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Arts & Culture Festivals

Leeds loves art, and this can be seen in the ever expanding range of Arts and Culture festivals the city hosts every year!


Light Night, Leeds most illuminating event, returns for 2016 celebrating its 12th anniversary with a night of spectacular light projections, exhibitions, installations, film, dance, music, theatre and street performances taking over Leeds City Centre. Bring your friends and family along to experience a fantastic festival atmosphere, navigate your way around over 50 different events across the city centre, and sample some delicious street food.


Thought Bubble is the UK’s largest annual event which celebrates sequential art in all its forms, including everything from superheroes to independent and small press comics. Each year the ComicCon hosts a programme of events and entertainment, designed to inspire and delight everyone from the industry expert or comic book fanatic to a complete newcomer to sequential art.

Light Night Lantern Parade
Leeds International Film Festival at Leeds Town Hall - Credit James Carmichael


Leeds International Film Festival (3-17 November 2016) is one of the largest film events in the UK, presenting an incredible selection of the best new and classic films from around the world. Each year, audiences are invited to step in from the cold autumn weather and enjoy the power of cinema at some of the city’s favourite venues, including Leeds Town Hall, The Hyde Park Picture House and Everyman Leeds. 2016 will mark the festival’s 30th Anniversary, which promises some spectacular surprises. Easter also brings the 17th Leeds Young Film Festival (24-31 March 2016), full of inspiring film events for families, including the newly launched Animation Central, and The Film House at Leeds Town Hall.


Every year Leeds City Council runs the Breeze Arts Festival – an arts extravaganza of exhibitions and performances which showcases work by young people from Leeds. This year the Breeze Arts Festival will run from Saturday 23rd to Saturday 30th July 2016.

Explore more arts and culture festivals...

Banff Mountain Film Festival World Tour – 27th Jan 2016

Library Fest – 13th–21st February 2016

Ilkley Film Festival – 17th–21st February 2016

Leeds Fashion Festival - 5th March 2016

Leeds Young Film Festival – 24th–31st March 2016

Headingley LitFest – March 2016

Strangeforms – 2nd–3rd April 2016

Transform – 22nd-23rd April 2016

Leeds Digital Festival (part of live at Leeds) – 25th–20th April 2016

Leeds Wool Festival – 4th June 2016

Leeds Big Bookend – 4th–5th June 2016

The Tetley Weekender - 24th & 25th June 2016

Yorkshire Festival - 16th June-3rd July 2016

Chapeltown Arts Festival – 4th–10th July 2016

Breeze Arts Festival – 23rd–30th July 2016

BIG DISCO - 1st July 2016

Garforth Arts Festival – 29th June - 11th July 2016

Chapel Allerton Arts Festival – 29th August–4th September 2016

Festival of ArtsTBC Summer 2016

Morley Arts Festival – 23rd September-9th October 2016

Ocean Film Festival World Tour - 29th September 2016

Ilkley Literature Festival – 30th September–16th October 2016

Light Night – 6th & 7th October 2016

Leeds Fashion 10 Day Festival - 21st–30th October 2016

Wetherby Arts Festival – 14th-16th October 2016

No Gloss Film Festival - 22nd & 23rd October

Love Arts Festival – TBC October 2016

Family Arts Festival - Whole month of October 2016

Leeds International Film Festival – 3rd–17th November 2016

Thought Bubble – Leeds’ Comic Art Festival – 1st-6th November 2016

Compass Live Art – 11th-20th November 2016

Maker's Festival - TBC December 2016


Ilkley Literature Festival - Paul Mason. Credit Paul Floyd Blake
The Tetley - Credit Matt Dale
Breeze Arts Festival - WYP First Floor Performance