Summer events and exhibitions in London

With restrictions easing, socialising is well and truly back on the agenda this summer. Brummell selects five cultural must-see exhibitions and events in the capital

Art and Design 11 Jun 2021

Field Day is one the music festivals returning this summer


The Other Art Fair

Saatchi Art is gearing up to host The Other Art Fair, London’s first in-person art fair of the year so far. The four-day event will be coming to King’s Cross over the first weekend of July, and will give art aficionados (or mere appreciators) a unique opportunity to buy original pieces from emerging UK-based talent – plus special guest artist, rock legend Ronnie Wood. More than 110 UK-based artists have been selected to take part, and the fair’s committee has maintained a 50-50 male-female ratio. Ryan Stanier, founder of The Other Art Fair commented: ‘We are so excited to be returning to in-person events this summer. This year has been tough for the arts and events industries but we’re coming back fighting, and we’re ready to welcome visitors to enjoy and discover art differently.’

1 – 4 July 2021, West Handyside Canopy, King’s Cross;


Cece Philips, Hingland Painting


The Islander Festival at London City Island

Last year, the world-famous Wimbledon tennis tournament was cancelled for the first time since the Second World War. This summer, The Championships are back with a bang and ready to welcome the world’s best tennis players and keen spectators. If you haven’t been able to secure a courtside seat, don’t worry. London City Island, a residential and commercial development located next to Canary Wharf, is hosting live Wimbledon screenings as part of its inaugural Islander Festival. Throughout the tournament, local businesses will be serving craft beers and summery cocktails and – of course – strawberries and cream, and visitors will be able to pitch up to watch all the action on deck chairs. Every match screening is free to attend, apart from the final. Once the tournament has finished, the alfresco screen will stay up for a series of outdoor blockbuster screenings for the whole family, from old school hits to modern classics, including Grease, School of Rock, The Greatest Showman and Bohemian Rhapsody.

27 June – 10 September, London City Island; visit EventBrite to book tickets and The Islander for more information


The Woman Who Fell In Love With An Island at Walthamstow Wetlands

Speaking of islands – no one appreciated the remote beauty of an archipelago quite like children’s author Tove Jansson. The influential illustrator and writer grew up in Helsinki but spent many childhood summers on the nearby island of Porvoo, and in later life she spent nearly 30 years’ worth of summers on the tiny uninhabited island of Klovharun in the Finnish Gulf. This bucolic upbringing and passion for remote landscapes inspired Jansson’s imagination and the whimsical world of her most famous creation, the Moomins. This year, Walthamstow Wetlands, a 211-hectare nature reserve in North London, has teamed up with the William Morris Gallery for a unique year-long exhibition titled ‘The Woman Who Fell In Love With An Island’. Drawing comparisons between the rustic nature of the Wetlands and Klovharun island, the exhibition features an outdoor art trail alongside a collection of photographs, drawings and writings on display at the restored Engine House. Next year, the William Morris Gallery will take over for a second exhibition. Curator Alison Williams commented: ‘These exhibitions will explore how island life, the weather and an ever-changing landscape informed Jansson’s work, which still captures the imaginations of children and adults alike, and share some thoughts on what we can learn from the Moomins when it comes to ecology, conservation and the climate crisis.’ The Woman Who Fell In Love With An Island’ will open at Walthamstow Wetlands from 18 Jun – 23 Sep. Click here for more information


Secret World of Plants at Kew Gardens

There’s nothing like a nationwide lockdown to make us appreciate the importance of local nature. An almost sacred connection to and respect for the natural world underpins the new Kew Gardens summer exhibition, The Secret World of Plants. This new initiative is a series of immersive experiences designed to stimulate the senses and reconnect us with Mother Nature. They include a series of unique large-scale installations by acclaimed artist Vaughn Bell, musical performances by sound artist and beatboxer Jason Singh hosted in the tranquil Temperate House, and even tree listening sessions (yes, really). There’s never been a better time to get outdoors.

1 May – 19 September 2021, Kew Gardens;

Kate Solecki enjoys the ‘Please Be Seated’ installation at The Secret World of Plants Festival


All Points East and Field Day

After over a year of music festivals being put on hiatus, this summer, All Points East and Field Day have joined forces for a bank holiday musical extravaganza. All Points East comes from the team behind California’s oh-so trendy Coachella festival, and is back in Victoria Park for the bulk of the weekend, with a stellar music line-up including Loyle Carner, Jorja Smith, Jamie XX and Arlo Parks, while Field Day will take place on Sunday 29 August with a dance-heavy line-up including Adelphi Music Factory and DJ sets from Mount Kimbie and Jungle, among others.

27 – 30 August 2021, Victoria Park, London;