UK Outdoor Events in 2020 (That Haven’t Been Cancelled)

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2020 has been a year of cancellations: festivals, weddings, parties, sporting events, exhibition openings – the list is endless. Yet all is not lost. As lockdown measures continue to ease, the UK’s cultural scene is gradually returning to life: across the country, galleries are reopening, pop-ups are popping up and socially distanced festivals are launching – all with new safety measures, of course. Feeling ready to get out there again? We’ve pulled together a list of the outdoor events that are actually going ahead in 2020. And if you’d rather stick to virtual for now, check out our digital events guide.

UK Outdoor Events 2020

The Decorative Antiques & Textiles Fair

Decorative Art Fair

This October, 140 exhibitors from the worlds of antiques, design, ceramics, jewellery and more will be descending on Battersea Park for The Decorative Antiques & Textiles Fair. Whether you’re a designer, collector, buyer or simply love art, there’s plenty to peruse: unusual furniture, rugs, garden antiques, handbags, tableware and more. Unable to attend in person? Tune into the online offering, which involves personal shopping services as well as a virtual tour of the fair. 22 – 25 October,

Pub in the Park’s Drive-In Garden Party

Tom Kerridge

Another strong example of innovation in the new normal is Pub in the Park’s garden party, launching this September alongside their popular drive-in cinema screenings. The new series will see guests parking up to enjoy live music and food with a car-full of friends and family in their very own enclosure. Headliners include Kaiser Chiefs, Keane, Rick Astley, Basement Jaxx and Gabrielle, with more acts due to be announced. On the food side, guests will have a choice of five restaurants, with food from a handful of Michelin-starred chefs including Tom Kerridge, Atul Kochhar and Paul Ainsworth, and the option to order hampers of drinks directly to your enclosure. You’ll have three chances to attend at different venues across the country: Temple Meadows in Henley (4 – 6 September), Knebworth House near St Albans (11 – 13 September) and Elridge Park Estate near Tunbridge Wells (19 – 20 September).

Comedy Evenings at Bussey Rooftop Bar

Bussey Rooftop Bar

Simon Amstell, Ed Gamble and Tim Key are just some of the names set to perform at Bussey Rooftop Bar’s new outdoor comedy evenings. Alongside the acts, visitors can enjoy cocktails and pizza from Share A Slice – not to mention the spectacular city views of the city skyline.



Pamela Raith

There’s a new immersive outdoor theatre performance coming to the capital, titled C-o-n-t-a-c-t. Originally created by Samuel Sené and Gabrielle Jourdain, the timely play explores the themes of mental health and anxiety through the eyes of Sarah as she is approached by someone she believes to be a stranger. Viewers will be asked to download an app, through which they’ll listen to an exciting new technological sound experience. 31 August – 10 October 2020.

Comedy On The Terrace

Lou Sanders Comedy on the Terrace

In need of a good giggle? Alexandra Palace has announced a new series of outdoor, socially distanced comedy gigs on its south-facing terrace. Comedians including Ed Gamble, Andrew Maxwell, Lou Sanders and Milton Jones are lined up to perform, with the first event taking place on 13 August. Alongside the acts, audiences can enjoy street food, craft beer, wine and cocktails – all ordered through an app. Various dates throughout August and September.

Summer Showtime

Summer Showtime, Battersea Power Station

The iconic Battersea Power Station will stand as the backdrop for Summer Showtime: a month-long series of open-air theatre performances and film screenings. There’s something for everyone in the line-up, which features everything from productions of family-friendly Horrible Histories to screenings of classic romantic comedies like Dirty Dancing. Alongside this, visitors can enjoy craft beer from Battersea Brewery, frosé from Vagabond Wines, refreshing cocktails from Birdies and the all-important popcorn and sweets from Archlight Cinema. 21 August – 20 September.

Bristol Craft Beer Festival


Getty Images

One of Bristol’s first post-lockdown outdoor events is the Bristol Craft Beer Festival, a celebration of the city’s eclectic independent food and drink scene. The festival will bring together a collection of the city’s best craft breweries, including Wiper & True and Arbor Ales, alongside local food traders such as Two Belly, Asado and Eatchu. Safety procedures will be in place, including increased PPE at service areas, app-based registration, no cash payments and rigorous cleaning and sanitising throughout. 11 – 12 September.

Totally Thames Festival

Totally Thames Festival

London’s annual Totally Thames Festival returns this September with a mixture of digital and physical events – all celebrating one of the city’s most enduring assets: the river. The outdoor programme includes guided walks, live musical performances and art installations, alongside plenty of activities for children. See river-themed artworks created during lockdown by secondary school children in Rivers of the World, learn about the city’s bridges on a boat tour of Brunel’s London or go all out and sign up for a sea kayaking taster weekend. 1 – 30 September.

Petworth Park Antiques & Fine Art Fair

Petworth Art and Antiques Fair

This autumn, over 50 specialist exhibitors will be heading to the National Trust’s Petworth House for the rescheduled annual Petworth Park Antiques & Fine Art Fair. Visitors will have the chance to buy period furniture, vintage watches, ceramics, watercolour paintings, lighting and much more, with new faces for this year including Julian Eade Antiques, Burlington and Michael St John. 11 – 13 September.

The Sunday Art Club

Aurelie Freoua

Richard Lipman

Shoreditch will be buzzing with live DJ sets, art installations and theatre performances this summer thanks to The Sunday Art Club, a free outdoor spectacular celebrating diversity in the arts. Hosted by Voxonica, highlights include live music from Jazz on the Rox, an installation from British Ghanain artist Christian Asare, performances directed by Khoas’ James Scotland, and a live mural painting by contemporary artist Aurelie Freoua. 30 August and 27 September.

The UK’s Best Art Exhibitions 2020 / Boutique Festivals Guide