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The crowds at West End LIVE 2017 (Photo: Pamela Raith)

The crowds at West End LIVE 2017 (Photo: Pamela Raith)

How to make the most of the West End LIVE weekend

Published 15 June 2018

Everybody. Stay. Calm. This is not a drill. Yes, it’s the one-of-a-kind annual musical extravaganza that is West End LIVE!

It’s finally here: the weekend that sees every theatregoer and theatre aficionado get more excited than usual about the prospect of an early Saturday morning. Over the course of Saturday 16 and Sunday 17 June 2018, there’ll be thousands of theatre fans (us amongst them!) flocking to Trafalgar Square to witness the very best of London’s incredible musical talent in a spectacular two-day celebration.

… oh, and did we mention it’s all FREE?

But as every savvy West End LIVE lover knows, there are a few things you’ll want to bear in mind when boogying away in festival frenzy mode, so to help you get the best out of your weekend, we’ve rounded up a few of our top tips for the perfect festival weekend.

Please note: for a full schedule, key details and more information, please visit the official event website.

Trafalgar Square during West End Live 2017 c Pamela Raith

Photo: Pamela Raith

Pack the essentials

Sun cream? Check! Water? Check! Camera? Check! And the right shoes to move around in and bust some envy-inducing shapes? Ab-so-lute-ly.

When heading off to West End LIVE, make sure you pack all the essentials for a full day out (or two!) and save yourself from having to pop out of the Square and potentially face re-entry queues upon your return.

It’s FREE! But…

… don’t go purse/wallet-less just yet; make a weekend of it and treat yourself to refreshments while you’re there (including water, if this summer so far is anything to go by!). After all, nobody can bellow Defying Gravity on a dry throat.

There’ll be some great offers and opportunities available on the day – just take a look at Leicester Square’s incredible West End LIVE offers page, which includes discounts and promotions galore. Plus, if you’re looking for the the chance to pick up unbeatable theatrical memorabilia…. well, that brings us nicely on to our next tip…

Photo: Pamela Raith

Pay us a visit

When there’re so many incredible shows to see, you’ll need to make sure you take a break every so often and hit the shade – and that’s where the tents come in.

Make sure to visit the Official London Theatre and TKTS Marquee to pick up your tote bags, t-shirts, and more – and to live your dreams by potentially meeting some very special guests (no promises!). We’ll see you there.

Plan ahead

With more incredible acts than you can shake a musical director’s baton at, it makes sense to take a look at the full schedule for the weekend and plan your day(s) ahead of your trip.

It’s always an incredibly popular event, so don’t risk missing your favourite acts: arrive in plenty of time, limit the size of your bags, and remain patient when queuing – it’ll make it all the sweeter!

Photo: Pamela Raith

Enjoy something new

West End LIVE is the perfect opportunity to delve into something entirely new and unexpected. You’ll get the chance to see all your favourite London musicals, of course, but you can also catch upcoming Theatreland hits, touring shows, special star performances, cabaret, and plenty of surprises along the way.

Don’t limit yourself to what you already know: embrace the variety of the line-up and enjoy something new! Who knows – it could well provide you with valuable “theatrical hipster” knowledge of which tickets to snap up ahead of the curve.

Follow it up with a theatre visit

It’s pretty much impossible to come out of West End LIVE without feeling incredibly inspired, and eager for more.

Luckily for you, this year, you won’t even have to leave Trafalgar Square to pick up your theatre tickets: just visit the Official London Theatre & TKTS Marquee on the North Terrace to purchase tickets for this weekend (or the week ahead), the perfect way to continue the theatrical celebration after the event.

Blame it on the boogie

Get dancing, partying, and celebrating – it’s what West End LIVE’s all about!

Photo: Pamela Raith

Follow the signs

Just like last year, West End LIVE is a BSL interpreted event – so it’s bonus points if you spot an interpreter dancing grooving along! More accessibility info is available on the event website.

Sharing is caring

We’ll be there over the weekend with exclusive backstage content on our Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat (@londontheatre) and YouTube channels. Can’t be there this weekend? Follow along through us. And if you are there, make sure to use the hashtag #WestEndLIVE.

We’ll see you soon!

Photo: Pamela Raith

First published 23 June 2017 by Robin Johnson; updated 15 June 2018

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