Great Big Summer Weekend

Part of Summer at Southbank Centre

See the summer out in style with four days of music, performance and dance at a weekend of free celebrations for all ages.

Make the most of your bank holiday with singing and dancing through the (hopefully!) sunny days and into the nights at our epic party.

Friday 24 August

Get Down Tonight – presented by Scanner’s Inc
5pm – 10pm
Kick off the August bank holiday weekend in style. DJ Biznizz (Tha En4cers) and DJ Kofi-M are rocking the decks, and Pervez (Live 2 Break) joins a troupe of dancers to take you on a funky social dance vibe. Good music and good vibes guaranteed. In the words of KC and the Sunshine Band: 'Do a little dance, make a little love, get down tonight.'

Saturday 25 August

Carnival All-dayer – presented by Just Vibez
12 noon – 10pm

History of Carnival for Kids
12 noon – 3pm
Take part in this workshop exploring the history of carnival across the Caribbean, from the foundations of the festivals to how they came to the UK. You also get the opportunity to make costume pieces which you can wear in the Just Vibez Kids Carnival Parade.

Kids Carnival Parade
3pm – 4pm
Children and parents are encouraged to bring costume pieces and props from home and past carnivals to participate.

The old time days! Calypso music and more
4pm – 6.30pm
From zouk to kaiso and soca, our DJs take you on a musical trip down memory lane. Also see some of the classic Ole Mas characters costumes from the 60s, 70s and 80s. Calypsonians hailing from the Caribbean and London perform their own compositions and covers of classic songs by artists including Lord Kitchener and Mighty Sparrow. Plus, prepare for the sweet sound of the steel band.

The Just Vibez Carnival Fete
6.30pm – 10pm
The word 'fete' is commonly used throughout the West Indian diaspora to mean 'a big party'. Just Vibez are pulling out all stops to present a wide range of music including rhythm sections and DJs from across the Caribbean. If you have a costume or headpiece from a past carnival we encourage you to bring it to the fete to add to the colour and vibes of the event.

Sunday 26 August

Sistema Europe Takeover Day
12 noon – 6pm
Enjoy a packed day of musical celebration for all the family, as over 300 young musicians from across Europe take over the Southbank Centre site. The day climaxes in a spectacular stage show at Royal Festival Hall at 5pm, featuring music by Bernstein, Elgar, Piazzolla and more, with six international conductors sharing the platform.

In The Beginning
12 noon – 12.25pm
The day starts with some of the very youngest performers taking the stage! Hear string players aged 3 - 7 from The Nucleo Project in London, as they share their first musical offerings. Followed by some of SEYO's student teachers and mentors, at the start of their professional career, performing together.

Instrument Petting
12.30pm – 1.30pm and 3pm – 3.45pm
Come and meet some of the instruments of the orchestra, and perhaps even have a go yourself! Across the Queen Elizabeth Hall foyer, SEYO teachers and young musicians show you why they love their instrument and how to play it.

Moving to Mambo
12.40pm – 1.20pm
Explore the rhythms of the mambo in this body percussion workshop led by one of Sistema Europe Youth Orchestra's expert percussion leaders, then join an orchestral performance of Que Rico Mambo.

Who We Are
1.30pm – 2pm and 3.15pm – 4pm
Get to know young musicians and teachers from the Sistema Europe Youth Orchestra (SEYO), visiting from across Europe, in this fast-moving programme of short performances. Whether all from one country, all playing the same instrument or coming together especially to play some favourite chamber music, these impromptu bands share their joy of music-making under the summer sun.

2.20pm – 3pm
Using a universal sign language of musical gestures, witness how an orchestra can improvise and create a unique performance on the spot! SEYO co-director Etienne Abelin and some of its young musicians have been exploring this approach to music-making: learn some of the signs and perhaps even have a go at conducting!

Musical Mystery Tour
3.20pm – 4.05pm
Discover beautiful music played in unusual places and go on a mystery tour collecting a momento at each performance. Eventually you’ll be led to a 300- strong pop-up orchestra performing a high-energy Sistema 'classic'! Meet your SEYO tour guides in the QEH foyer to begin your journey.

The Big Pop-Up Orchestra
Peak at 2.05pm
Follow the sounds of various pied pipers across the site, building up to a massive musical pop-up, as you turn round a corner to discover a 200-piece orchestra waiting to serenade you!

London’s Nucleo
4.15pm – 4.40pm
Witness the next generation of young musicians as The Nucleo Project's orchestras take the stage.

Monday 27 August

The Doctor’s Orders presents: 45 years of Hip Hop
12 noon – 6pm
Join us in celebrating 45 years of hip-hop with some of London’s finest DJs, dancers and beatboxers. The Doctor’s Orders host takes you through the years, from Kool Herc’s first party back in August 1973, through hip-hop’s fledgling years and golden era, right up to today’s hottest rap. With dance and beatbox performances alongside workshops for children, there’s something for everyone. The line-up includes: Spin Doctor, DJ Cable, Russ Ryan, Sarah Harrison, DJ Lok, Ralphonze 90, Host Tama and performance and workshop by Kimmy Beatbox.

Dates & times

This event has passed.


Royal Festival Hall
Riverside Terrace, Level 2



need to know

Event information
Please note, in the case of bad weather we may need to pause or cancel events on the Summertime Stage.