From unmissable theatre to gigs and comedy, make June one to remember with these amazing events.
June is here and there are loads of fantastic events to enjoy in Leeds. You’ve got immense food festivals, huge club nights and the return of a much-loved West End show. But that’s just the tip of the iceberg – so go ahead and find out what’s on in Leeds this June.
Picks of the Month
From the return of a massive musical to a huge food and drink festival – these are the events you won’t want to miss this June.
Cocktails in the City
Cocktails in the City is back at Leeds Town Hall for two nights of incredible concoctions. 20 of your favourite Leeds bars will come together under one roof to serve you one-off creations, made especially for the weekend. That’s not all – you can also take part in a series of unique tasting experiences, from sparkling martinis in the clock tower to a few drinks in the 31Dover.com Tasting Rooms. It’s not just booze – there’ll be street food and live music too.
Cocktails in the City takes over Leeds Town Hall on Friday 1st and Saturday 2nd June 2018.
Leeds Food and Drink Festival
For the eighth year in a row, the Leeds Food and Drink Festival will take over Millennium Square, but this year it has a new look and a new layout. You can tuck into dishes from the best local street vendors, with everything from Yorkshire pudding wraps to buffalo burgers as per usual. But for 2018 they’ve added a traditional British tea room and a new marquee bar selling craft beer, real ale, gin, cocktails, prosecco and Pimm’s, as well as a stage for live music throughout the weekend.
Leeds Food and Drink Festival takes over Millennium Square from Friday 1st to Sunday 3rd June 2018.
Let’s Rock! Leeds
Roll back the years at Temple Newsam this month – Let’s Rock! Leeds is back. It’s a family-friendly festival full of 1980s legends and this year’s headliners are Adam Ant, The Boomtown Rats and Soft Cell legend Marc Almond. They’ll be joined by a who’s who of 80s chart stars, from ABC to Aswad, The Christians and Captain Sensible.
Let’s Rock! Leeds takes over Temple Newsam on Saturday 16th June 2018.
Leeds CAMRA Beer Festival
It’s a new era for one of the city’s best beery events. Leeds CAMRA Beer Festival will mark its 25th anniversary by swapping Pudsey for the city centre as it takes over Leeds Beckett University for the first time. What they do isn’t changing though – you can still expect a host of brilliant cask ales, ciders and perries, as well as their biggest range of craft beer to date.
Leeds CAMRA Beer Festival takes over Leeds Beckett University from Thursday 7th to Saturday 9th June 2018.
You can see one of the biggest West End shows of all time as Wicked the Musical heads out on tour, stopping at Leeds Grand Theatre for a month-long run. You’ll go on a star-studded adventure through Oz, as Amy Ross takes on Elphaba and Helen Would plays Glinda. You’ll learn how L. Frank Baum’s classic characters take different paths to become Glinda The Good and the Wicked Witch of the West in a whirlwind show.
Wicked comes to Leeds Grand Theatre from Wednesday 13th June to Saturday 7th July 2018.
Food and Drink
Check out June’s top foodie events, from cheesy pop-ups to boozy festivals.
The Gin & Rum Festival
You can experience Leeds’ first ever festival dedicated to both gin and rum at Royal Armouries this month. Collect your free satchel with a gin & rum bible and a copa glass as you walk in, then take your pick from 60 different rums and 60 different gins served at 7 themed bars spread across the venue. That’s not all you have to look forward to – there will be street food, live music, talks and masterclasses.
Gin & Rum Festival takes over Royal Armouries on Friday 1st and Saturday 2nd June 2018.
Leeds Gin Festival
Love Mother’s Ruin? Make a beeline for Leeds Gin Festival. It’s returning to Leeds Town Hall with over 100 gins for you to try and there are a few that you won’t be able to find anywhere else in the city. You can try samples on the night, before working your way through your favourite tipples with a special G&T bar. They’ll also have gin tastings and cocktail masterclasses that are on throughout the weekend. And if you get hungry, they’ve lined-up some great street food.
Leeds Gin Festival takes over Leeds Town Hall from Friday 22nd to Sunday 24th June 2018.
