London is a hotspot for musicals, concerts and events of all kind. Unluckily most of the time it is quite expensive to see a show. Cheap tickets are rare but with some tricks you can regularly go to theatres and other venues without paying a single penny.
Here are five tipps how to enjoy culture and events in London for free or for little money:
1. Get free tickets to shows, theatre, musicals and concerts in London
Yes, it is possible to see even new shows completely for free in London. I have been to concerts, musicals and different stunning shows in amazing venues that I would have never thought about if not for Show Film First. The website itself appears as a magazine about movies and theatre but you will notice that it is possible to enter a code in order to claim free tickets. Codes are received via E-Mail once you have registered on the site via this link.
Make sure you keep up to date with your mails, because on popular shows the tickets will “sell out” quite fast. They are obtained by entering the code choosing the number of tickets and then confirming. If you have received your free vouchers and realise you can´t go to the show, make sure to cancel the ticket, so others have the chance to see the event.
2. Go to secret concerts
Have you ever listened to some upcoming creative artists in a brewery or in a backyard? Secret Concerts have been quite a movement over the last couple of years. Often you don´t have to pay anything, however they might ask for a voluntary donation, which, in my opinion, they really deserve. On the website of Sofar Sounds you can sign up and then from time to time apply to different gigs in London. There is no guarantee that you will be chosen but experience shows that the chances are quite high. The venue is communicated very shortly before the event. This gives the whole project an adventurous and exciting touch. You´ll discover new bands and most of the time experience an unforgettable concert of different performers.
3. Check out heavily discounted theatre and musical tickets with day seats
It might have happenend to some of you before. You were going for a walk in the morning hours and passing by a theatre with a huge cue in front of it. I myself was wondering what they are always waiting for so early. It turned out that many theatres open for a certain time to sell last tickets for the same day to a discounted price.
Great information about so called day seats can be found on Theatre Monkey. I know this site is horribly designed but you can find a great summary and very useful facts about different shows and availabilities of day tickets.
4. Go to a free Pub quiz, comedy night or gig
It actually took me a while to find out about how amazing these free events in different pubs can be. They are often just advertised by a billboard but behind it lies a real treasure of British culture that you should not miss. There is not much to say about these Pub events but certainly also in your neighbourhood is something like this going on.
Personally I can reccommend for instance Angel Comedy at the Camden Head. From time to time you can see professional comedians trying their new program to get the first reaction of a public audience. It is 100% free but don´t forget a small donation for the artists.
If the pub asks you for a small participation fee for a pub quiz, don´t just leave. Often you even get the chance for a price and it might be worth the entertainment. The Time Out Magazine has created a selection of their favourite quizzes in London.
5. Find stunning free festivals and other events
London is a city of events. The whole year things are going on and it is often worth just to visit and enjoy. Here is a selection of different events and festivals that are very enjoyable
- Saint Patrick´s Day in March starts with a huge parade from Picadilly Circus to Trafalgar Square and ends up with a nice festival. Join the big irish community on their national day!
- Notting Hill Street Carnival is Europe´s biggest street festival. Usually it is dated on the bank holiday weekend at the end of the month.
- London Bridge city summer festival hosts events between June and October at the Scoop. In this amphitheatre you can find several free shows, concerts and events all over the year. It is located just next to the city hall and very close to the famous Tower Bridge.
- The Pride is a real attraction on Cristopher Street Day in July and London is possibly one of the best places to enjoy the day with the parade and end up in the bars of Soho
- The Lambeth Country Show on a weekend in July is an event for young and old, connecting British culture with history and music in the south of London
- Brixton Splash can offer all the diversity with great open air music in a festival style. Expect full and lively streets in August!
Do you have more tipps and tricks how to find cheap or free events and shows? Please let me know!