Leeds Pride 2023 - Karl Spencer (8)

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Everything you need to know about the best events and festivals coming to Leeds this year

3rd April 2024

(IMAGE: Leeds Pride 2023 – Karl Spencer)

Film, festivals, comedy, art, music, food, beer – and everything in between. We’ve teamed up with our friends over at The Hoot to put together a list of 30 unmissable events in Leeds.
Spring has finally arrived in Leeds, and it’s brought a calendar full of events that showcase the best of Leeds’ communities and cultures.
Lover of music of all genres will have plenty to choose from: from the Sound Out Leeds performances reaffirming the city’s appreciation for classical music, to the UK’s biggest alternative festival Slam Dunk – we as a city have an eclectic combination of up-and-coming artists, mainstream talent and local musicians taking to stages across Leeds all year long.
Comedy is a huge part of this year’s event calendar. The Wardrobe has over 100 different acts lined up for its 25th anniversary year, and just outside the city centre, The Old Woollen at Sunny Bank Mills is showcasing a special series of Edinburgh Fringe preview events.
As Leeds is home to so many talented independent food and drink businesses, it’s a given that many of the events focus on our culinary offerings. There’s North Leeds Food Festival for the whole family and Kirkstall Brewery Beer Festival for the grown ups – and that’s just the beginning.
Keep reading to find 30 different events you can get involved in around Leeds this year.

 

Night Market - Project House. Thandiwe Zivengwa

(Night Market – Project House. Thandiwe Zivengwa)

Peddler Market

Friday 12 April – Saturday 13 April 2024 | Project House, Armley
Peddler Market is one of Sheffield’s most loved food, drinks, arts, fashion and music markets, and this year marks the organiser’s first time up here in Leeds. The two-day market will bring together some of the region’s best independents in April, but also throughout the year as Peddler Market becomes a regular part of Project House’s monthly calendar.
Find out more here.

 

Her Ensemble. Sound Out - credit Tom Lovatt

(Her Ensemble. Sound Out – credit Tom Lovatt)

Sound Out Leeds

Thursday 18 April – Thursday 23 May 2024 | Various locations
Sound Out Leeds is all about celebrating the classical musical talent of Leeds and beyond since 2023 and there’s still a fair few events you can head down to – including the ‘Forgotten In History’ evening from Ellie Consta at Hyde Park Book Club. The evening features a programme of female composers challenging the gender gap in classical music.
Find out more here.

Gold Sounds Festival

Saturday 27 April 2024 | Brudenell Social Club, Burley
The Brudenell Social Club is hosting an all-day music event for those wanting to celebrate the return of festival season. The line-up is full of up-and-coming indie artists like BDRMM, Jaws The Shark, Ugly, Two Blinks I Love you, Getdown Services, Hooton Tennis Club, KEO, Mould and more.
Find out more here.

 

Gus Band

(Gus Band)

Best of Brass

27 April – 18 May 2024 | Morley Town Hall, Morley
Some of the UK’s best brass bands are taking over Morley Town Hall until May as part of Leeds International Concert Season. There’s never been a better time to dip your toes into the world of instrumental music, with performances lined up from Rothwell Temperance Band, Leeds’ highest ranked brass band, as well as winners of the 2023 Midlands Regional Championship, Gus Band.
Find out more here.

 

The Great Exhibition of Prize Ales, Kirkstall Brewery - Theresa Undine

(The Great Exhibition of Prize Ales, Kirkstall Brewery – Theresa Undine)

Kirkstall Brewery Beer Festival

Friday 3 – Sunday 5 May 2024 | Kirkstall Brewery, Kirkstall Road
‘The Great Exhibition of Prize Ales’ returns for the Early May Bank Holiday weekend, but this year it’s not just a one-day affair, but will run across the full three days. The heritage-themed beer festival will see breweries from across the country compete to win medals in ten categories of historic beer styles. Northern Monk, North and overall champion medal winners Amity Brew Co. are already confirmed to attend, plus Manjit’s Kitchen, Mr D’s Magnificent Pie Machine and Kirkstall’s very own fish and chip shop pop-up will be putting on a feast.
Find out more here.

Mint Festival

Saturday 5 – Sunday 5 May | Newsam Green Farm
Mint Festival is back on 4th & 5th May Bank Holiday weekend: 10 Intimate stages across 2 days of uninterrupted house, techno, drum and bass and everything in between! With brand new hosts: ATW, History of Rave, You&Me and much more.
Find out more here.

