What’s on August Bank Holiday at Southbank Centre

Monday, August 6, 2018 - 17:00

Wow, what a summer we’ve had! And it’s not quiiiiite over yet, with the August bank holiday weekend still to look forward to.

At Southbank Centre we’re celebrating with the Great Big Summer Weekend – four days of varied entertainment which promises loads of fun and entertainment for young and old. For free!

As well as the weekend’s activities we’ve got some incredible performances plus an extended food market and loads more. Read on for details and don’t pack away your sunhat just yet.

How To Catch A Star

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This beautiful show based on Oliver Jeffers’ book of the same name tells the story of a boy who loves stars so much that he decides to catch one for himself. Using puppetry and music – but no words – we see what happens as the boy makes a plan and embarks on an adventure to make his dream come true. Suitable for the whole family and recommended for ages 4+. It runs from Thursday 23 – Monday 27 August.

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The Tiger Lillies: Edgar Allan Poe’s Haunted Palace

The Tiger Lillies: Edgar Allan Poe's Haunted Palace

Starting Tuesday 28 August, the gothic world of Edgar Allan Poe is brought to life by the Tiger Lillies, who have been dubbed ‘the forefathers of Brechtian punk cabaret’. Expect dark humour, macabre scenes and thrilling music in this show inspired by Poe’s tragic life. It is recommended for ages 12+ and runs until Thursday 30 August.

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Great Big Summer Weekend


Friday 24

Scanner’s Inc presents an evening of funky music, with DJ Bizznizz and DJ Kofi-M on the decks, a troupe of dancers and tons of good vibes. We just need you to come along and join in the fun. Runs from 5pm – 10pm, entry is free.

Saturday 25

Just Vibez bring you the Carnival All-dayer, running from 12 noon – 10pm. There are special events for kids, including a costume-making workshop and a parade. There’s also loads of music, both live performances and DJs, with a special focus on calypso. It’s free to join in, just head to the Riverside Terrace.

Sunday 26

Sistema is a music education scheme that aims to give as many children as possible the chance to learn to play an instrument. Sistema Europe takes over Southbank Centre on Bank Holiday Sunday with free events including workshops, the chance to meet young musicians and teachers and, of course, exciting performances. There are events going on from 12 noon – 6pm and you don’t need to book, just turn up!

Monday 27

Make the most of the last bank holiday weekend of the year with The Doctor’s Orders presents: 45 years of Hip-Hop. DJs including Spin Doctor and DJ Cable school you in the history of hip-hop from 1973 to today. There are also performances and a workshop, with the fun running from 12 noon – 6pm. It’s all free!

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Southbank Centre Beach

Run out of time for one last visit to the seaside? Don’t worry, we’ve brought the seaside to the Thames, in the form of 85 tonnes of golden sand. All you need is a spade and bucket – it’s free to visit! Here until Sunday 9 September.

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Jeppe Hein’s Appearing Rooms

Those squeals of delight you hear on our Riverside Terrace are all thanks to a water-based sculpture created by Jeppe Hein, called Appearing Rooms. This is a very special fountain which invites you to stand in it and move between water-walled ‘rooms’ but with a catch – the walls appear totally randomly, so you may end up getting soaked (hence the squeals). Come and enjoy it before it closes on Sunday 9 September. You might want to bring a towel or two with you!

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Queen Elizabeth Hall Roof Garden & Cafe

Queen Elizabeth Hall Roof Garden

With views across the Thames, a huge variety of lovingly raised plants and lots of places to sit, the Queen Elizabeth Hall Roof Garden is a true oasis in central London. What more could you want? If the answer is ‘a drink and a snack’, you’re in luck! Check out the cafe, run by Company of Cooks, for soft drinks, hot drinks, wines and beers, as well as a small menu of food and free tap water. It’s open daily from 10am – 10pm until late September and entry is free.

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Southbank Centre Food Market extended opening


If your problem in life is that there are too many delicious food stalls and too little time, (a) lucky you! and (b) we can help. We’re hosting an extended food market this summer, so all our talented stallholders will be here every day from Friday 17 – Monday 27 August. That means you’ve got 11 days in which to make your way through all the great food and drink on offer, from curries, pizzas and burgers to vegan Ethiopian, freshly squeezed juice and some very moreish Portuguese custard tarts.

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