Barclaycard British Summer Time Festival – Hyde Park

July 9, 2013

Festival fun in the London sun!

As you may have seen from my 30 Day Snap posts here and here, this weekend I was lucky enough to enjoy the beautiful London sunshine in Hyde Park for the Barclaycard British Summer Time events! Hyde Park is hosting the events from 5th – 14th July, with lots of free film screenings, fitness workshops and foodie demonstrations during the week, and ticketed gigs (with some incredible headliners) at the weekends. With The Rolling Stones, Elton John and Lionel Richie all topping the bills it’s a great line up! I was lucky enough to see Bon Jovi on Friday night and The Saturdays / The Beach Boys / JLS on the Sunday!

Festival Fun in London Town

I was so impressed with the whole set up at Hyde Park – it was really decked out like a mini festival with loads to see and do! There were lots of fun fair rides, themed bars (including a Village Green and pub and a carnival area), a comedy tent, farmers market food stalls and even a Benefit Fayre area offering festival style make overs.

Fun fair swings!

 Friday 5th – Bon Jovi

On Friday night my cousin had a spare ticket to see Bon Jovi, which was amazing! Not particularly a big JBJ fan (but who doesn’t LOVE Livin’ on A Prayer, Always and It’s My Life?!) I thought it would be a fun event to go to, and if nothing else I’d have a really good girlie gossip over a pint of cider in the late afternoon sun. Unfortunately we both had to work in the day (and had a bit of a ‘mare picking up our tickets as we were on a guestlist) so we missed the other bands on the bill – (including Futureheads and Kaiser Chiefs) but really did enjoy having a wander around the different food stalls, checking out the different bars and just chillaxing on the grass! Drinks prices were predictably pricey – £4.50 a pint of Strongbow, £5.50 a pint of Heineken, and £8 a pint of Pimms (!!!!!) We also met some ladies who were enjoying yards of rum punch, which set them back £34 for both! Yikes!! 

Carnival procession outside the Spanish style bar facades


Food prices were standard festival prices too – about £6 – £7 for a burger, but it was great to have some more “luxury” offerings, including ostrich burgers, churros, and a chicken and chorizo wrap with minted cous cous (which was a snap at £5 and was very tasty too!) We didn’t have to queue for more than 3 minutes at the bars, and walked straight into the toilets too, which were blocks of proper flushing loos rather than horrid portacabins. Excellent!

Cider in the sunshine 🙂

As I blogged before about the event, JBJ did a great set with a really good and even mix of lesser known songs with the classics everyone knows, which I really appreciated! There’s nothing worse than going to a gig and the artist only playing their new unknown songs, or the tracks they want to play rather than their biggest crowd pleasers. 

The Great Oak Main Stage

It was a really lovely evening and a nice break too – we both felt like we weren’t in London at all, but in Barcelona with the warm evening sun, chorizo wraps and colourful bar facades and palm trees strung with fairy lights!

Fairy lights and palm trees – perfect!

Sunday 7th – The Saturdays, The Beach Boys, JLS

After doing the recce on Friday night, I was so ready for a full day of festival fun on Sunday! If you read my 30 Day Snap post from Sunday evening (thanks 🙂 ) you’ll know that I’m a HUGE fan of The Saturdays, so couldn’t wait to see them live for the third time!

I had seen tickets to this event being sold, but didn’t really want to spend £35 for the day, as I’m trying to save for a summer holiday. (actually that’s a lie- I didn’t think I could persuade any of my friends to spend £35 to indulge my love of The Sats AGAIN haha!) so when I saw an offer through the Evening Standard for £10 tickets I jumped at the chance! A quick email round, and 8 of my best girlfriends (and one of their reluctant boyfriends!) all had tickets hurrah! We love a good day out us!

And what a day we had for it! Not a cloud in the sky all day! It was even busier today than on Friday, with loads of families enjoying “A Day at the Park”. There were more fun fair rides and stands, including some more child friendly ones such as “Hook a Duck”, children’s tea cups, and a mini train ride. 

Colourful Carnival Outfit

The Carnival Stage also came to life, with a steel band and carnival dancers strutting their stuff, as well as a procession of amazing carnival performers in fabulous costumes! Over on the main stage there were also performances of Horrible Histories Live, The Gruffalo and Kimberly Wyatt presents Got to Dance Live! And despite there being even more people, again I didn’t have to queue for the toilets or bars all day! I even only waited 5 mins for a burger! Excellent!

Dancers on the Carnival Stage


The highlight of the day for me was, of course, watching The Saturdays perform! My lovely and loyal friend Ceebs (who’s been to see them with me both times before) ran down to the front with me to get as close to the action as possible! As always they really engaged with their fans, taking time to wave at the audience, chat between songs and read out banners held by the crowd – including a bemused Una reading:

“‘It’s hot, you’re hot, strip!’ – I think that one’s meant for JLS!”

I’m gonna lift it lift it higher!

They delivered a really energetic set, with all their upbeat songs, and even a heavily pregnant Frankie danced along in sky high heels! Rochelle was the star of the show for me though, her vocals were really strong and she always had the biggest smile on her face whilst giving a really enthusiastic performance! 


What About Us

The Beach Boys were also really great, and whilst most of the crowd definitely weren’t their standard demographic, they definitely won over everybody over! It was such fun to dance around in the sun to “Surfin’ USA“, “Barbara Ann” and “Good Vibrations“.

JLS finished the day off, and were (dare I say it!) a bit lacklustre in my opinion! Whilst not the biggest JLS fan, I do like some of their tracks, and they played all of their biggest songs which was great. However their “banter” with the audience seemed a little bit flat and insincere, and not nearly as care free and natural as The Saturdays. Their set also seemed awfully short for a headliner, only 45 minutes, and they didn’t do an encore! However, whilst they didn’t really capture my attention fully, there was quite a screaming crowd at the front of the stage who were loving it, so perhaps I was just all danced out after The Saturdays and The Beach Boys!

Loving British Summer Time!

I really recommend getting tickets to the Barclaycard British Summer Time at Hyde Park. I’m hoping to buy some for the final night to see Lionel Richie, J Lo and Chic. There’s lot of offers about, and I think Amazon Local is selling half price tickets to this and Elton John on the 12th for £29 each. Bargain!

Are you going to any festivals this summer?

xx emsypickle xx


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I’m Emma – or Emsypickle!


I live in Brixton in London. I eat out far too much, am always planning my next trip and have a borderline unhealthy obsession with Harry Potter.

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