 

North Leeds Food Festival

(North Leeds Food Festival)

North Leeds Food Festival

Saturday 11 May – Sunday 12 May 2024 | Roundhay Park
One of the biggest food and drink festivals in Leeds is returning to Roundhay Park this May and it’s the perfect day out for the whole family. Now in its eighth year, the family-friendly North Leeds Food Festival will run over two days with plenty of artisan produce to sample; Live Cookery Theatre; independent bars and live music.
Find out more here.

 

Leeds Marathon 2023 - credit Run For All

(Leeds Marathon 2023 – credit Run For All)

Rob Burrow Marathon

Sunday 12 May 2024 | Starts at Headingley Stadium
Last year’s Rob Burrow Marathon saw over 10,000 people take to the streets of Leeds and its outer suburbs. Now returning this year, the marathon and half marathon events are a wonderful tribute to the city that Rob Burrow calls home, and helps to raise funds for charities close to our hearts.
Find out more here.

North X Paria Paperboy

Saturday 18 May 2024 | From Springwell, Buslingthorpe Lane, Sheepscar
For those looking for a unique charity event that allows you to take in the best of the Yorkshire countryside, the Paria Paperboy is a must-try, especially if you’re a fan of bikes, beers and baos. The event sees a group riding out of North’s Springwell brewery across 50-60 km before returning for beers, beats, burgers and bao, plus a one-of hazy IPA brewed especially for the occasion.
Find out more here.

 

Leeds Jazz Festivals

(Leeds Jazz Festival)

Leeds Jazz Festival

Thursday 23 May – Tuesday 28 May 2024 | Across Leeds
Now in its third year, Leeds Jazz Festival is a ‘celebration of the musicians, venues, promoters, audiences and organisations who are part of the Leeds Jazz tapestry’ that truly finds the most imaginative ways to get us all involved in music. This festival can be enjoyed in many of our amazing eclectic and independent venues across the city including Eat Your Greens, HiFi Club and the main outdoor stage on Cookridge Street where Sable Radio are curating live music and DJ sets.
Find out more here.

Live At Leeds: In The Park

Saturday 25 May 2024 | Temple Newsam
Live At Leeds: In The Park is now in its third year and it’s showing no sign of slowing down any time soon. This year, we’ve got Wakefield’s own The Cribs to look forward to, plus The Kooks, Declan McKenna, The Mysterines and hot off the back of a stellar performance at Live At Leeds: In The City 2023, Antony Szmierek is swapping The Wardrobe for the fields to take to the summer portion of the festival by storm.
Find out more here

 

You Me At Six, Slam Dunk Festival - Giles Smith

(You Me At Six, Slam Dunk Festival – Giles Smith)

Slam Dunk Festival

Sunday 26 May 2024 | Temple Newsam
The UK’s biggest independent rock festival is back for another year – and it’s going to be the last festival you’ll be able to see You Me At Six in the UK. The 20-years-strong band said that they “couldn’t think of a better place to perform our last festival appearance than the festival that first ever booked us” and will be joined by the likes of The All American Rejects, Asking Alexandria, We The Kings, I Prevail and a great selection of pop-punk, emo, metal and alternative artists.
Find out more here.

Leeds Lit Fest

Saturday 15 to Sunday 23 June 2024 | Various Leeds venues
Returning for its sixth year, Leeds Lit Fest is the city’s award-winning festival of words and thought. Taking place across a diverse range of the city’s spaces, it brings together the city’s literary scene, with writers, poets and performers from the UK and beyond.
Find out more here.

Leeds 10k

Sunday 23 June 2024 | From Parkinson Steps, University of Leeds
The legacy of Jane Tomlinson lives on through the Leeds 10k each year, and it’s become a much-loved tradition for Leeds. The 10k run takes participants through many iconic Leeds landmarks and promises to be a ‘hugely popular, inclusive and supported race for participants of all abilities and includes a team race and even a Leeds Mini and Junior run as well.
Find out more here.

Leeds Waterfront Festival

Date not announced yet | Leeds Dock
Leeds Waterfront Festival is always a great day out for the whole family to get involved in. Celebrating the city’s water, the full-day event showcases Leeds Dock with all sorts of swimming, kayaking and canoe opportunities, plus the chance to see the iconic Dragon Boat Race in person. No dates have been confirmed yet, but last year’s festival took place at the beginning of July.
Find out more here.