Festival of Brewers
There’s a brand new beer festival taking place in Leeds this month. The Festival of Brewers comes from renowned beer critic Mike Hampshire – he wanted to put on an event that would become a platform for small, independent breweries. The result is a two-day shindig at New Craven Hall featuring the likes of Meanwood Brewery, Quirky Ales and Wilde Child Brewing Co. Expect keg and cask beers, as well as bottles and cans – you can even get a tutored beer tasting from Mike himself.
Festival of Brewers comes to New Craven Hall on Friday 29th and Saturday 30th June 2018.
Chateau Marmot & Shepherds Purse Secret Cheese Pop-Up
Chateau Marmot are making their long-awaited return to Leeds for a special cheese pop-up with Thirsk’s famous cheesemongers Shepherds Purse. You’ll be treated to a special 5-course menu cooked by Riverfield Food Kitchen chef Patrick Hanna and it will showcase how versatile and delicious cheese is. You’ll also enjoy specially paired wine, beer and cocktails throughout the night. There’s even a Q&A with the Shepherds Purse founders.
Chateau Marmot & Shepherds Purse Secret Cheese Pop-Up takes place at a secret city centre venue on Friday 29th and Saturday 30th June 2018.
North Leeds Food Festival
The North Leeds Food Festival will return to Roundhay Park this June. The main focus is the International Street Food Market, where you can try everything from pad Thai to churros, as well as over 30 different cuisines from around the world. They’ll also have a Fine Artisan Markets featuring the best local producers and a drinks lounge where you can get a beer, champagne or cocktails. And to top it all off, you can enjoy a packed line-up of live music, comedy and kids entertainment too.
North Leeds Food Festival takes place at Roundhay Park on Saturday 30th June and Sunday 1st July 2018.
Head to the city’s best music venues to see folk favourites, indie upstarts and reggae icons.
Philadelphia’s finest The Districts are back this month for a much-anticipated show at the Brudenell. After the huge success of their breakthrough second album ‘A Flourish and a Spoil’ in 2015, they released the follow-up ‘Popular Manipulations’ last year, and they’re making their way to Leeds to show off those typically irresistible indie hooks.
The Districts plays Brudenell Social Club on Friday 1st June 2018.
Catch one of America’s best folk artists at the Brudenell as Laura Veirs makes her return to Leeds. She’s been releasing records for nearly two decades – her self-titled album came out in 1999’s and since then she’s become a model of sheer consistency, releasing brilliant album after brilliant album. She’ll bring us her latest effort, ‘The Lookout’, as well as cuts from her previous 9 records.
Laura Veirs plays Brudenell Social Club on Sunday 3rd June 2018.
The Twilight Sad
Every time The Twilight Sad play the Brudenell it feels like a special show, so don’t miss this one-off festival warm-up gig in June. The Scottish indie trio have been hard at work on the follow up to 2014’s incredible fourth album ‘Nobody Wants to Be Here and Nobody Wants to Leave’ and this will be your first chance to hear what they’ve been up to.
The Twilight Sad play Brudenell Social Club on Saturday 16th June 2018.
You can see one of the finest modern pop artists of the 21st century this month as Rufus Wainwright plays a hugely anticipated show at Leeds Town Hall. It’s part of a summer jaunt around the UK, his first tour on these shores in 3 years, and he’ll be running through his entire back catalogue from breakthrough albums like ‘Poses’, ‘Want One’ and ‘Want Two’ through to his last effort, ‘Take All My Loves’.
Rufus Wainwright plays Leeds Town Hall on Tuesday 26th June 2018.
With a name like Marley, it comes as no surprise that Bob’s son Damien is now a bonafide reggae and hip-hop star in his own right. He comes to O2 Academy Leeds to support ‘Stony Hill’, his first solo album since 2005’s widely acclaimed ‘Welcome to Jamrock’. In that time, he’s not been quiet. He worked on “Distant Relatives’ with Nas and released the Set Up Shop series of compilations, but this is an exciting chance to see the return of one of the greats.
Damian Marley plays O2 Academy Leeds on Friday 29th June 2018.
Need a laugh? There’s a stellar line-up of stand-up comedians coming to Leeds this month.
Bill Bailey is one of the UK’s most popular comedians and he’s coming back to First Direct Arena after two years away as part of his ‘Larks in Transit’ tour. This show compiles 20 years of stories from life on the road as an in-demand stand-up comedian and he’ll be tackling politics, philosophy and the pursuit of happiness along the way. As ever, you can expect him to mix his weird and wonderful musical compositions in with the laughs.
