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101 things to do in London for music fans

From legendary venues to iconic music landmarks, the capital is buzzing with a rich music culture.

There is an incredible array of things to do in London for music fans: check out world-class music festivals, spot new talent at cheap gigs in London and stand where some of London's brightest stars have performed their era-defining hits.

Top London music festivals

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  1. Discover a mix of new and emerging rock‘n’roll artists during Camden Rocks Festival.
  2. Listen to some of the hottest up-and-coming talent at Bushstock in Shepherd’s Bush.
  3. Admire the spectacular sounds of all things jazz, blues and soul during the EFG London Jazz Festival.
  4. Be dazzled by one of the biggest classical music festivals in the world with BBC Proms.
  5. Catch a fantastic series of concerts in a beautiful setting at Hampton Court Palace Festival.
  6. See some of the biggest names in dance, hip-hop and pop music at Lovebox in Gunnersbury Park.
  7. Head to one of the coolest summer music festivals in London, Field Day.
  8. Enjoy a stellar lineup of indie acts, music-themed activities and street food at Citadel.
  9. Find a series of concerts from rising artists and big-name acts at British Summer Time Hyde Park.
  10. Get ready for 10 days of live music at All Points East in Victoria Park.

Free London music festivals

  1. Enjoy free music from talented performers during International Busking Day in Wembley Park.
  2. Soak up the party atmosphere and dance to Caribbean music on the streets of west London during Notting Hill Carnival.
  3. Relax during a weekend of free music concerts and family-friendly activities at Walthamstow Garden Party.
  4. Head to Lambeth Country Show in Brixton for two days of food, entertainment and fantastic music from homegrown talent.
  5. Hang out at Summer by the River, where you'll find a fun lineup of outdoor music, DJ sets and karaoke during the warmer months.
  6. Listen to live performances by local artists and musicians at Crystal Palace Festival.
  7. Celebrate the annual Record Store Day with free concerts and entertainment at independent record shops in London.
  8. Make the most of Trafalgar Square's free music concerts and festivals, including West End LIVE and Christmas carols.
  9. Experience a lineup of innovative events at Greenwich+Docklands International Festival.
  10. Join in the Kaleidoscope Festival, set atop of a hill offering a perfect viewing point of London and inside iconic Alexandra Palace.

Music tours in London

  1. Follow in the footsteps of one of the world's most iconic bands during The Beatles London Walking Tour.
  2. Stop off at some of the capital's legendary music landmarks on a Sex, Drugs and Rock and Roll Tour of London.
  3. Learn all about Carnaby's groovy musical history with the Carnaby Echoes walking tour app.
  4. Hear much-loved tunes from Pink Floyd, Amy Winehouse and other artists onboard a "Classic Rock" minivan tour of London.
  5. Visit famous residences and album cover locations on a Rock ‘n’ Roll London Tour.
  6. Join a David Bowie Musical Walking Tour to explore the musician's hometown of Brixton.
  7. Discover the music heritage of one of London's most exciting areas during Strawberry Tours' free Soho Walking Tour.
  8. Journey back in time with a Swinging 60s bus tour of London.
  9. Prepare to view Chelsea's wild side with Rock and Trips's British punk-inspired tour.
  10. Wander around of one of London's most spectacular classical music venues during a Royal Albert Hall Tour.

Best music shops in London

  1. Search for second-hand records, tapes and CDs at Reckless Records.
  2. Pick up some trendy new threads from Oasis frontman Liam Gallagher's clothing store Pretty Green.
  3. Discover a huge variety of music merchandise and live gigs at legendary Rough Trade East, where artists including Blur and Queens of the Stone Age have performed.
  4. Bag yourself original The Beatles memorabilia including records, posters and autographs at the London Beatles Store.
  5. Browse the shelves of Rye Wax, an independent record shop, restaurant, bar and event space part of The CLF Art Cafe in Peckham.
  6. Discover a treasure chest of folk and Celtic musical instruments at Hobgoblin Music.
  7. Hunt for new, second-hand and rare music at the iconic Sister Ray store, which first started as a record stall in Camden.
  8. Find vintage ukuleles, banjos and other musical instruments at Duke of Uke.
  9. Look for everything from soul and jazz to reggae music at Honest Jon's Records or browse incredible K-pop items at Seoul Bakery.
  10. Visit Sounds of the Universe for a wide-ranging collection of vinyl records, CDs and other cool music merchandise.

