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

30 Absolutely Unmissable Events in Leeds This Month

· Joseph Sheerin · Culture

Every month, we round up the best events taking place in the city, so you won’t miss a thing.

Light Night

From unmissable operas to gigs and comedy, make October one to remember with these amazing events.

It’s going to be a jam-packed month in Leeds. There are loads of events taking place across the city, from huge beer festivals to artistic celebrations, endless stand-up comedy and loads of must-see concerts. There’s even a whole weekend dedicated to Yorkshire puddings! But all that only scratches the surface of what’s going on in Leeds in October, so clear your diary, call your mates and make big plans for what will be a busy old month.

Leeds City Museum Living With Machines

Living With Machines. If you think you know everything about the Industrial Revolution, this incredible exhibition at Leeds City Museum will change that. They’ve teamed up with The British Library for Living With Machines – it’s open now until January 2023. Get ready to see how machinery of the past shaped the world we live in today.

Oktoberfest Leeds. The first day of October brings your last chance to visit the annual Oktoberfest bonanza at Chow Down. Expect steins, bratwursts and lederhosen as the oompah band takes to the stage with back-to back hits that will have you on your feet dancing. Not to be missed.

Austentatious. Want to see the world of Jane Austen like never before? Head to City Varieties on Monday 3rd and Tuesday 4th October 2022 to see Austentatious. This is an improvised comedy play that takes Austen to new places – actors dressed up in Regency period costume will create a ‘lost’ Austen novel with your help.

Milton Jones. He’s the prince of the punchline – no matter how barmy it may be. Now you can see Milton Jones in all his stand-up glory when he comes to City Varieties on Thursday 6th October 2022. As seen on Mock the Week, he has a mind like few others, one that comes to the fore during his new show, ‘Impossible’, where he reveals all about being an international spy – or is he?

Maisie Adam. She’s the don of ‘The Dip’, now Pannal native Maisie Adam makes something of a homecoming when she brings her biggest stand-up tour to date, ‘Buzzed’, to City Varieties on Friday 7th October 2022. Get ready for witty observations, loads of energy and some ruddy good jokes as one of the bright new things of British comedy continues her way to stardom.

In the Night Garden. Looking for a family-friendly trip to the theatre this month? Head to Leeds Playhouse for In the Night Garden Live. This toddler favourite is brought to life on stage for six shows on Friday 7th and Saturday 8th October 2022. Igglepiggle, Upsy Daisy and co will be looking for their friends by following all their funny sounds until they’ve found them all.

James Taylor. One of the great songwriters of modern times, James Taylor returns to First Direct Arena on Saturday 8th October 2022 with his All-Star Band. It’s going to be a hit-filled set from the multiple Grammy award-winner, taking you from ‘You’ve Got a Friend’ to ‘Fire and Rain’, ‘Sweet Baby James’ and ‘Carolina In My Mind’.

Leeds Indie Autumn Market. A true celebration of all the incredible creativity found in Yorkshire, the Leeds Indie Market returns for an autumn special at Kirkstall Brewery on Saturday 8th October 2022. There’ll be everyone from artists and creators to bakers and makers hosting stalls – snaffle sweet treats, get lunch, take home gin, pick up a host of homewares. Do one, do them all!

Aitch. One of the breakout British rappers of recent years, the past 12 months have been huge for Manchester’s Aitch. He’s gone platinum, been nominated for BRITs and collaborated some of the biggest names in music. Now he’s just released his debut full-length LP, ‘Close to Home’, which he’ll be bringing to O2 Academy Leeds on Saturday 8th October 2022.

Al Murray. The Pub Landlord is back and ready to lead the good people of Britain into a new era. The tumult of the past few years has led to uncertainty, but the people’s man of the people has all the answers. It’s knowledge built up from endless lock-ins, so if you’re gasping for a pint of common sense, head to City Varieties on Wednesday 12th and Thursday 13th October 2022.

Light Night 2022. The original Light Night is back on Thursday 13th and Friday 14th October 2022. The Leeds edition was the first of its kind in the UK and it’s still going strong after 17 years. This year’s theme is ‘Playful City’ and more than 50 light installations, dynamic projections and interactive artworks will take over some of the city’s most iconic landmarks for a two-day cultural spectacular.

Jason Manford. He’s now a cornerstone of popular British comedy, so don’t miss your chance to see Jason Manford live at First Direct Arena on Friday 14th October 2022. After the success of his last show, ‘Muddle Class’, Manford is back with ‘Like Me’, win which he’ll regale you with incredible observational comedy and hilarious stories.

Orpheus In the Record Shop. A new take on Orpheus comes to Leeds Playhouse as part of Opera North’s special season, from Thursday 13th to Saturday 15th October 2022. This is a truly modern version, set in a record shop, fusing spoken word and beatboxing with classical music as Orpheus goes on an adventure where music, myth and reality collide.

Chrissie Hynde. This is going to be special. Pretenders singer-songwriter and guitarist Chrissie Hynde is heading out on a tour of legendary UK venues this month and that of course brings her to the Brudenell Social Club in Leeds on Friday 14th October 2022. She’ll be running through some of her favourite Pretenders tunes, from ‘Don’t Get Me Wrong’ to ‘Brass in Pocket’.

Orpheus. Opera North are showing off their reimagination of Monteverdi’s Orpheus at Leeds Grand Theatre from Friday 14th to Saturday 22nd October 2022. East meets West as Indian music combines with Western baroque classical to soundtrack this epic tale of love and loss that starts with Orpheus and Eurydice’s wedding and ends with Orpheus trying to rescue her from death.

