London will be gearing up for summer in May 2024, so make the most of it at a music festival, rooftop bar or must-see exhibition.

May truly is one of London’s finest months if you ask us. Not only is the city pleasantly warm and bursting with colourful spring blooms, but everyone is giddy with the possibilities of the coming summer.

And most excitingly of all, there are not one, but two bank holidays on which to embark on inaugural rooftop bar excursion of the summer, rock out at one of the year’s first music festivals, lounge about in your favourite park, check out all those must-see exhibitions you’ve been meaning to catch or escape the city on a mini-break.

And if that isn’t enough to keep you entertained, here’s our guide to the best events, parties, pop-ups and things to do in May 2024 in London. You’re in for one sweet, sweet month.

01. Independent Label Market

Independent Label Market
⭐ Things to do 🛍️ Markets and fairs📌 King’s Cross ⏰ 11 May 2024

This regular music market is back, providing artisan produce and street food alongside its mega vinyl booty. Find records on sale from all sorts of indie labels including AD, Because, Big Dada, Brainfeeder, Chess Club, Chrysalis, Dead Oceans, Dirty Hit, Fire, Jagjaguwar, Late Night Tales, Matador, Marathon, Ninja Tune, Secretly Canadian, Third Man and more. Once you’ve flipped through as many sleeves as you can manage take a look at stalls from artists and makers including Babak Ganjei, Donna Harle, This Is Fun Isn’t It, Hand Jazz, Kam Creates, Nicole O’Hara, Sri Mckinnon and East London Printmakers. Or, neck back a pint from the London Brewers’ Market.

2. ‘Romeo & Juliet’

‘Romeo & Juliet’
🎬 Theatre ⭐ Shakespeare 📌 Covent Garden⏰ 11 May – 3 Aug 2024

Super-director Jamie Lloyd is renowned for his powers of celebrity wrangling, but even by his standards this is quite the coup: his production of Shakespeare’s ‘Romeo & Juliet’ will star Tom Holland, aka Spider-Man himself, in his first stage role since a lengthy stint in ‘Billy Elliot’ as a child actor. Holland will, of course, be playing Romeo: there’s no word on any other casting, including Juliet, but further celebrities seem unlikely – Lloyd tends to assemble diverse, interesting casts that highlight up-and-coming talent. Stylistically, we can certainly expect a contemporary setting and stripped-back aesthetic, though last year’s peerless ‘Sunset Boulevard’ did see Lloyd get back to his more maximalist roots with its gargantuan video wall and copious use of gore – you’d think a bit of the ol’ claret has to be an option for Lloyd’s take on Shakespeare’s high-ish body-count romantic tragedy.

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3. City Splash

City Splash
⭐ Music 🎡 Music festivals 📌 Tulse Hill ⏰ 27 May 2024

If you love nothing better than the idea of grooving to reggae, Afrobeats and dancehall in the sun, this is the festival for you. City Splash is once again taking over Brockwell Park to celebrate the impact of Caribbean and African culture in the UK and beyond – giving you a chance to dance, connect over music and have a bloody good time. This year’s line-up includes Capleton, Beenie Man, Shenseea, Busy Signal and Queen Omega.

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4. Fawlty Towers

Fawlty Towers
⭐ Theatre 🎡 Comedy 📌 Shaftesbury Avenue ⏰ Until 28 Sept 2024

‘Fawlty Towers’ (the play) is absolutely not an attempt to boldly reinvent the adventures of Basil, Sybil, Manuel and co for the twenty-first century. Instead, the performance has stitched together content from three classic episodes: ‘The Hotel Inspector’, ‘The Germans’ and ‘Communication Problems’. It sounds like they’ll be woven into a single narrative with a new ending, but whether you’re a long-term fan or too young to have ever seen it, you’ll pretty much be getting ‘Fawlty Towers’ in its classic form.

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5. Between the Bridges

Between the Bridges
⭐ Things to do 📌 South Bank ⏰ Until 13 Jul 2024

Outdoor spaces are big business come London summertime, and this seasonal pop-up between Waterloo and Westminster bridges is one of the biggest in London. Boasting lovely views over the river Thames and an eclectic programme of drag shows, DJs, live performances and themed club nights, its summer 2024 season is packed with surprises. For this month’s schedule, you can expect non-stop noughties from the 10-piece brass powerhouse that is the Old Dirty Brasstards, plus TEDFEST, celebrating everything that is Father Ted.

6. Chelsea in Bloom

Chelsea in Bloom
⭐ Things to do 🎡 Quirky events 📌 London ⏰ 20 May – 26 May 2024

Chelsea’s annual floral art show is back, bringing luscious colour to King’s Road, Sloane Street and other iconic locations. The streets and squares and more than 120 businesses of SW10 will be transformed with wonderful floral displays created by retailers in the borough, and you can even vote for your favourites. This year’s theme is ‘Floral Feasts’, so expect classy horticulture inspired by well-loved childrens books and movies.

7. Firsts Rare Book Fair

Firsts Rare Book Fair
⭐ Things to do 🎡 Markets and fairs 📌 Chelsea ⏰ 17 May – 19 May 2024

The Antiquarian Booksellers’ Association’s (ABA) are back with their annual ‘Firsts’ festival, the theme Art of the Book for this year. There’ll be over 100 exhibitors, meaning you can cast your curious eye over some first edition Dodie Smith, a rare copy of Grimm Brothers’ fairy tales illustrated by David Hockney and a miniature German printed children’s library. Talks, demonstrations and exhibitions are on the programme, too.