Edinburgh Fringe Comedy Previews

1 -4 July 2024 | Sunny Bank Mills, Farsley
This is your chance to see some of the rising stars heading to the acclaimed Fringe Festival this year without having to travel all the way up to Scotland. Set across four nights, you’ll be able to catch Jonny Pelham, Hatty Preston, Pierre Nov ellie, Ania Maliano, Rob Auton, Bella Hull, Josh Weller and Susan Ridell inside the 500-seat-capacity Old Woolen at Sunny Bank Mills.
Find out more here.

 

Leeds Pride will welcome thousands of attendees to Leeds

(Leeds Pride)

Leeds Pride

Sunday 21 July 2024 | Around Leeds City Centre
Leeds Pride is one of the largest one-day festivals in Yorkshire and the largest free-to-attend Pride festival in the UK, and it’s returning for 2024 as the biggest celebration of LGBTQ+ community’s to date. Lower Briggate will host the main stage, whilst the legendary parade stage will remain at Millennium Square and Call Lane will be joining in the festivities this year too.
Find out more here.

 

Brutus Gold 23 ©Danny Payne

(Brutus Gold, Millennium Square Summer Series – Danny Payne)

Millennium Square Summer Series

Wednesday 3 July – Sunday 4 August 2024 | Millennium Square
So far confirmed for the month-long celebration of live music, there’s Nothing But Thieves; Anne-Marie; Tom Grennan; Paloma Faith; Busted; James Arthur; Suede & Manic Street Preachers all performing as part of Sounds Of The City, plus there’s Hacienda Classical; 80s Classical; Brutus Gold’s Love Train Summer Disco at the end of July, as well as Yard Act and Leeds Ska and Mod Festival taking place at the start of August.
Find out more here.

 

VW Festival credit Harewood House Trust

(VW Festival credit Harewood House Trust)

VW Festival

Friday 9 August – Sunday 11 August 2024 | Harewood House, Harewood
The UK’s biggest family-friendly festival dedicated to Volkswagen will be held over three days this year – and whilst car-lovers will be overjoyed at the sheer mass of unusual VWs in attendance, there’s far more to explore here. Live music, festival food and drink, a funfair, kids workshops, dog shows and crafts – plus a huge auto-jumble market.
Find out more here.

Magic Weekend

Saturday 17 August – Sunday 18 August 2024 | Elland Road
Twelve teams will play across two days and visitors get to experience a full round of Betfred Super League fixtures, in-bowl games and competitions. Leeds Rhinos will play Warrington Wolves; Hull FC will face London Broncos and Wigan Warriors play St Helens on the Saturday whilst the second day sees the likes of Leigh Leopards and Salford Red Devils clash, as well as Catalans Dragons vs Hull KR and Huddersfield Giants vs Castleford Tigers.
Find out more here.

 

Leeds Festival 2023 - Georgina Hurdsfield

(Leeds Festival – Georgina Hurdsfield)

Leeds Festival

Friday 23 – Sunday 25 August 2024 | Bramham Park
As the fourth biggest festival in the UK, Leeds Festival has gained a reputation for having some of the most exciting artists each and every year – and 2024 is no exception. Leeds Fest has already confirmed Fred Again, Blink 182, Lana Del Ray and a special comeback performance from Catfish and the Bottlemen, amongst some 200+ names.
Find out more here.

Leeds Black Music Festival

Sunday 25 August 2024 | Potternewton Park, Chapeltown
A six-hour celebration of Leeds’ Black Music is taking place at Potternewton Park the day before Leeds West Indian Carnival this year. With an expected 30,000 visitors to the park itself, expect to hear a hand-picked list of local and talented artists throughout the day. The lineup is yet to be announced, but last year the festival saw the likes of Maxi Priest, Omar and Aleighcia Scott take to the stage.
Find out more here.

 

Leeds West Indian Carnival 2023 - credit JMO

(Leeds West Indian Carnival 2023 – credit JMO)

Leeds West Indian Carnival

Monday 26 August 2024 | Potternewton Park, Chapeltown
Did you know Europe’s oldest authentic Caribbean carnival takes place right here in Leeds? Founded in the city in 1967 by Dr Arthur France, it is the celebration of the emancipation of slavery and attracts over 150,000 people each year and is run entirely by volunteers who specialise in preserving and protecting Caribbean arts, culture and heritage. There’s always a big parade, loads of food and drink stalls, as well as arts, crafts and dancing to get involved in.
Find out more here.

Leeds International Beer Festival

Thursday 5 September – Sunday  8 September 2024 | Kirkstall Abbey
The four-day beer festival is one of the city’s biggest celebrations, not only of the humble alcoholic beverages that fuel those long summer nights in the beer garden, but of our local independent food and drink scene. Expect pop ups from some of Yorkshire’s biggest industry names, and food from the likes of Bundobust and Little Bao Boy.
Find out more here.

