art, with a distinctly futuristic feel to many of the moving and motorised art displays, plus screenings, tours, talks and workshops.
Old Truman Brewery, 16-19 October
London Restaurant Festival
A celebration of London’s thriving restaurant scene, this festival will highlight many of the fine restaurants and chefs and the fine work they do to promote London’s culinary excellence. Events include supper clubs, themed nights exploring London’s take on various international cuisines and appearances by various well-known faces and celebrity chefs.
Various London restaurants, 8-27 October