From beer festivals to stand-up comedy, gigs to street food feasts, make this September 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 – you can enjoy major music festivals, foodie celebrations and family-friendly fun. But that only scratches the surface of what’s going on in Leeds this month, so clear your diary, call your mates and make big plans for what will be a busy old September…
Superheroes of Leeds. Head to The Tetley throughout September for a culture fix that celebrates our true local icons. Superheroes of Leeds is made up of 235 drawings and testimonies that show off the work and dedication of everyone from teachers to parents, binmen to nurses.
Leeds International Festival of Ideas. Armed with an ambitious programme of events, the Leeds International Festival of Ideas returns this month. Leading names like Sir Lenny Henry, Gina Martin and Kanya King will tackle everything from loneliness to equality through keynote events and panel discussions.
Eat Out Leeds 2021. The Real Junk Food Project and Super Friendz have teamed up with indie restaurants like Ox Club, Owt and House of Fu for a week of special dishes made using food that would otherwise end up in landfill. From 30th August to 5th September 2021, visit for food with added feel-good factor.
Leeds International Beer Festival. It’s back! We can finally get our beery goodness on at Leeds Town Hall from Thursday 2nd to Sunday 5th September 2021. Breweries from near and far will descend upon the city to pour out tasty tipples, complete with local street food vendors and live entertainment.
Film & Food Fest 2021. Get ready for four days of outdoor cinema, street food, comedy, short films and music at Roundhay Park from Thursday 2nd to Sunday 5th September 2021. But what will you see? Singalong to Grease, rock out to Bohemian Rhapsody and go on a journey with Joaquin Phoenix’s Joker.
Dangerous Liaisons. Northern Ballet are back with a passionate adaptation of Dangerous Liaisons. Head to Leeds Grand from Thursday 2nd to Saturday 11th September 2021 to be transported to 18th-century France for a bold story of sexual power, cruelty and deceit set to Vivaldi’s The Four Seasons.
Harewood Picnic Proms. Get ready for three nights of live music at Harewood House from Friday 3rd to Sunday 5th September 2021. The Picnic Proms open with Alfie Boe, before Saturday welcomes The Great Yorkshire Proms with Aled Jones. It closes with epic orchestral performances of Queen’s greatest hits.
Magic Goes Wrong. What happens when Magic Goes Wrong? You have until Saturday 4th September 2021 to find out! This hilarious new show at Leeds Grand follows a gang of hapless magicians. When they raise money for a good cause with their breathtaking range of jaw-droppings tricks, chaos ensues.
Slam Dunk. One of the country’s biggest punk and metal music festivals is taking over Temple Newsam on Saturday 4th September 2021. Much of the 2020 line-up have been rebooked alongside a few new stars to check out – get ready for heavyweight sets from the likes of Alkaline Trio, Don Broco and NOFX.
Elbow. They normally reserve their Leeds shows for the arena, so don’t miss your chance to see Mancunian legends Elbow in the intimate surroundings of the O2 Academy on Monday 6th September 2021. Get ready for a night of heartfelt, epic indie rock, with support from the brilliant Jesca Hoop.
An Evening With Phil Hay. The Athletic’s Leeds United journalist is a cult hero with Whites fans and he’s launching his new book And It Was Beautiful: The Rebirth of Leeds United at the Town Hall on Wednesday 8th September 2021. He’ll give you the inside track of the Bielsa revolution and the club as it is today.
Leeds International Piano Competition. This is one of the world’s most respected music competitions and it’s taking over the city from Wednesday 8th to Saturday 18th September 2021. From the competition’s finals to events, shows and exhibitions, this is a celebration of the world’s best young pianists.
80s Classical. You can experience some of the most iconic songs of the 80s at Millennium Square on Friday 10th September 2021. The likes of Jimmy Somerville, Nik Kershaw, Go West and Carol Decker will all be performing their original hits, reworked into incredible orchestral numbers.
Leeds Vintage Furniture & Home Fair. Head to Sunny Bank Mills in Farsley on Saturday 11th September 2021 for a feast of old school gems. You can rummage through 25 stalls of furniture, lighting, textiles and more, ranging from the Victorian to 80s modernism and everything in between.
The North Leeds Food & Drink Festival. This family-friendly foodie shindig is back at Roundhay Park on Saturday 11th and Sunday 12th September 2021. Get ready for tasty street food from local vendors, serving everything from burgers to burritos. There are cooking demos, artisan markets and live music too.