DogFest

Saturday 7 September – Sunday 8 September 2024 | Harewood House, Harewood
DogFest returns to Harewood House this September, bringing together dog owners and enthusiasts together for a 2k or 4k ‘Big Dog Walk’, dog shows, over 100 shopping stands and loads of industry experts on hand to teach old dogs new tricks.
Find out more here.

 

Leeds International Piano Competition, Leeds Town Hall 2

(Leeds International Piano Competition)

Leeds International Piano Competition

Friday 13 September – Saturday 21 September 2024 | The Great Hall, University of Leeds
What has become known as one of the world’s foremost piano competitions, Leeds International Piano Competition returns for its 21st event, bringing together some of the most exceptional pianists, first in international heats in Paris, Berlin, Vienna, New York, Beijing and Seoul before the semi-final and final rounds take place here in Leeds and Bradford.
Find out more here.

 

Leeds International Festival of Ideas 2022 - Tom Martin

(Leeds International Festival of Ideas – Tom Martin)

Leeds International Festival of Ideas

Wednesday 2 October – Saturday 5 October 2024 | Leeds Playhouse
Asking all the big questions: Leeds International Festival of Ideas returns with a later date in October this year and whilst the full line-up is still to be revealed, questions like How is TV distorting our reality? Who really cares? How do we talk about addiction? Could AI be humanity’s saviour? We’re all neurodiverse aren’t we? have been hinted at for this year’s fireside chats and panel conversations.
Find out more here.

 

EVANESCENT, Light Night Leeds 2023 ©Lizzie Coombes

(Light Night Leeds – Lizzie Coombes)

Light Night

Usually late October | Around Leeds
The incredible two-night festival of light and colour is set to return to Leeds for another year. Last year the theme ‘Future Dreaming‘, lit the streets of Leeds with imaginative installations, including an enchanted forest at Park Square and ‘Balloomi’, a breathtaking installation with balloons filled with air and white light that creates a glowing pyramid with simple light sequences outside The Queens Hotel.
Find out more here.

Live At Leeds: In The City

Saturday 16 November | Around Leeds
Live At Leeds: In The City returns mid-October for its autumn event that sees music venues across Leeds City Centre and beyond transform into a city-wide festival space. Previous years have seen the likes of Sam Fender, Ed Sheeran, Lewis Capaldi and Stormzy perform before rising to international fame – it’s a great festival for anyone wanting to hear ‘the next big thing’.
Find out more here.

 

Leeds Film Fest. Cottage Road Cinema - Chris Williams

(Leeds Film Fest. Cottage Road Cinema – Chris Williams)

Leeds International Film Festival

Expected around November 2024 | Hyde Park Picture House
The dates and details for this year’s LIFF are yet to be announced, but if the seventeen days across November 2023 are anything to go by, we’re in for a real treat. Hyde Park Picture House returned as a key venue for the festival, with the very best independent films from across the UK and around the world on show.
Find out more here.

 

Look out for these events in 2025…

Leeds Queer Film Festival

March 2025 Dates TBC | The CLAY and Hyde Park Picture House
Leeds Queer Film Festival is a five-day event showcasing the queer cinema with a focus on independent and DIY films, aiming to ‘elevate and prioritise the voices and work of those most marginalised within our LGBTQ+ communities’. This year, The CLAY: Centre for Live Art showed a range of movies, and the city was abuzz with exciting workshops, events and even some karaoke to get involved in – and we already can’t wait to hear what’s in store for the 2025 festival next year. The 2025 dates haven’t been announced just yet but you can keep an eye out for everything you need to know about this year’s and subsequent LQFF events on their website. 

Leeds Holi Festival 

March 2025 Dates TBC
Holi Festival celebrates the beginning of spring as well as the triumph of good over evil. It is best known around the world for the powder that friends and families throw on each other and enjoys the festival of love, peace and happiness. Leeds Holi Festival aims at bringing different cultures together with different genre of music under 1 roof, 7 hours of open air colour party. 
Find out more here.

International Jousting Tournament

April 2025 Dates TBC | Royal Armouries Museum
This sporting event like no other will see knights in full armour compete to show off their horse-riding abilities and courage. Lances will be raised as the jousters speed down the tiltyard to the cheers of the crowd, just as they would have done in medieval times.
More info on the Royal Armouries museum nearer the time.