The Ultimate Guide to What's On in Leeds

Summer 2022

If there’s one thing Leeds is top of the class for this Summer, it’s the jam-packed calendar of events planned for the city centre and beyond. Whether it’s a day trip to watch some sport, a night out with live music, or you’re looking to sink your teeth into some culture, Leeds has you covered throughout the summer months.

The Arts

If you’re a lover of the theatre, there’s no shortage of offerings in Leeds this Summer. From 1st-16th July, catch Sondheim’s classic tale writhing with wit and romance, ‘A Little Night Music’ taking centre stage at Leeds Playhouse, in co-production with Opera North.

Over at Leeds Grand Theatre, from 12th-23rd July, multi-award winning musical Joseph and the Technicolor Dreamcoat comes to the city. After two triumphant seasons at the London Palladium, and with performances in over 80 countries worldwide, it’s time for one of the world’s most beloved family musicals to come to Leeds, with Linzi HateleyJason Donovan and Jac Yarrow leading the cast. From 26th July-6th August, go behind the music and inside the story of Frankie Valli and The Four Seasons in the Olivier Award-winning, original Broadway sensation, Jersey Boys.

Swinging into Leeds Grand Theatre, the smash hit musical has captivated over 27 million people worldwide and bagged 65 major awards. For those looking for a completely unique experience, Derren Brown, master of mind control and psychological illusion, returns to the stage with his brand-new live one man show from the 23rd-27th August. With the details of the show under complete secrecy, it’s certain that the show will follow suit of his previous performances, delivering an absolutely powerhouse of illusion and surprise.

Rounding off the Summer schedule at Leeds Grand Theatre, the first ever professional production of Bugsy Malone, a stage adaptation of 1976 spoof gangster film musical, is touring the UK and they’re coming to Leeds from 30th August-4th September.

Music

The music scene across Leeds this Summer is unstoppable, with a whole host of events taking place across the city to keep your feet moving and put your vocal cords to work. Harewood House are hosting three consecutive nights of music in their extensive grounds, with Michael Buble up first on 8th July, Olly Murs on 9th July, and the multimillion record selling Bryan Adams on 10th July.

From 8th July until 6th August, Millennium Square host the Sounds of the City, with acts across multiple genres hitting the stage, including Foals, HAIM, and Club Classical Anthems; experience some of the biggest anthems of the past 30 years, re-imagined and performed live by the 60-piece symphony orchestra of Opera North. The grand finale of Sounds of the City hits on 6th August, with the highly anticipated Popworld Festival; an epic celebration of all things cheesy pop, with artists such as Peter Andre, Whigfield, and Cheeky Girls bursting out their top hits.

If cheesy pop isn’t your vibe, head over to Temple Newsam on 9th July for Newsam Park Open Air Festival; a house and techno music festival brought to you by the people behind the legendary Cocoon in the Park.

There’s also the Leeds half of the nation’s favourite double act, Leeds and Reading Festival, taking place at Bramham Park from 26th-28th August, with headliners such as Dave, Arctic Monkeys, Bring Me the Horizon, and Rage Against the Machine all heading to the outskirts of the city for what is guaranteed to be one of the best events of the year.

Ending the Summer festival season, BBC Radio 2 Live 2022 is one of the biggest festivals in the Leeds calendar this year. Spreading its wings and leaving London for the first time, Temple Newsam are proud to host the event on 17th-18th September, with an absolute mammoth line up, including Kaiser Chiefs, Simple Minds, Tears for Fears, George Ezra, and Nile Rodgers & Chic.

Sport

A city with a rich sporting heritage, home to decorated sides like Leeds United, Leeds Rhinos and the Yorkshire County Cricket Club, it’s no surprise that Leeds has a reputation for playing host to other sporting events too.

On 3rd July, the Leeds 10k returns for its 15th anniversary; a hugely popular, inclusive, and supported race for participants of all abilities. The race takes in many of the city’s historic landmarks, and crowds come out in force to support the fantastic atmosphere and inspirational cause. Why not show up to spectate, or maybe even enter the race yourself?

From 28th-31st July, Leeds hosts The British Transplant Games; an inclusive event encouraging transplant recipients of all ability levels to participate, with over 24 sporting events taking place across the four-day event, you can see thousands of athletes and their families and friends come to Leeds from all over the UK.

Culture

Leeds is a cultural hub, with people living here, working here, and visiting here from all walks of life.  On 7th August, Leeds Pride takes over the city for the 17th year. As Yorkshire’s biggest celebration of LGBT+ life, and one of the UK’s biggest, free Pride events, attracting over 55,000 visitors to last years event. Celebrity appearances, live entertainment, and parades, make up just a small portion of what makes Leeds Pride one of the most loved and anticipated things to do in the city every year.

On 29th August, city favourite Leeds West Indian Carnival makes its post-Covid return, an epic explosion of colour, culture, and excitement. With food, dance, and the wildly popular West Indian Carnival parade, it’s yet another staple of the Leeds event calendar in 2022 that you don’t want to miss.