Zog. This all-singing, all-dancing production sees the much-loved Zog come to Leeds Town Hall on Saturday 11th and Sunday 12th September 2021. Zog is eager to win a gold star at Madam Dragon’s school, maybe too eager at times, but can he beat Sir Gadabout the Great in a duel? The kids will love finding out!
Leeds Jurassic Trail. 13 life-sized animatronic dinosaurs have taken over Leeds, and you have until Sunday 12th September 2021 to find them all. It’s the perfect family-friendly day out as you hunt out each dino, from the caged velociraptors in Trinity Kitchen to the Yorkshiresaurus in Kirkgate Market.
Ed Byrne. ‘If I’m Honest’ sees Ed Byrne in reflective mood and you can check out his latest show at City Varieties on Tuesday 14th September 2021. He’ll be taking a long hard look at himself to see if he has any traits that he’d be happy to pass on to his children – the answer might be ‘not many’!
Waitress. It’s been a West End smash, now hit musical comedy Waitress is coming to Leeds Grand from Tuesday 14th to Saturday 18th September 2021. When a good-looking doctor, played by Busted’s Matt Willis, arrives in town, waitress and expert pie-maker Jenna’s life (and pies) get turned upside down.
Courting. They’re one of the best new indie bands to come out of Liverpool in recent years and you can see Courting before they hit the big time at Oporto on Thursday 16th September 2021. They’ll be playing singles like ‘Popshop!’, ‘Grand National’ and ‘David Byrne’s Badside’, as well as a few new tunes.
The Luna Cinema. Head to Harewood House from Thursday 16th to Sunday 19th September 2021 for a weekend of cinematic joy in the great outdoors. They’re showing blockbusters like Top Gun, Dirty Dancing and a double bill of Downton Abbey and The Greatest Showman, as you enjoy a picnic on the lawn.
Let’s Rock Leeds. The UK’s leading 80s music festival returns to Temple Newsam on Saturday 18th September 2021. You can look forward to rolling back the years with a who’s who of a memorable musical decade. Headliners Adam Ant, OMD and ABC are joined by fellow legends like T’Pau and Kim Wilde.
Kneecap. They’re Irish, they’re provocative and they’re coming to Brudenell Social Club on Sunday 19th September 2021. Kneecap are Ireland’s fast rising hip-hop stars MCs Móglaí Bap and Mo Chara, along with DJ Provaí, who use Irish language for their tongue-in-cheek, politically charged poetry.
The Afternoon Comedy Gala. If you fancy a few laughs this month, head to O2 Academy Leeds on Sunday 19th September 2021. Seven comedians are taking to the stage – headliners Jon Richardson, Lost Voice Guy and Chris Washington will be joined by the likes of Lucy Beaumont and Micky P Kerr.
Johnny Marr. The former Smiths guitarist Johnny Marr is heading out on tour this month, stopping at Leeds University Union on Monday 20th September 2021. He’ll be playing through his three solo albums, ‘The Messenger’, ‘Playland’ and ‘Call the Comet’, alongside a few treats from the 80s and 90s.
World On Our Doorstep. You can enjoy all kinds of music in Chapel Allerton from Friday 24th to Sunday 26th September 2021. World On Our Doorstep is a celebration of global sounds at Seven Arts – hear everything from Punjabi folk to Japanese taiko drummers, Caribbean jazz and African blues.
Mint Festival. It’s one of the biggest dance music events in the UK and Mint Festival returns on Saturday 25th September 2021 at its new purpose-built home, Newsam Green Farm. Eats Everything, Patrick Topping and Maya Jane Coles are headlining, with 100 more artists performing across five stages.
Dracula: The Untold Story. Think you know Dracula? Think again! Head to Leeds Playhouse from Saturday 25th September 2021 to see Imitating the Dog’s new take on Bram Stoker’s story. It’s from the perspective of Mina Harker, the novel’s heroine, who reveals more death lies ahead after confessing to murder.
Genesis. You can see one of Britain’s greatest bands, maybe for the final time, on Monday 27th and Tuesday 28th September 2021. Genesis’ core line-up of Phil Collins, Mike Rutherford and Tony Banks have reunited to play hits like ‘Invisible Touch’, ‘I Can’t Dance’ and ‘Hold On My Heart’ at First Direct Arena.
Sir Ranulph Fiennes. He’s the world’s greatest living explorer and Sir Ranulph Fiennes is coming to Leeds Town Hall on Tuesday 28th September 2021. From being the first person to reach both Poles to crossing the Antarctic and Arctic Oceans, he’ll take you on a light-hearted yet moving journey through his life.