This festival season, catch headline acts, discover grassroots talent and become part of the band for FREE in London Bridge City

Festival season is upon us. And with purse strings now tightened, Summer by the River offers a brilliant music experience without any of the downsides (like extortionate ticket prices or complicated journeys).

Taking place in London Bridge City, the line-up (spanning 3 months) provides something for all musical tastes – from Indie bands, big name artists and grassroots acoustic talent to choirs, DJs and mass karaoke events.

This year, forget tents, wellies and overpriced tickets. Head to this free festival to focus on the most important part – the music. There’s no traipsing through mud or standing for hours on end as performances are held at two (concrete) locations. The Scoop is an outdoor sunken amphitheatre (with seating for 1000) while Hay’s Galleria is an indoor Grade II listed warehouse building (with great acoustics)
Bands taking to the stage include: Vinegar Strokes and the Morning Afters (5th Aug) – a sizzling 6-piece band of misfits fronted by a RuPaul Drag Race favourite; Rayowa (13th Aug) – a 9-piece disco collective who’ve previously supported Nile Rodgers & Chic; and All Day Breakfast Café (18th Aug) – a 7-piece female group championed by the likes of Steve Lamacq.

Solo Artists performing include: Leah Weller (23rd July) – a soulful singer-songwriter with music flowing through her veins, thanks to her impeccable musical ancestry; Jack Tyson Charles (20th Aug) – son of DJ/actor/presenter Craig Charles and dynamic musical force cultivating his own brand of soul; and Sister Cookie (27th Aug) – a charismatic chanteuse from London via Lagos offering an eclectic excursion into the roots of black music.

Choir Performances include: The London Gay Men’s Chorus (25th June) – the largest gay men’s choir in Europe, who will be performing at the festival ahead of London Pride; Chaps Choir (16th July) – the largest male singing gang from London, with an unexpected repertoire; and Popchoir (30th July) – who are celebrating their ‘Big Summer Bash’ with a night crammed full of golden oldies and current day hits.

Mass Karaoke events include: Gospeloke (24th June) – a euphoric experience offering the chance to perform alongside London’s hippest urban choir, Massaoke (15th July), the legendary live band sing-along that has become one of the city’s must-see events; and Hip Hop Karaoke (22nd July) – during which DJ Rob Pursey and host Bobby Champagne Jr. help thousands of people live out their rap fantasies!

Grassroots Talent being championed at the Folks and Roots Stage in Hay’s Galleria includes: Hannah Scott (1st July) – a contemporary folk singer/songwriter (featured on Grey’s Anatomy); Tom Kitching (8th July) – a renowned English fiddler who performs with attack, passion and ingenuity; and Dariush Kenani (9th July) – a guitar virtuoso recognised as one of the finest fingerpickers of his generation.

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