London’s festival scene is utterly packed with genre-bending, niche events, from grime extravaganzas to electro havens. Somerset House Festival is utterly unique in its own right. Hosted in the courtyard of the eponymous building itself – a one-time Tudor palace – the sense of grandeur and scale is unbelievable. Throughout the year it acts a centre for visual arts, and with magnificent architecture looming all around, it’s easy to see why. Previous festivals have seen stunning light shows beamed onto the amazing façade of the surrounding building, with musicians and performers staged in the central courtyard.
This year there’s an eclectic mix of acts on offer, from cultural geniuses to contemporary hits. Last year saw the ever-popular James Bay headlining with his fantastic ‘Hold Back the River’. Hoping to emulate his worldwide success are Hiatus Kaiyote, two-time Grammy nominated band that defy genre conventions. They’ve developed a mystifying blend of lyricism and cinematic soundscape that promises an absolutely jaw-dropping experience in the plaza of Somerset House. Saturday 9th sees local Benjamin Clementine celebrating his Mercury Price for debut album, At Least for Now, by taking over the stage. He’s been described as an intimate musician and charismatic singer, with a stage presence that makes sold-out gigs feel as personal as a conversation. BRIT Award winner, James Morrison will be performing on Tuesday 12th. Jack Savoretti, BBC’s Radio 2 champion, performs on Friday 15th. It’s a hugely diverse line-up threaded together by passion and talent. Each artist brings something unique to the beautiful proceedings at Somerset House.
Tickets for individual acts start from £29.50, with events scheduled across a massive 10-day period. It’s a great opportunity to experience the very best of London’s cultural scene. Within a five-minute walk is the Royal Opera House, the English National Opera, and the Adelphi Theatre. Get inspired with Megabus, with our stop at Euston Station within 20-minute tube ride from all that London has to offer.
Somerset House, London // 7-17th July 2016
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