Crowds enjoy band and light display at Leeds Festival


Raving or Behaving? How to make the most of Leeds this festival season!

25th August 2022

Festival season is in full swing in Leeds, with a plethora of events and plenty to do for festival goers to sink their tents into this month. As the city prepares for Leeds Festival and also welcomes BBC Radio 2 Live at Temple Newsam – as well as a whole host of other festivities across the city – we’ve picked out the top go-to hotels, pubs and bars, eateries, and experiences to add some extra sparkle to your festival experience.



If last year’s grand return was anything to go by, Leeds Festival remains one of the North’s crowning musical events! Though, 2022 is expected to be better than ever for music here in Leeds as Leeds Festival is joined by another iconic music masterpiece. Shooting its way up the M1 from its normal home of London’s Hyde Park, the BBC Radio 2 Live concert will be taking centre stage at Temple Newsam in September.


Expect proper, grown-up fun with a line-up to match. The highlight might just be pop superstar Robbie Williams performing alongside the BBC Concert Orchestra. Who knew his big tunes could get any bigger? George Ezra, Simple Minds, Sophie Ellis-Bexter and Elbow will also be hitting the stage, alongside a festival village packed with street food and entertainment. All held in the beautiful Tudor-Jacobean Temple Newsam estate.


But why should the party stop there? How about heading into the city centre, getting that well earned shower and heading right back into the action? Keep the counter-cultural vibe going by staying at the newly launched Art Hostel – where each unique room was devised and created by a local artist.


Next up, it’s time to line your stomach for the night ahead and eating definitely isn’t cheating when the food on offer is this tasty. Belgrave Music Hall and Canteen combines tunes, views and good mood food to kick your night off the right way. The indie venue hosts live music and serves up fresh canteen style food that’s a step up from the Leeds Festival Food. Wash down dishes from vendors like in-house pizza pilgrims, Dough Boys with a sup-worthy collection of cask ales, premium craft beers and cocktails. When the dining is done, head to the roof terrace to take in some panoramic views of the city that will hopefully leave a lasting impression as memorable as Leeds Fest itself.


Leeds’ selection of live music venues is where the night really starts. For the eclectic groups among you, The HiFi Club offers a range of live music nights covering all genres from soul and funk to indie-rock and old school R&B. The stage at HiFi has been graced by the likes of SBTRKT, Little Dragon, Michael Kiwanuka and other rising stars that you can later introduce to your music loving mates. Next stop is The Key Club, keyed as the city’s number one venue for Rock and Alternative music. Name a better venue to spill your beer whilst belting out some classics to transport you back to Foo Fighters at Leeds Festival 2019 (or 2005 if you’re a festival veteran).



Getting down and dirty might be the norm at festivals, but Leeds has got a host of chic and relaxing experiences to keep the vibes and smiles bright.


You could stay in the city centre at one of the city’s luxury stays like Dakota Leeds on the infamous Greek Street and make your way to Dakota Bar & Grill to enjoy a touch of contemporary elegance with the help of their extensive cocktail menu and delicious dishes.


The morning after the night before is the time to treat yourself to some well deserved R&R. Oulton Hall and Chevin Country Park Hotel and Spa are two of the city’s most renowned and picturesque country hotels where you can be pampered with health and beauty treatments in stunning spa facilities, all with a glass of bubbly in hand. The perfect setting for your weekend debrief.


Once you’ve found your inner zen and are no longer the welly-wearing raver you were a day or two ago, why not extend your stay in Leeds and explore the culture around every corner.


If you still have music on your mind, why not venture to Leeds Grand Theatre or The Howard Assembly Room home to Opera North to see what live performances you can catch. Or, see how your festival dancing compares to those at Northern Ballet and watch professional dancers perform on stage.


Leaving the music behind and seeking out other adventures, Leeds has so much to offer, including The Royal Armouries, Leeds Art Gallery, and The Tetley, to name just a few. If the city centre isn’t enough (which would be surprising), then Leeds has superb transport links to suburban areas like Headingley where the oldest cinema in Leeds awaits, or Harewood House where an 18th century house is brimming with history. There’s so much to do and see and if behaving in Leeds sounds like your cup of tea (Yorkshire, we hope), then we can’t wait to welcome you.


With so many unique experiences and places to discover, you can personalise your time in Leeds to make the most of your time in the city either side of the festival. Take a look at what to do and what’s coming up in the city and start planning your next staycation.