Late summer fireworks light up the river at the Mayor's Thames Festival, while Hyde Park and the Royal Albert Hall sing in unison for the Last Night of the Proms. September also sees comedian Lee Evans take to the stage, England play one-day cricket and London's private buildings open their doors to the public.
4th September 2011
The London Mela in Gunnersbury Park is a wonderful celebration of Asian music and culture which always draws a big crowd of 55,000 visitors with its line-up of British Asian music, Bollywood figures and traditional and classical performances. One of the biggest celebrations of Asian music and culture outside the Indian subcontinent, this year's festival is still in the planning stages but last year saw nine different zones, all showcasing different types of music with urban, classical and experimental music, DJs, circus and comedy as well as dance, arts and a children's play area. We're expecting a simliar funfair atmosphere this year with music and dance supplemented by hundreds of stalls selling food and handicrafts, all of which makes the London Mela a magnet for a multitude of Londoners out for a good time.
10th September 2011
The world famous Last Night of the Proms at the Royal Albert Hall brings the terrific summer season of The Proms to a fitting finale. Described by conductor Jiri Belohlavek as "the world's largest and most democratic musical festival", the much-loved classical celebration now encompasses more than 100 concerts each year. The Last Night is traditionally very different from the eight weeks that precede it, following a lighter, 'winding-down' vein and often pandering to popular classics and Patriotic Anthems (Rule, Britannia!, anyone?). Tickets are almost as hard to come by as Centre Court passes for the Wimbledon finals, but like the tennis, the whole thing is broadcast live on the BBC - and all round the world. Plus there's the popular Proms in the Park party, hosted by Terry Wogan. Check www.royalalberthall.com for full details of the 2011 Proms programme.
10th & 11th September 2011
The Mayor's Thames Festival takes place in mid-September each year celebrating the main waterway which winds its way through the heart of the city. There's a carnival atmosphere to the two-day festival with street entertainment, art installations, music and dancing all performed at various riverside locations between Westminster Bridge, Tower Bridge and beyond. All this fun entertainment is free and, for the grand finale, there's a colourful night procession featuring costumed performers with tambourines and whistles travelling along Victoria Embankment and via Blackfriars Bridge, culminating in a massive free fireworks display. The festival ends with a spectacular bang as more than a ton of pyrotechnics explode over the River Thames in just ten minutes. Large crowds line up along the river for the fireworks display but with the stretch from the two barges between Blackfriars and Waterloo Bridge spanning almost half a kilometre, there's plenty of opportunity to find a space.
11th September 2011
The world's biggest duathlon returns to Richmond Park this September as athletes prime themselves to run, bike and run a little bit more on closed roads in south west London's area of outstanding natural beauty. This double-discipline endurance test is ideal for sporty types (17 years or above) who fancy doing a triathlon but are put off by the cold water of the Thames! There are three main categories: fun (5km run/10km ride/5km run), challenge (10km run/20km ride/5km run) or challenge team relay (10km run/20km ride/5km run). While 50% of the 3,500 entrants are competing for the very first time, top athletes will also be able to take part in separate elite and junior elite sprint races. The London Duathlon is sponsored by Chelsea and Westminster Health Charity and encourages participants to raise money for charity. Those wishing to race must apply by late August and pay an entrance fee. For more information and an entry pack go to www.thelondonduathlon.co.uk.
11th September 2011
It's a busy summer of cricket for England with a visit from Sri Lanka already complete, along with a Test series with India. This 4th One Day International against India at Lord's is the penultimate game of the series, meaning it could either be a gripping decider - or alternatively, an academic encounter. But England are no longer the novices they once appeared to be in limited-overs cricket and against an Indian side capable of beating anyone on their day, it's not wildly unreasonable to expect a eye-opening encounter here at the Home of Cricket. With big hitters on both sides such as Kevin Pietersen, Virender Sehwag and Eoin Morgan, there'll be plenty of pyrotechnics with the bat to keep the crowds entertained on what could be a chilly autumnal afternoon. And should England be feeling a little weary after such a busy summer, they need not worry: this five-match series is their last engagement of the summer before a relatively brief respite.
Lee Evans: RoadrunnerWembley Arena, London, HA9 0DH
14th September 2011 - 18th September 2011
The dry cleaning bill at Wembley Arena and The O2 Arena is set to soar with five back-to-back gigs in each of the venues from the legendary Lee Evans this autumn. The rubber-faced comedian, renowned for sweating buckets while performing, brings his new show Roadrunner to London as part of a massive 50-night arena tour around the UK and Ireland. Evans's manic energy, uncanny observations, hilarious delivery and side-splitting material have made his live performances a must-see for comedy fans worldwide. A former boxer with bigger ears than Prince Charles, Evans is a comedy heavyweight whose slapstick, physical humour has led to comparisons with Norman Wisdom and earned the Bristolian worldwide recognition. "For gags per minute and unflagging energy, he's unbeatable," says the Daily Telegraph.