Bill Bailey comes to First Direct Arena on Friday 8th June 2018.
You can see one of the UK’s fastest rising comedians in Leeds this month as part of a trio of special preview performances. James Acaster has become a star thanks to appearances on shows like Mock the Week and 8 Out of 10 Cats Does Countdown and now he’s about to head out on his ‘Cold Lasagne Hate Myself’ tour. You’ll get an early glimpse of his new material as part of an intimate warm-up for the rest of his dates.
James Acaster comes to The Wardrobe on Saturday 9th, Sunday 10th and Monday 11th June 2018.
A night with Doug Stanhope is not for the faint-hearted. He’s one of the most controversial comedians in the USA and he’s coming to Leeds for a rare show. He’s forthright, he’s vulgar and he’s very funny, but he’s definitely not everyone’s cup of tea. Expect to hear tales and jokes about everything from real life perversion to raging social criticism as he puts the world to absolute rights.
Doug Stanhope comes to O2 Academy Leeds on Monday 11th June 2018.
One thing that comedy legend David Baddiel promises with his new show, ‘My Family: Not the Sitcom’, is that you should expect to be offended. Not in a way that will make you storm out of the theatre, but rather, one that will have you rolling in the aisles. It’s a show about family life, and all its weirdness, taking you from his sex-mad mother Sarah to stories about memories, ageing and gay cats. After selling out two West End runs and venues across the UK, it’s a must-see performance.
David Baddiel comes to City Varieties on Friday 22nd and Saturday 23rd June 2018.
Flight of the Conchords
Flight of the Conchords is back. Jemaine Clement and Bret McKenzie are returning with a massive UK tour, their first in 7 years, and it will see them play First Direct Arena for the very first time. The hilarious New Zealand duo gained popularity for their zany TV series, but they have always been a live act first and foremost – expect to hear all their greatest tunes, like ‘Inner City Pressure’, ‘Business Time’ and ‘I Told You I Was Freaky’, as well as new material performed live for the first time.
Flight of the Conchords comes to First Direct Arena on Sunday 24th June 2018.
From magical musicals to incredible dramas, there’s plenty on at the city’s theatres.
This is Elvis
Get ready to relive the music of The King in This is Elvis at Leeds Grand Theatre. Steve Michaels becomes the man himself this June as he takes you back 50 years to 1968 and to the scene of his first live TV Las Vegas special. It’s the show that re-established Elvis as a worldwide superstar and you’ll see all the drama in the lead up to the performance – expect to hear all the hits from ‘Suspicious Minds’ to ‘Heartbreak Hotel’.
This is Elvis comes to Leeds Grand Theatre from Monday 4th to Saturday 9th June 2018.
Verve – Finale
Verve return home to The Riley Theatre for one last performance after their mammoth tour of the UK and Europe. It’s your final opportunity to see the incredible group of dancers that make up the postgraduate company of the Northern School of Contemporary Dance take on captivating works by choreographers Hannes Langolf, Sita Ostheimer, Lenk Vagnerová and Matthew Robinson.
Verve – Finale comes to The Riley Theatre on Saturday 9th June 2018.
You can see the most legendary work of Alan Bennett’s career this month. Talking Heads returns to West Yorkshire Playhouse, featuring six monologues that are split in half on alternate nights – one night you can see the stories of Graham, Peggy and Muriel, while the next it’s Susan, Doris and Irene. They’re iconic pieces that are equally witty and poignant – see one set or see both, either way, they’re must-see.
Talking Heads takes over West Yorkshire Playhouse from Thursday 14th to Saturday 23rd June 2018.
Berlin to Broadway
Kurt Weill is one of the best musical theatre composers of the 20th century and Berlin to Broadway is a new show designed to tell his story. Performers from Opera North and West Yorkshire Playhouse have teamed up to take you from his early life in Germany to his timeless collaborations with Bertolt Brecht. The world of cabaret comes to the fore, as you experience the smoky cafes of 1920s Berlin and the glamourous theatres of Broadway in the 1940s, listening to tracks like ‘Mack the Knife’ and ‘September Song’ along the way.
Berlin to Broadway comes to West Yorkshire Playhouse from Friday 15th to Thursday 21st June 2018.
