November sees the arrival of Christmas themed festivals popping up across London as the city and its people prepare for the holiday season. On the concert front, there is a mixture of top names in showbiz and smaller bands touring this winter. Treat yourself to a ticket and make a weekend of it at your urban retreat, The Barbican Hotel London.
With ample concerts and festivals taking place from November right until the early New Year, we recommend that you pick up London city breaks package deals early in the season.
Here’s the guide to what’s on!
London Eco Film Festival
2 & 3 Nov, Rich Mix Shoreditch
An inspirational event which aims to bring together all the eco organisations and storytellers from around the world to discuss solutions for the environment. The festival programme includes eco films, insightful panel discussions, activities and workshops for all ages.
London Korean Film Festival
1 – 24 Nov, various venues
Now in its 14th year, the London Korean Film Festival covers everything from Cinema Now, Women’s Voices, Documentary, Hidden Figures: Ha Gil-jong, Artist Video, Animation and Mise-en-scène Shorts. Some of the films will be screened at the Barbican Centre, a short walk from The Barbican Hotel London.
Winter at Southbank Centre
8 Nov – 5 Jan, Southbank Centre
Tuck into festive snacks, mulled wine and festive cocktails at the food and drink stalls that line London’s Southbank, keeping the cheer going all season. There are free and ticketed events and activities suitable for all ages, a craft market and picturesque lights and decorations.
Nov – Dec (dates TBC) Clapham Common
The ‘alternative’ winter festival takes up residence in south London, providing a funfair, food stalls, ice rink and pop up cinema. Shows include acrobatics, comedy and drag shows so you can head under cover if it gets too nippy.
15 Nov – 1 Dec (Fri, Sat, Sun evenings), Syon Park
Utterly romantic, colourful illuminations festival will light up this west London woodland estate for the 14th year in a row! This mile-long stroll around the grounds of Syon House is perfect for families or couples, and guarantees to be a magical experience for all. Food stalls and warm drinks await you at the end of your walk.
The Wine Gang London Winter Festival
16 Nov, HAC Armoury House
Spend a day sipping imported wines, nibbling on artisan bites and getting merry with fellow wine enthusiasts at this one day festival in honour of wine. Whether you’re a lover of red, white or rose, you’ll find your perfect pairing here. Head back to your hotel and check out the restaurants in Barbican to line your stomach after this one.
Thurs 21 Nov – 5 Jan, Hyde Park
The largest Christmas festival in London takes over Hyde Park until the early New Year with bountiful food stalls, hair-raising rides and funfair amusements. Open daily, Winter Wonderland is a winter must-do when in London.
Sat 23 – Tues 26 Nov, Sadler’s Wells
For something other than Christmas fairs and winter festivals – head to Sadler’s Wells, a neighbour of The Barbican Hotel London, for the Darbar Festival. After four days of Indian performance dance, you’ll feel like you’ve been whisked away to a warmer climate.
Mamma Mia! The Party
Various dates throughout Nov, The O2 Arena Greenwich
A unique entertainment experience that puts you in the heart of the action. A spectacular show, a four-course gourmet Mediterranean meal and an ABBA disco all in one unforgettable evening at the iconic O2 Arena.
Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire: In Concert
Fri 1 – Sun 3 Nov, Royal Albert Hall
Rediscover the magic of the young wizard’s fourth adventure by watching the film paired with a live symphony orchestra performing Patrick Doyle’s mesmerising score.
Les Négresses Vertes
Sun 3 Nov, Islington Assembly Hall
For something a little different, scout out this one-off gig from Les Négresses Vertes. Formed in Paris’ working-class districts of the 1980s, they remain one of the most iconic groups around the world for punk and gypsy music.
13 & 14 Nov, Alexandra Palace
The New York indie-rockers return to London after six long years of waiting. Even without a new album, these two shows will be huge. Gigs at Ally Pally never fail.
November 17 & 19, Barbican Centre
The jazz icon plays a career-spanning show at the Barbican, following up two days later with a concert joined by conductor Gustavo Dudamel and the Los Angeles Philharmonic. Enjoy a pre-concert dinner at one of the neighbouring restaurants in Barbican before the show.
Weds 20 Nov & Thurs 5 Dec, Royal Albert Hall
To promote their new album, Reworked, the Irish-Scottish rock band Snow Patrol are touring this winter and have two appearances confirmed in London, at the grandest venue in town.
Fri 22 & Sat 23 Nov, The Roundhouse
Welsh rock band Feeder are promoting their latest album, Tallulah, with two tour dates at Camden’s hottest live music hub.
Rex Orange County
Tues 26 Nov, O2 Academy Brixton
Check out one of England’s up and coming singer-songwriters, Alex O’Connor (aka Rex Orange County). Alex mixes jazz, hip-hop, soul and bedroom electronica to create a truly unique music experience.
17, 19 & 20 Dec, The O2 Arena Greenwich
Rod Stewart has been wooing crowds since the 1960s and at 75 there’s still no stopping him! Get tickets early to see the legend in action.
Ronnie Spector and the Ronettes
19 Nov, O2 Shepherd’s Bush Empire
Join the iconic singer and her band for a raucous, rocking and intoxicating blend of Christmas classics. Renditions of Frosty the Snowman days before Christmas will get you excited for the holiday!
26 Jan – 15 Feb 2020, London Palladium Soho
She made it through the wilderness… Madonna is in London in the New Year, so brush off those winter blues by dancing along to the Queen of Pop’s classic hits!
Which concert or festival are you most eager to attend? Leave us a comment!