Leeds-List: The Best & Most Insightful Guide to Leeds

15 Sun-drenched Outdoor Events You Won’t Want to Miss This Summer

· Joseph Sheerin · Culture

The Summer Series brings that festival feeling to the heart of Leeds.

Summer Series

This summer, Millennium Square will be transformed into an incredible outdoor arena, as the Summer Series brings us everything from 80s rock legends to jazz festivals, club nights and classical concerts. Book your tickets now...

Enjoy a night of incredible live music and film under the stars as rock legends, pop heroes and classical raves take over Millennium Square this summer.

This might just be the best Summer Series line-up yet. Millennium Square is set to host an eclectic array of live concerts and events throughout July and August, and there’s something for everyone. We’re talking jazz festivals, 80s legends and classical crossovers. Even better, they’ve brought Heineken on board to manage the bar, and they’re bringing their fast pour, multi-dispense units, so you can get a round in record time.

Wait, there’s more, because we’ve got a fantastic offer for you. You can even get 20% off selected events with our exclusive offer code Gimmie20 – but be warned, there’s limited availability and once the offer tickets are gone, they’re gone.

Plan B

Plan B

Plan B returns to Leeds for the first time in 8 years to play Millennium Square for the Summer Series. The rapper-cum-soul-singer made his name with gritty hip-hop record ‘Who Needs Actions When You Got Words’ in 2006, before reinventing himself as a blue-eyed soul singer with the hugely successful 2010 album ‘The Defamation of Strickland Banks’, which featured singles like ‘Stay Too Long’, ‘She Said’ and ‘Prayin’. Now he’s back with a brand new album that merges both styles together, ‘Heaven Before All Hell Breaks Loose’, and you can expect to hear cuts from all three.

Plan B plays Millennium Square on Friday 20th July 2018.

Tony Hadley with Gabrielle and Ten Millennia

Tony Hadley

Tony Hadley is one of the most enduring voices in pop music. The former Spandau Ballet frontman was responsible for an arsenal of hits in the 80s, from ‘Gold’ to ‘True’, and is now an acclaimed singer-songwriter in his own right – so expect tunes from his whole back catalogue. He’s going to be joined by 90s soul favourite Gabrielle who will run through her greatest hits and songs from new album ‘Under My Skin’, as well as Yorkshire funk group Ten Millennia who have recently played with The Corrs and Jools Holland.

Tony Hadley with Gabrielle and Ten Millennia takes over Millennium Square on Saturday 21st July 2018.

JazzLeeds Festival

JazzLeeds Festival is taking over Millennium Square for two days of free live music this July. They’re opening up the stage to a range of local and community artists from 12pm to 8.30pm each day. On Monday 23rd July 2018, you can check out the likes of the JazzLeeds Workshop Band, Los Camaradas and Ubunye, while the following day sees John Settle’s Vibe-ology, Ron Burnett’s Mardi Gras and The Tom Sharp Orchestra show off their eclectic take on jazz.

JazzLeeds Festival takes over Millennium Square from Monday 23rd to Tuesday 24th July 2018.

The Symphonic Sounds of Back to Basics

The Symphonic Sounds of Back to Basics returns for its second year and it’s going to be the club night of the summer. You’ll hear a medley of classic dance anthems played live by the Orchestra of Opera North with help from renowned Back to Basics founder Dave Beer and an array of Leeds’ best DJs. That’s not all – they’ve got an impressive line-up of special guests, as Robin S performs ‘Show Me Love’, Alison Limerick plays ‘Where Love Lives’ and Utah Saints plays ‘What You Can Do For Me’. That’s just a glimpse of the jam-packed bill that’s sure to be full of surprises.

The Symphonic Sounds of Back to Basics comes to Millennium Square on Friday 27th July 2018.

A Classic Summer’s Evening

Orchestra of Opera North

The Orchestra of Opera North is back again the following night – this time for A Classic Summer’s Evening under the stars in Millennium Square. They’re putting together an almighty setlist of the finest orchestral masterpieces from their huge repertoire, as well as a few crowd favourites that will make this concert a must-see. The orchestra will be led by conductor Renato Balsadonna and he’ll be joined by the internationally acclaimed soloist Rafael Rojas, who’s best known for his turns in Turandot and Andrea Chénier.

A Classic Summer’s Evening comes to Millennium Square on Saturday 28th July 2018.

Brassed Off Live

Brassed Off Live

Special thanks to Steve Abbott, Mark Herman, Robert Lipson, Jim Carter. 
Brought to you by the Royal Albert Hall by arrangement with Film4 and Prominent Features Limited. “MIRAMAX®” and the “MIRAMAX” Logo are the registered trademarks, trademarks and service marks of Miramax, LLC.

This is your chance to see iconic British film Brassed Off as never before. Grimethorpe Colliery Band and the Orchestra of Opera North will take to the stage to perform the film’s score as it plays on a huge high definition screen. Inspired by the story of Grimethorpe 10 years after the miners’ strike, the town’s industry and livelihood are under threat once again, and the miners have to decide if they’re going to fight the mine’s closure or take redundancy. The colliery band is also facing its end and they enter the national brass band competition to show they can’t be beaten, but can they make it through to the finals?

Brassed Off Live comes to Millennium Square on Sunday 29th July 2018.

Sounds of Asia

South Asian Arts-uk are taking over Millennium Square to put on a special free concert for the Summer Series. Expect a programme of live music that spans the whole Asian continent, from traditional Chinese songs to Indian ragas, classical crossovers and unique covers. It starts with Sounds of the Zither, featuring music played on a unique stringed instrument, followed by Score It, where you’ll hear film scores with an Asian twist. The night ends with Jugalbandi, a performance of music played on the sitar and sarangi.