Searching for the Heart of Leeds
Phoenix Dance Theatre is behind this innovative show – Searching for the Heart of Leeds will see them perform real stories gathered from over 200 people from across the city. These stories form the backdrop of a show that follows two lost Loiners looking for the answer to a very simple question – ‘what makes Leeds, Leeds?’. It brings together music, dance and real life in a brilliant show that strikes close to home.
Searching for the Heart of Leeds comes to West Yorkshire Playhouse from Tuesday 19th to Saturday 23rd June 2018.
Another month, another batch of intriguing exhibitions for you to see in Leeds’ galleries.
They Were My Landscape by Phoebe Kiely
Head to Village throughout June to see the work of Manchester-based artist Phoebe Kiely. They Were My Landscape features a selection of black and white photographs that highlight the contrasts between her urban and suburban surroundings, focusing on both people and architecture. You’ll go from cracked concrete to a smoking teen at a bus stop in an instant as she tries to find a sense of self.
They Were My Landscape by Phoebe Kiely takes over Village Bookstore and Gallery until Sunday 1st July 2018.
Abstract Expression of the Yorkshire Landscape
See the green of God’s Own Country in a way you’ve never seen before at Abstract Expression of the Yorkshire Landscape. It showcases the work of Croatian artist Leyla Murr. She uses colour and texture in her Bingley studio to explore the point at which reality and abstraction meet. The result is a series of intriguing works that give new life to the countryside we’re all so fond of.
Abstract Expression of the Yorkshire Landscape takes over Left Bank Leeds from Thursday 7th June to Thursday 26th July 2018.
Andy Holden and Peter Holden: Natural Selection
Don’t miss the next big exhibition at Leeds Art Gallery as Natural Selection opens on 8th June 2018. The five-year collaboration between artist Andy Holden and his ornithologist father Peter Holden brings together videos, objects, sculptures and animation as they attempt to celebrate the diversity of natural forms through the lives of birds.
Andy Holden and Peter Holden: Natural Selection takes over Leeds Art Gallery from Friday 8th June to Sunday 2nd June 2018.
Leeds Arts University Show 2018
You can see the next generation of artists showcase their work at the Leeds Arts University Show 2018. It features the degree compositions of graduating students and you can witness the incredible creativity of young people who came to Leeds to study. There will also be a chance to buy prints, cards, stationery and artworks from the students exhibiting at their Art Market.
Leeds Arts University Show 2018 takes over the Blenheim Walk and Vernon Street campuses from Saturday 9th to Thursday 14th June 2018.
These Northern Types
Get ready to question what it’s like to be from the North, what makes the North what it is in the 21st century and whether we’re losing our identity in These Northern Types. It’s an exciting new exhibition from Split design studio that includes a giant People Powered Press, ink made from chip shop gravy and an application to trademark ‘The North’. This thought-provoking show celebrates Northern identity and coincides with a book that features 15 works from the exhibition.
These Northern Types takes over Sunny Bank Mills from Saturday 23rd June to Sunday 22nd July 2018.
Clubnights & DJs
From iconic soul club nights to celebrations of house music, get yourself down to Leeds’ clubs this March.
Leeds Central Soul Club All Dayer
Fancy a day of Northern Soul? Head to The HiFi Club for the return of the Leeds Central Soul Club All Dayer. It’s back in the same venue that it started at in 1968, so there’s no better way to celebrate 50 years of classic tunes this June. You can hear all the original sounds from across the Atlantic between 1pm and 8pm.
Leeds Central Soul Club All Dayer comes to The HiFi Club on Sunday 10th June 2018.
The T Party
Leeds’ own bassline icon Danny T is putting on his biggest hometown show to date as The T Party takes over Church. Expect surprise guests and live vocalists, as well as a huge pyrotechnics show with a state of the art sound system and lighting. Once the show’s over, make a beeline for Mint Club where the Afterparty welcomes the likes of Burgaboy, Jamie Duggan and Josh Weekes.
The T Party comes to Church on Friday 15th June 2018.
Second to None Summer Jam
There’s a feast of garage, grime and drum & bass at The Old Red Bus Station this month as Second to None present their Summer Jam. Get ready for a massive rave with a stacked bill taking you into the early hours – they’ve already confirmed the likes of Mikey B, Vital Techniques, MC Pean, Dialect, Sketchi and Bluff.