Lee Evans: Roadrunner (The O2: 28th Sept - 2nd Oct)
17th September 2011
Regarded as the rowing equivalent of the London Marathon, the Great River Race is bursting with colour, spectacle, intense competition and casual fun. Due to tides, the 2010 race will be run upstream for the third successive year, starting at Millwall Slipway in London's Docklands at 1.20pm and finishing with a spectacular riverside party at Ham. The extensive 21-mile course takes crews from the industrial cityscape of Docklands all the way along the Thames to the idyllic semi-rural Richmond shores. The idea for this Herculean test of strength and endurance was inspired by a 1987 charity event in which a passenger barge rowed from Hampton Court Palace to the Tower Of London. Entries have snowballed from a mere 72 entrants to a massive 300 boats carrying over 2,000 competitors, racing for 35 trophies. This prestigious event is a fun day out for all the family. Those not competing can take a picnic and settle down to watch the action or follow the winding course right to the heart of the city. Festivities along the river at Richmond will begin at noon with live music, a children's beach, donkey rides and food and drink stalls. For more information and details about how to enter the race please visit www.greatriverrace.co.uk.
17th & 18th September 2011
So many of London's architectural landmarks are closely guarded secrets, off-limits to Joe Public. It's tantalising to imagine what goes on behind those closed doors. Well, thanks to the hugely popular London Open House Weekend, we need wonder no more. Almost 700 of the city's buildings - including the Bank of England - take part in this fantastic, free yearly event, now in its 18th year, by opening their doors to everyone. London Open House Weekend offers a wealth of historical landmarks to choose from including some of the most beautiful architectural achievements in the city. You can also get inside some of the grandest private homes in your own neighbourhood - it's a voyeur's dream come true. For the more serious students of contemporary design, this is a chance to visit spaces by famous modern architects. An inspired idea and a real treat whether you're a lover of architecture or just plain nosy. Entry to some of the houses is only permitted via pre-booked tickets acquired through the website www.londonopenhouse.org. You're advised to bring booking confirmation with you.
17th September 2011 - 25th September 2011
The London Design Festival is an ambitious project. Hundreds of events, locations, shops, universities and design agencies are involved in the nine days of talks, exhibitions, competitions and activities. It's a true celebration of the capital's all-encompassing design industry, taking in sectors as diverse as fashion, architecture, retail, typography, photography, textiles, interior decoration and manufacturing. There's a huge amount to see but don't be put off by the volume: inclusion here is based on the quality of the design. Events come in all shapes and sizes from product launches in tiny boutiques to massive trade shows. Details are released in March but, judging by what we've seen in years gone by, the programme is likely to centre on hubs at the Southbank Centre, Earls Court Exhibition Centre, the V & A, and there's usually a showcase piece at Trafalgar Square too - last year saw visitors able to take control of synchronized mechanical arms on loan from car manufacturers Audi and trace light messages into the air in real time. The scope is far-reaching and you'll be hard pressed to cover all of it but it's fun trying. Check the website www.londondesignfestival.com for full details.
23rd September 2011 - 25th September 2011
The London Music Show is essentially four shows in one. 'The London Guitar Show' and 'Drummer Live', 'Sound Recording Technology' event and 'The Unplugged Show' all take place at the ExCeL Centre for three days of musical seminars, demonstrations and performances. The show aims to cover the entire music industry with free music lessons, studio equipment, and the latest instruments from big names like Yamaha to see, hear and try out. With a huge variety of live acts, comprehensive seminars and masterclasses, high-status musicians, leading exhibitors and with plentiful trade opportunities, the London Music Show has the potential to develop into one of the world's greatest music exhibitions.
25th September 2011 - TBC
The two things that put most people off running a marathon are i) the length of the race, and ii) the habitual banning of iPods and other musical devices. Well, bypass both issues in one fell swoop with September's Run to the Beat, London's official music half marathon. Starting at The O2 Arena and taking place around Greenwich and Woolwich, the race is a mere 13 miles and not only are iPods encouraged, there is also 12 different musical stages dotted around the course where bands play live music throughout the race in a bid to gee on the participants. So, pay your £35 entrance fee, raise some money for charity, get yourself down to Greenwich and run to the rhythm, run to the beat, keep your feet moving and pound that street. For more info check www.runtothebeat.com.
London Calendar 2011
Highlights include Cirque du Soleil's new show, Rebecca Hall's National Theatre debut in Twelfth Night and the return of Dutch mus...January 2011
Don't forget it's Valentine's Day on the 14th - but there's plenty more going on this month besides, from the muddy pitch of Six N...February 2011
With winter on the way out, March's Ideal Home Show and the Country Living Fair are great occasions for a spring clean. Elsew...March 2011
We all get an extra bank holiday this year thanks to the much-hyped Royal Wedding on Friday 29th April. Other big d...April 2011
The Chelsea Flower Show and the Open Air Theatre in Regent's Park get London's summer season in full swing in a month book-ended b...May 2011
It's all fun runs, flower shows and festivals for July giving Londoners ample opportunity to enjoy the outdoors. Highlights includ...July 2011
August is the time when London's parks fill up with sunbathers, lidos come into their own, the banks of the Thames lend themselves...August 2011
Ghosts and ghouls come out to play for Halloween at the end of the month but before that in October there are some of&nb...October 2011
Remember, remember the 5th November, when fireworks are set off across the city to celebrate Guy Fawkes' night. The pinnacle ...November 2011
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