Sounds of Asia comes to Millennium Square on Wednesday 1st August 2018.

The Pretenders & Lightning Seeds

The Pretenders

You’ve got a doubleheader of rock legends coming to Millennium Square for the Summer Series. First up is Liverpool’s Lightning Seeds, the classic 90s Britpop favourites who are responsible for hits like ‘Lucky You’, ‘Marvellous’ and ‘The Life of Riley’. They’ll be followed by The Pretenders, led by the iconic Chrissie Hyde, for a run through their greatest hits, from ‘Brass in Pocket’ to ‘Don’t Get Me Wrong’ and ‘I’ll Stand by You’, as well as tunes from their latest album ‘Alone’.

The Pretenders & Lightning Seeds play Millennium Square on Friday 3rd August 2018.



The original line-up of 80s icons Bananarama is back together and they’re coming to Millennium Square to perform a special concert that will mark the start of this year’s Leeds Pride celebrations in the city. They were once the biggest girl group in the world as they rolled out hits like ‘It Ain’t What You Do…’, ‘Cruel Summer’ and the international smash hit ‘Venus’. They’ve enlisted a bit of help to get you moving before their show starts – radio favourite Sara Cox will be dishing out the 80s party anthems once the gates open.

Bananarama play Millennium Square on Saturday 4th August 2018.

Brutus Gold’s Love Train

Brutus Gold's Love Train

Disco king Brutus Gold will make his long-awaited return to Leeds with his legendary 70s throwback party. The show begins with local disco DJ Steve Luigi on the decks, before Patric Duvet and his dancers get you warmed up with a few moves. Former Rose Royce singer Gwen Dickey will then perform a set of their iconic hits like ‘Car Wash’, ‘Is It Love You’re After’ and ‘Wishing on a Star’, ahead of the arrival of The Love Train. Brutus will be joined by his team of disco dancing stars Chad Valley, Disco Dick and Polly Ester for a night of classic anthems that will get you moving under the stars.

Brutus Gold’s Love Train comes to Millennium Square on Friday 10th August 2018.

Simple Minds

Simple Minds

You can see one of the most successful British bands of all time at this year’s Summer Series in Millennium Square as Simple Minds run through their incredible back catalogue. You can hear all the classics from ‘Alive & Kicking’ to ‘Promised You a Miracle’, ‘Sanctify Yourself’ and, of course, ‘Don’t You (Forget About Me)’, as well as a few tunes from their new album ‘Walk Between Worlds’. To get the show started, they’ve invited Scottish singer-songwriter KT Tunstall to play through some of her greatest hits.

Simple Minds play Millennium Square on Saturday 11th August 2018.

The Vamps

The Vamps

This one’s for the kids – The Vamps are one of the most popular boy bands in the UK, picking up the mantle from One Direction. They’ve sold out arenas around the world and played The O2 Arena a staggering 20 times – quite a feat for a band who only formed in 2012. They’ll be showing off the tunes that sent their third record ‘Night & Day’ to number 1 last year, their first-ever chart-topping album, as well as a few of their most popular early tunes. Look out for support act New Hope Club – they could be the next big thing.

The Vamps play Millennium Square on Sunday 12th August 2018.

Dirty Dancing

The Luna Cinema takeover of Millennium Square kicks off with 80s classic Dirty Dancing. You’ll be thrown into the world of Baby and Johnny at this outdoor cinema screening, as they spend a summer of love and adventure together. It’s backed up by one of the most famous soundtracks of all time, so get ready to hear hits like ‘Hungry Eyes’, ‘Hey Baby’ and ‘(I’ve Had) The Time Of My Life’. Why not go premium? You can get the best seats in the house with a complimentary drink and priority bar access.

Dirty Dancing comes to Millennium Square on Friday 17th August 2018.

The Greatest Showman

The Greatest Showman is one of the most popular movies of 2018 and you can enjoy this musical phenomenon under the stars at this year’s Summer Series. It’s inspired by the life and work of P.T. Barnum, the man who founded the world famous Barnum & Bailey Circus. The film celebrates the start of what we know today as show business. Starring Hugh Jackman, Zac Efron and Michelle Williams, this is a smash hit and you can enjoy a singalong screening featuring tunes like ‘This is Me’, ‘A Million Dreams’ and ‘From Now On’. Why not go premium? You can get the best seats in the house with a complimentary drink and priority bar access.

The Greatest Showman comes to Millennium Square on Saturday 18th August 2018.

The Italian Job

The Summer Series rounds off with a very special screening of the original 1969 version of British classic The Italian Job. The film will be shown as a full live orchestra plays the movie’s iconic soundtrack. The evening will kick off with a special pre-recorded introduction from the film’s star Michael Caine. His character, Charlie Croker, has plans to steal $4 million worth of gold ingots from Turin and escape to Switzerland by manufacturing a traffic jam as a distraction. Why not go premium? You can get the best seats in the house with a complimentary drink and priority bar access.

The Italian Job comes to Millennium Square on Sunday 19th August 2018.

Terms & Conditions. Offer valid on selected events, including Plan B, Tony Hadley, Bananarama, The Vamps, Pretenders and Simple Minds. Subject to availability – there are a limited number of offer tickets, once these have sold out, the code will no longer work. Cannot be used in conjunction with any other offer. Cannot be used retrospectively. The promoter reserves the right to withdraw this offer at any time without notice. Cover image credit: Tom Arber.

More events to be announced – find out what else they’re planning.