Second to None Summer Jam comes to The Old Red Bus Station on Friday 22nd June 2018.
30 Years of House
Go on a journey through the history of house music this month as The House Project takes over the intimate surroundings of Blueberry Hill Studios. It’s an impressive bill which is headlined by The Hoxton Whores, a duo who’ve been responsible for over 800 dance floor hits over the years. They’ll be joined by Audiodamage, Dancing Divaz and Stefan Groove to show you the best tunes from the 1980s to the present day.
30 Years of House comes to Blueberry Hill Studios on Saturday 30th June 2018.
There’s a special party going on at Sheaf Street Cafeteria this month – the Balearic Yarden celebrates 30 years of the Balearic Beat, taking you all the way back to 1988 when dance music invaded Ibiza. It’s put together by renowned party hosts Clandestino who’ve bagged DJ Alfredo, Feelings and Field of Dreams to man the decks.
Balearic Yarden comes to Sheaf Street Cafeteria on Saturday 30th June 2018.
Families have plenty to look forward to this month, with theatre, family raves and a chance to learn about an iconic pirate.
Delve into the human brain with the little ones this month at Bright Sparks. It’s a theatre show that looks at why people are different. Take Links and Rex for example, they’re best friends, but they’re not the same. Links is logical and likes order in his life, while Rex is more creative and imaginative. It means they sometimes fall out, but they know how to make up with each other as you’ll find out in this touching, funny performance.
Bright Sparks comes to Carriageworks Theatre on Friday 1st June 2018.
Peppa Pig’s Adventure Live!
Peppa Pig’s back in Leeds to take you on a brand new adventure. She’s going on a camping trip with George and her school pals Pedro Pony, Suzy Sheep and Gerald Giraffe. They pack their lunches and set off in Daddy Pig’s bus, before setting up camp ready for an exciting outdoor escapade. Expect games, laughter and live music as they find muddy puddles to play in.
Peppa Pig’s Adventure Live! comes to West Yorkshire Playhouse on Saturday 9th and Sunday 10th June 2018.
The Man Who Planted Trees
The Man Who Planted Trees is unlike any other show in Leeds this month – it’s a multi-sensory adaptation of a classic Jean Giono story about saving the environment. It uses puppets, drama and music to tell the incredible story of a shepherd who plants a forest, acorn by acorn, and it shows you how one man (with help from his trusted pooch) can make a difference to the world.
The Man Who Planted Trees comes to Carriageworks on Saturday 16th June 2018.
Down the Rabbit Hole
Go Down the Rabbit Hole with DJ Rob Tissera as the original family-friendly rave returns to Leeds. Tissera is one of the city’s most popular DJs and he’s got an eclectic mix of house and old skool classics lined up for the whole family to enjoy. The venue will be transformed into an Alice in Wonderland themed party, so don your best fancy dress and get ready to use the bubbles, glow sticks, glitter and balloons, plus loads more that the kids can play with.
Down the Rabbit Hole takes over Leeds University Union on Saturday 23rd June 2018.
Ooh-arr! Royal Armouries is going pirate-mad this month as they tell the story of the notorious 18th-century British pirate known as Blackbeard. It’s 300 years since his death this year and you’ll find out about this ragtag criminal who plundered the Caribbean seas. They’ve also got activities and exhibits about other warrior legends, as well as combat demonstrations, performances and a sticker book that could win you a prize.
Legends: Blackbeard comes to Royal Armrouies on Saturday 23rd and Sunday 24th June 2018.
There are loads of festivals to make the most of in June, whether you want vegan food, punk music or brass bands.
Black Dyke Brass Festival 2018
The world’s most famous brass band is back in Leeds this June. The Black Dyke Brass Band will perform alongside a range of soloists and The Yorkshire Youth Band. There’s something for everyone, from their James Bond 007 Suite to Dambusters, I’ll Walk With God, Pines of Rome and the world premiere of their new track with Philip Wilby.
Black Dyke Brass Festival 2018 takes over Leeds Town Hall on Sunday 3rd June 2018.
Head to The Wardrobe for the first ever Muzikantes Festival. It’s a celebration of traditional music and culture from ‘the heart of Europe’, an area between the Baltic, Balkan and Adriatic seas. The Ukrainians are bringing their blend of Baltic and Western rock for a headline show and they’ll be joined by an eclectic supporting cast, from the Klezmer roots of Kibbitz to the Carpathian instrumentals of Karpatsky Zvuki.
