If you are interested in music festivals, rugby, chocolate and more, October will be a spookily thrilling month! Read below for our favourite October events in London and the wider UK area.
Art: Mike Nelson - The Asset Strippers
Until 6th October
Mike Nelson has transformed the Duveen Galleries with his sculptures created from post-war machinery and rubbish. A reflection on the ideas and aspirations of the past, Nelson’s ominous creations bring an almost post-apocalyptic atmosphere to the galleries amongst the rust, dust, and stripped paint. In place of the common treasures on empire, Nelson’s pieces display relics from British industry, including “knitting machines, woodwork stripped from a former army barracks, graffitied steel awnings and doors from an NHS hospital.” This free exhibit is open to everyone, so visit Tate Britain for a glimpse into England’s storied mechanical past.
Theatre: Ghost Stories
4th October 2019 – 4th January 2020
This multisensory theatrical experience is not for the faint of heart, but it will be perfect for thrill seekers and horror fans. Andy Nyman and Jeremy Dyson’s production has impressed the world with its attention to suspense and the macabre as three men gather to tell terrifying and shocking stories on stage. While this show is not recommended for anyone under the age of 15, it will be an appropriate addition to the Halloween roster for the rest.
Good Cause: World Zombie Day - London
World Zombie Day is an annual charity walk in which zombie fans can make a difference against world hunger and homelessness by raising money. Since 2006, people have gathered to be zombies for a day, and this year’s charity of choice is City Harvest London, a charity focused on using surplus food in sustainable ways. Registered zombies will be sent information containing a secret location at which to meet for the big event. Slap on some red face paint, and make the world a better place.
Music: Boiler Room Festival
9th −12th October
This exciting new music festival will push the boundaries of convention. With four days focusing on separate underground music scenes, the Boiler Room Festivel concentrates on supporting up-and-coming artists and their communities. Instead of headliners, this festival will only showcase artists who are just breaking into the music scene in contemporary jazz, rap, bass and club, so order tickets quickly before they are sold out.
Dance: Dance Élargie
11th – 12th October
Every two years, creative artists gather to compete in the Dance Élargie, an event created by Boris Charmatz that challenges the conventions of modern dance. The only guidelines given to contestants are “You have ten minutes and performances should feature at least three performers,” so interpretation is everything. Sadler’s Wells will host the three 2018 winners of Dance Élargie, Elsa Chêne, Kwame Asafo-Adjei and Ousmane, along with a few finalists. Prepare to be shocked by the unconventionality of these stage creations, and book tickets while they last.
Daytrip: Brighton Chocolate Festival
12th – 13th October
Take a trip to Brighton for its Chocolate Festival on a crisp October day to listen to chocolatiers talk about their craft, learn about ethically sourced chocolate options and, of course, sample the delicious varieties of chocolate. This festival is serious about supporting its cacao farmers and sourcing fair labour, and sustainability is first on its list of priorities. Almost thirty chocolatiers will be represented, so this free event will have something for everyone.
Festival: London Literature Festival
17th – 27th October
Returning for its thirteenth year, Southbank Centre's London Literature Festival will bring together authors, readers and thinkers for an exploration of fairy tales. This literature festival will open once again with Poetry International, founded in 1967, and will feature the theme of disruption. Performances, talks, poetry and readings will take the stage as featured speakers Elizabeth Day, Armistead Maupin, Brett Anderson, Heather Morris, Lemn Sissay, Anthony Daniels (C-3PO), Nikki Giovanni, Fatima Bhutto and Jung Chang present their ideas. Check online to see pricing for individual events.
Children: Natural history Museum Ice Rink
After 19th October
The Natural History Museum’s ice rink will soon reopen and provide a thrilling recreation option for parents and children alike. Invite winter’s chill as you zip across the ice beside trees lit up with fairy lights, and channel your inner Jack Frost while you refresh yourself at the café bar. All skill levels are more than welcome at this family-friendly scene, and you can purchase tickets online if you prefer. Children enter at a reduced price.
Not to be Missed: MCM London Comic Con
25th – 27th October
London’s Comic Con brings together geeks and nerds of all stripes for a huge celebration of pop culture. Learn the latest in gaming, books and comics, and don’t miss out on the chance to meet some of your TV show favourites during Comic Con’s special guest meet-and-greet. If you are really in the spirit, you could even join fans in cosplaying your favourite characters, but regardless, buy tickets online while they are still available.
Half-Term: Boo at the Zoo
Come to Battersea Park Children’s Zoo for a Halloween-themed day full of fun for children out of school. Enjoy face painting, spooky crafts and story time in addition to the great varieties of animals always available at the zoo.