London's musical heritage

  1. Visit the legendary BBC Maida Vale Studios, and then browse former BBC studio K West Hotel & Spa's library dedicated to artists who recorded music at the hotel.
  2. Recreate The Beatles' world-famous album cover at the Abbey Road zebra crossing.
  3. Search for famous music video locations across London, from Wannabe by the Spice Girls at St. Pancras Renaissance Hotel London to The Kids Are Alright by The Who in Hyde Park.
  4. Make sure to look out for blue plaques celebrating some of London's most famous musicians, which are dotted across the city.
  5. Take a stroll down Berwick Street which is famed for its independent record shops, and where the album cover for Oasis (What's the Story) Morning Glory? was shot.
  6. Wander along vibrant Denmark Street in Soho, otherwise known as "Tin Pan Alley" for its incredible collection of musical instrument shops.  
  7. Explore trendy shopping street King's Road, a popular haunt of the Rolling Stones and home to Vivienne Westwood and Malcolm McClaren's punk shop.
  8. Drop by the former London homes of big-name artists, from Freddie Mercury's residence at 1 Logan Place to 34 Montagu Square, which was home to John Lennon.
  9. Learn about the era-defining works of two of the world's greatest musicians at Handel & Hendrix in London.
  10. Discover more of London's incredible musical heritage and landmarks.

Iconic music venues in London

  1. Drop by the iconic Ronnie Scott’s Jazz Club in Soho, which has welcomed a host of jazz legends including Stan Getz, Ella Fitzgerald and Buddy Rich.
  2. Grab a pint at The Dublin Castle, where Blur, Coldplay and The Killers all once performed.
  3. Trace London's incredible music history at 100 Club, this legendary venue has seen performances from Sex Pistols, The Kinks and The Clash.
  4. Follow in the footsteps of music legends Prince, Joy Division, The Smiths and Madness during an evening at Camden's much-loved Electric Ballroom.
  5. Discover the spot where Bob Dylan played his debut London show at The Troubadour.
  6. Hang out at Alexandra Palace, one of north London's iconic venues, where you can spot the next hottest artist and enjoy panoramic views over the city!
  7. Look inside the London music venue which helped spark the UK punk rock movement The Roundhouse.
  8. Visit the former site of historic Marquee Club at 90 Wardour Street, where legendary rock'n'roll artists from The Who to Pink Floyd graced the London stage.
  9. Step inside the London music venue which hosted Madonna’s first UK show KOKO.
  10. Stop off at The Camden Assembly, formerly known as The Barfly, to see the venue which helped Coldplay, Franz Ferdinand and Oasis make it.

London areas for music lovers

  1. Explore David Bowie's home neighbourhood of Brixton, stroll down Electric Avenue, rock out at O2 Academy Brixton and pay your respects at the Bowie mural tribute on Brixton Road.
  2. Hop on a cable car over to Greenwich to see world-class performers at The O2.
  3. Stop by the buzzing area of Camden to recreate The Clash's debut album cover at the famous staircase in Camden Market, and see amazing street art tributes to Amy Winehouse.
  4. Wander around the streets of Notting Hill, which has links to Caribbean culture, music and traditions.
  5. Step into one of London’s coolest music hubs, Soho. Admire Carnaby’s swinging 60s heritage, drop by former site of legendary 2i’s Coffee Bar and see where the Rolling Stones recorded their first album at Regent Sounds.
  6. Discover east London's trendy vibes at 93 Feet East, an iconic venue that has hosted Radiohead, Groove Armada and the White Stripes.
  7. Head to Southbank Centre which boasts the Royal Festival Hall, Queen Elizabeth Hall and exciting festivals including Meltdown.
  8. Be wowed by a stunning programme of music, theatre and dance at Barbican in the City of London, which is also the home of the London Symphony Orchestra.
  9. Amble around the Instagrammable streets of Covent Garden, where you'll find the spectacular Royal Opera House.
  10. Seek out iconic musical spots in London's West End: visit the Ziggy Stardust plaque at 23 Heddon Street, Wigmore Hall or the Hard Rock Hotel London

