South London’s multi-genre music festival returns this October from Friday 6th to Sunday 15th. The annual festival is becoming an established fixture in the capital’s musical calendar and will this year present its largest and most varied programme ever. In total, there will be a record 19 individual events across various venues around the SE24 postcode.

As always, Herne Hill Music Festival tickets are extremely attractively priced (from £5) and are further complimented by a variety of free entry performances. The aim is to maximise musical engagement across the community over the 10 days and to act as a platform for musicians and groups from many musical styles. All events are listed on the festival website

There really is something for everyone in this year’s lively and inventive programme including Classical, Jazz, Blues, Folk and Musicals as well as Choral music of various styles. This is paired with a strong community strand of events reflecting the wide range of local talent across South London. This year dance is also included for the first time.

In another significant development, the festival has even commissioned a musical which debuts  rather spookily on Friday 13th October. The Frankenstein Teacher is a musical for primary schools performed by the pupils of St Jude’s C of E School alongside professional soloists. Mr. Frankenstein wants to be a teacher but the pupils are scared of him. He wins them over with the help of the class hamster. Young people also perform the next day with ensembles from St Saviour’s and Bessemer Grange schools.

On the opening Saturday afternoon (October 7th) the festival brings together 5 choirs across the boroughs of Lambeth, Southwark and Lewisham for the first time with a major new event at St Faith’s Church entitled “Herne Hill Sings On”. This family friendly afternoon features The Cambria Choir (based in Loughbourough Junction) , Lambeth Ladies Choir, The Nunhead Community Choir, Vocallective from Forest Hill and Crystal Palace’s B&G Cafe Choir. The repertoire will feature a wide range of material covering pop, jazz, folk and rock classics as well as show tunes from the musicals, and songs from opera and operetta.

Flautotonic’s Family Concert at Brockwell Hall opens the Music-In-The-Park on Sunday 8th, followed by swing band The Fabulous Honeys in the performance space outside and then swinging Klezmer music from the Oysland Band in the Community Greenhouses.

Turning to classical music, the festival kicks off on Friday 6th October with a harp recital by Alexander Thomas – the principal harpist of the Young Musicians Symphony Orchestra. There will also be a recital by internationally acclaimed pianist Haruko Seki on Saturday 14th and Alt-Classical and World Music from iyatraQuartet and syzygy on Saturday 7th. The London Consorts of Winds perform Dance with the Winds at the dance event on Wednesday 11th.

Jazzier styles are represented by three diverse events this year. A Balkan Dance Party featuring flamboyant crowd-pleasers The Trans-Siberian March Band with the 20 strong London Gypsy Orchestra on Thursday 12th and “master bassist and funk supremo” Rick Leon James (Amy Winehouse, Jocelyn Brown) on Saturday 14th. Both events are presented in association with Jazz Umbrella at Herne Hill’s Off The Cuff music venue which also hosts star guest Ed Jones for the ever-popular Jazz Session on Monday 9th.

The innovative programme also includes ‘Catch me a Song’, an evening Dinner and Cabaret performed by Sixteen Feet at the recently reopened Half Moon pub on Friday 6th. Coffee Morning music takes place on Saturday 7th with the Fuzion Trio featuring cello, saxophone and piano playing jazz standards, light classical pieces and latin music. Festival Choral Evensong  is on Sunday 8th at St Faith’s Church. Imperial College Choir, Musical Director William Glendinning, will sing the Evensong, with hymns to be sung by the congregation.

“Gorgeous Guitars” brings together classical guitarist Peter Black and blues star Steve Morrison at Canopy Beer on Tuesday 10th whilst “Maybe It’s Because-Songs of London ” is at The Half Moon on Friday 13th celebrating London songs in a programme of Music Hall, Ballads, Calypso and more. The Festival concludes with Camberwell Community Choir singing to one of Alfred Hitchcock’s most celebrated films. The Lodger (1927). This silent film with music takes place at St Faith’s Church on Sunday October 15th.

The festival is staffed entirely by volunteers and is supported by the main festival sponsor Herne Hill School as well as the generous contributions of City & Country Markets, Olley’s Fish Experience, Petermans Estates and Fourway Pharmacy. Specific thanks are also due to The Arts Council of England and The Herne Hill Society for their support for The Frankenstein Teacher.

Herne Hill Music Festival takes place between October 6th and 15th at various venues around Herne Hill. Full details at: 

Tickets through the web site, from, or on the door unless sold out.