Muzikantes Festival takes over The Wardrobe on Saturday 16th June 2018.
The Great Yorkshire Vegan Festival
It doesn’t matter if you’re veggie, vegan or neither, The Great Yorkshire Vegan Festival is going to be one hell of a weekend. They have 130 stalls with everything from bakeries to activist organisations. You can tuck into street food from 15 different traders and grab a drink from the bar, as well as take part in cookery demonstrations, workshops and yoga classes. They’ve lined up activities for the kids to do and there will be live music on both days too.
The Great Yorkshire Vegan Festival takes over Leeds Town Hall on Saturday 16th and 17th June 2018.
Outbreak Fest 2018
Love hardcore punk? Get ready for Outbreak Fest 2018. It’s a two-day extravaganza dedicated to hardcore punk and the line-up is mouthwatering. You’ve got headliners like Code Orange and Turnstile, but there are loads more on offer. Floorpunch, Cro-Mags, Broken Teeth, Higher Power, Angel Dust and Twitching Tongues prove that this is going to be one hell of a weekend.
Outbreak Fest 2018 takes over Canal Mills on Saturday 16th and Sunday 17th June 2018.
Summer Solstice Festival
SAA-UK and Leeds College of Music are joining forces once again for the Summer Solstice Festival. It focuses on Indian classical music and culture at one of its most sacred times of year. You can expect performances from the likes of Dr. Jayanthi Kumaresh, Suhail Khan, Jasdeep Singh Degun and Gurdain Singh Rayatt. There will also be special mini-shows where you can hear early instruments, special lunchtime recitals and pre-show talks that will introduce you to each evening’s concerts.
Summer Solstice Festival comes to Leeds College of Music on Thursday 21st and Friday 22nd June 2018.
Best of the Rest
From evenings with famous faces to cinematic festivities at Kirkstall Abbey, this is the best of the rest this March.
Dan Snow: An Evening with the History Guy
Delve back into the past at An Evening with the History Guy. Dan Snow is a noted historian and broadcaster whose BBC documentaries have won him an army of fans. From How the Celts Saved Britain to 1066: A Year to Conquer England, he’s a trusted voice on our screens and now he’s heading out on tour to regale you with tales from his career, as well as sharing a few facts about Leeds.
An Evening with Dan Snow takes over City Varieties on Saturday 2nd June 2018.
Leeds Print Fair
If you love art, make a beeline for Holy Trinity Church this month. The Leeds Print Fair brings together 49 artists and designers from around Yorkshire and gives you the opportunity to meet and buy work from the artists in person. Prices for original pieces of art start at just £5 with everything from prints to textiles on offer on the day.
Leeds Print Fair takes over Holy Trinity Church on Saturday 9th June 2018.
Sneaky Experience Kirkstall Abbey Takeover
Sneaky Experience return to Kirkstall Abbey for their first cinematic extravaganza of the summer. They’re kicking off their weekend with a cult classic – don’t miss 80s favourite The Goonies. You can take part in a shuffle-off, party in the 80s cabaret tent and have a drink in the Pirates Rum Shack before watching the film. The following day, there will be a Pirates and Mermaids Family Experience in the morning with loads of fun activities for the kids, followed by a showing of The Princess Bride in the afternoon, which will be complete with a quote-off, sword sparring lessons and a wedding chapel.
Sneaky Experience Kirkstall Abbey Takeover takes place on Friday 15th and Saturday 16th June 2018.
The Leeds Teenage Market is back this month to show off the wares of entrepreneurial local teens. There’ll be everything from hand-crafted items to unique t-shirts, vintage records and artwork for sale – and anything you spend will go directly to the teenagers who are behind it.
Teenage Market comes to Leeds Kirkgate Market on Saturday 16th June 2018.
An Evening with Brian Blessed
You can expect to be enthralled at An Evening with Brian Blessed this month. He’s the ultimate larger-than-life-character, a giant of an actor on the screen and stage, and he’s coming to Leeds armed with an arsenal of incredible tales about his life, as well as his roles in the likes of Flash Gordon, Black Adder and I Claudius.
An Evening with Brian Blessed takes over Leeds Town Hall on Friday 29th June 2018.