Cool London music venues

  1. Hang out at multi-arts bar and club Colours Hoxton, where you can enjoy an outstanding lineup of gigs and club-nights.
  2. Tap your feet along to a fantastic lineup of bands at The Lexington.
  3. Head to The Half Moon for a talent-packed programme of live music and entertainment.
  4. Find live music from super-talented artists every night at Ain't Nothin' But... blues bar in Soho.
  5. Catch a cool collection of concerts, club nights and DJs at Village Underground.
  6. Listen to a lineup of new names at Omeara, opened by Mumford & Sons' Ben Lovett, or check out its recently open sister Lafayette in King's Cross.
  7. Boogie to the sounds of live blues, rhythm and jazz music at The Blues Kitchen.
  8. Request your favourite tunes at non-stop live music venues, The Piano Works Farringdon and The Piano Works West End.
  9. Listen to new music at Hope & Anchor, which was one of the leading venues in the 1970s punk movement.
  10. Hear everything from folk and blues to country music at Green Note in Camden.

Hidden gems for music fans

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  1. See stunning street art tributes which pay respect to some of the world's greatest musicians across London.
  2. Lose yourself in the beautiful sounds of a live choir at a Choral Evensong concert.
  3. Join panels, conversations and masterclasses before top artists take over the stage at BBC Music Introducing LIVE.
  4. Venture into The Vault at Hard Rock Cafe to discover music memorabilia from across the globe.
  5. Discover a new side of London through music created by local artists with Musicity.
  6. Go to top-secret gigs in London with Sofar Sounds.
  7. Journey below the river-level of the Thames for a one-of-kind concert in Tower Bridge's bascule chambers with the Totally Thames Festival.
  8. Enjoy a rock'n'roll Ace of Spades afternoon tea at Sanctum Soho Hotel, before catching a live performance.
  9. Treat your ears to some beautiful entertainment at Wilton's Music Hall – the world's oldest surviving musical hall.
  10. Explore the Horniman Museum's fascinating collection of more than 8,000 musical instruments.

Music-themed London attractions

  1. Visit the Museum of London's exhibition The Clash: London Calling, celebrating one of the most popular British bands of the 20th century and their iconic album.
  2. Rediscover some of Abba's most-loved tunes during Mamma Mia! The Party at The O2.
  3. Look out for multi-talented buskers performing famous hits at London Underground Stations.
  4. Sing your heart out at a lively karaoke bar in London.
  5. Pose for snaps with wax figures of the world's music megastars at Madame Tussauds London.
  6. Be dazzled by a fabulous musical in London's West End, such as Mamma Mia!, Thriller or Tina – The Tina Turner Musical.
  7. Kick back in rock'n'roll style at Ace Hotel London Shoreditch in a room complete with your own acoustic guitar, record player and collection of vinyl records.
  8. Boogie the night away at one of London's top nightclubs.
  9. Follow the development of music from the 16th century to the modern day at The Royal Academy of Music Museum.
  10. Chomp on drool-inducing food as you marvel at the impressive collection of rock memorabilia at Hard Rock Cafe Piccadilly Circus.
  11. Dance into the early hours above London during a silent disco at The Shard.

Find out more about London's incredible music scene.