The Tea Street Band Live at Leeds, The Wardrobe

Live at Leeds In the City. Now moved to October from May thanks to the addition of Live at Leeds In the Park, the city venue hopping music festival returns on Saturday 15th October 2022. This year you can look forward to headline sets from the likes of Pale Waves, Sundara Karma and White Lies, alongside sets from Sea Power, Gruff Rhys and Los Bitchos.

Pavement. In something of a coup for Leeds, Pavement are heading to the city as part of their first UK tour in over a decade – you can catch this hugely influential group at O2 Academy on Monday 17th October 2022. This will be a career-spanning set, promising almost completely different songs from one night to the next, as they confirm their status as rock royalty.

Bon Iver. It’s been more than two years in the making but Wisconsin band Bon Iver finally makes their return to Leeds for his First Direct Arena show on Wednesday 19th October 2022. Four albums in 14 years is by no means prolific but the Justin Vernon-led group have created four iconic, resonant works that will stand the test of time.

The Coral

Harry Hill. Those famous shirt collars are coming back to Leeds as Harry Hill brings his latest show ‘Pedigree Fun!’ to City Varieties on Thursday 20th October 2022. After a break due to the pandemic, Hill has rediscovered his love of stand-up, so this new set will see him at his barmiest, silliest best. You’ll even get to meet Sarah, the new baby elephant and Ian, The Information Worm!

The Coral. It’s 20 years since The Coral released their seminal self-titled album, which went on to be one of the best-selling debut records of all time. Now, singer and songwriter James Skelly will be joined by keyboardist Nick Power for an evening of conversation at City Varieties on Saturday 22nd October 2022, with audience questions and acoustic songs.

Sugababes. They’re one of the most successful pop groups of all time – six No. 1 singles, millions of sales around the world and multiple multi-platinum albums. Not bad, eh? Now you can see Sugababes at O2 Academy Leeds on Sunday 23rd October 2022. The iconic original line-up of Siobhan Donaghy, Mutya Buena and Keisha Buchanan will be running through their greatest hits.

Graham Coxon In Conversation. Blur guitarist and indie legend Graham Coxon is heading out on an intimate 4-date tour to mark the release of his long-awaited memoir, ‘Verse, Chorus, Monster!’ He’s heading to the Brudenell on Wednesday 26th October 2022 for a chat with BBC 6Music’s Matt Everitt about the book, life, music, addiction, art and more.

Orfeo ed Euridice. Not content with just two celebrations of Orpheus this month, Opera North brings Orfeo ed Euridice to Leeds Grand Theatre on Wednesday 26th and Friday 28th October 2022. This is a special concert performance based on Christoph Willibald Gluck’s version, which takes you on Orfeo’s mission through Hades to rescue Euridice.

Twelfth Night & Macbeth. Leeds Conservatoire are taking over Leeds Playhouse for two nights of Shakespearean drama. First up is the bloody tragedy of Macbeth on Thursday 27th October 2022, where ruthless ambition causes the downfall of a warrior. On Saturday 29th October 2022, you can enjoy Twelfth Night, a timeless tale of unrequited love and mistaken identity.

Northern Monk Refectory, Leeds

Midlake. It’s been almost a decade since Midlake released the acclaimed ‘Antiphon’, their first album since the departure of original vocalist Tim Smith, and that time away could have seen the end of the group. Happily, they’ve reemerged with ‘For the Sake of Bethel Woods’, a tour de force of Americana, which they’ll showing off at the Brudenell on Friday 28th October 2022.

Dark Arts. Want to end the month with a feast of live music? Get down to Dark Arts at Belgrave Music Hall on Saturday 29th October 2022. It brings together some of the best new indie and post-punk groups in the UK right now. Through the day, enjoy the sounds of Car Boot Sale, Fräulein and Damefrisør, before sets from Deep Tan, Opus Kink, English Teacher and Walt Disco.

Dark and Wild City 2022. For the first time since 2019, Northern Monk are bringing Dark and Wild City to their Old Flax Store HQ in Holbeck. This is a celebration of beer, the darker the better. From imperial stouts to saisons, milds to sours, a host of brilliant breweries will be pouring all kinds of dusky delights. Expect street food, live music and DJs on Saturday 29th October 2022 too.

Porridge Radio. Indie rockers Porridge Radio released their sixth album in seven years in May 2022 and it’s one of the best records of the year. Now they’re heading out on a huge UK tour, including their biggest Leeds headline show to date at Leeds Irish Centre on Sunday 30th October 2022. Hear tunes from ‘Waterslide, Diving Board, Ladder to the Sky’ and more.

London Film Music Orchestra. If you love the music of Hans Zimmer and John Williams, this is the event for you this month. The London Film Music Orchestra are coming to City Varieties for a special concert under the light of a giant moon projected behind the stage. Get ready to hear classics from E.T., Indiana Jones, Harry Potter and more on Sunday 30th October 2022.

Maggie Rogers. Her acclaimed 2019 debut album, ‘Hear It in a Past Life’, took Maggie Rogers to the attention of thousands, but her follow-up, ‘Surrender’ will take her into the stratosphere. It’s an ever-effective blend of indie rock and alternative pop with an electric edge – don’t miss her when she plays O2 Academy Leeds on Monday 31st October 2022.