Easter bank holiday weekend is just around the corner – but just what will you do in Leeds for the long weekend?
As ever, there’s a little something for everyone in Leeds this bank holiday, taking you from live music and huge shows to parties with the world’s best DJs – the only question is, what will you choose? Let us take you through your options before you make the big decision…
The city’s music venues are jam-packed this bank holiday weekend, with a mix of big arena raves, rock favourites and up and coming talent.
An unlikely collaboration fusing The Hacienda’s clubland legacy with the world of classical music has become one of the biggest arena success stories of the past year. Don’t miss it when it comes to Leeds on Easter weekend with legendary DJs Graeme Park and Mike Pickering playing alongside the Manchester Camerata Orchestra. They’ll be recreating the golden era of dance music from the 1980s and 1990s, and you won’t have experienced anything quite like it.
Hacienda Classical is at First Direct Arena on Friday 14th April 2017.
Tame Impala bassist Cameron Avery is breaking out on his own with the release of his debut solo album ‘Ripe Dreams, Pipe Dreams’. He’s coming to Leeds to show it off this bank holiday at Brudenell Social Club. It’s a breakaway from his time with the Aussie psych titans, expect lush orchestration, catchy hooks and lyrics dealing with modern romance, as Avery aims to capture the spirit of classic stars like Dean Martin and Frank Sinatra in his own, inimitable way.
Cameron Avery is at Brudenell Social Club on Friday 14th April 2017.
Pictish Trail is the musical moniker for Edinburgh musician Johnny Lynch. He comes to Leeds to perform his seventh album, ‘Future Echoes’ at Brudenell Social Club on Good Friday. The record features all the hallmarks of what has kept Pictish Trail so popular over the past 15 years – charming melancholy pop fused with shimmering electronic folk music.
The Pictish Trail plays Brudenell Social Club on Friday 14th April 2017.
The Saw Doctors
Irish rock legends The Saw Doctors are back in Leeds after an extended break with a rescheduled show from December. They’re yet to go back into the studio to make their first new album since 2010, but that means you can expect a set filled with rock anthems at O2 Academy Leeds this bank holiday. From ‘I Useta Lover’ to ‘N17’, ‘Hay Wrap’ and ‘That’s What She Said Last Night’, these 90s Irish icons still stand up to the test of time after 31 years in the business.
The Saw Doctors play O2 Academy Leeds on Saturday 15th April 2017.
The Easter weekend is the perfect opportunity to see one of the UK’s brightest singer-songwriters in Leeds. Jamie Isaac is coming to Headrow House ahead of the release of his as-yet-untitled debut album. Expect minimalist pop songs influenced by Isaac’s love of great jazz pianists like Dave Brubeck, Bill Evans and Teddy Wilson.
Jamie Isaac is at Headrow House on Saturday 15th April 2017.
One of Liverpool’s most promising new bands are invading Leeds during the Easter weekend. NYTCLUB come to Brudenell Social Club with their exciting brand of electronic pop music, blending r&b rhythms with infectious synth hooks and huge anthemic choruses heard on tracks like ‘Jewels’, ‘Dressed Up’ and ‘Call Your Friends’.
NYTCLUB play Brudenell Social Club on Saturday 15th April 2017.
Looking for something a bit heavier to get your bank holiday going? Stoner rockers True Widow will return to Leeds and that should do the trick. They’re bringing their new album ‘Avvolgere’ to Brudenell Social Club, showing off the lush, guitar driven melodies married with catchy pop hooks that have earned the new record critical acclaim.
True Widow play Brudenell Social Club on Saturday 15th April 2017.
It’s safe to say there won’t be another gig quite like Sabrina Chap’s this Easter weekend in Leeds. She’s back with her incredibly addictive mix of piano cabaret, showmanship and queer fun times. Expect rag-time classics mixed with hilarious comedic interludes that separate her from the crowd. She’s ably supported by Daniel Vs The World, Rae Spoon and Jesus and His Judgemental Father.
Sabrina Chap plays Wharf Chambers on Sunday 16th April 2017.
A Celebration of Prince
He may be gone, but Prince is certainly not forgotten. Celebrate the life and career of The Purple One at City Varieties this Easter weekend as Purple Rain make their way to Leeds. The full 8-piece live band promise a hit packed show featuring all your Prince favourites, from ‘Little Red Corvette’ to ‘When Doves Cry’, ‘Kiss’ and ‘Raspberry Beret’.
A Celebration of Prince is at City Varieties on Sunday 16th April 2017.
One of the pioneers of the post-rock genre from its birth in the 1990s, Trans AM are back in 2017 with their brand new 10th album, ‘Volume X’. Check them out at Brudenell Social Club this bank holiday in Leeds, as they show off its quite remarkable musicality. From huge explosions of synths to fuzzy guitar riffs, motor drum rhythms and ambient interludes, it’s Trans AM at their rocking best.
Trans Am is at Brudenell Social Club on Monday 17th April 2017.
Delve into Leeds’ cultural world this Easter weekend with stand-up comedy, big theatre shows and creative workshops.
Good Friday sees acclaimed comedian and podcast favourite Richard Herring return to City Varieties with a compilation of his finest material. He’s hand-picked his favourite routines from his 12 one-man shows, which are such a big highlight of the Edinburgh Festival, and crammed them all into one 90 minute show.
Richard Herring is at City Varieties on Friday 14th April 2017.
A Girl In School Uniform (Walks Into A Bar)
After a sell-out one-night performance back in September 2016, A Girl In School Uniform (Walks Into A Bar) is back at West Yorkshire Playhouse for two shows this Easter weekend. It follows Steph and Bell, a schoolgirl and a barmaid, who have to search for their missing friends when the apocalypse arrives and seeps into the theatre itself.
A Girl In School Uniform (Walks Into A Bar) is at West Yorkshire Playhouse on Friday 14th and Saturday 15th April 2017.
It’s nearly a decade since the King of Pop, Michael Jackson passed away, but his music still lives on, particularly in the award-winning West End show Thriller Live. It’s on a UK tour right now and comes to Leeds Grand Theatre across the bank holiday weekend. With two hours of amazing dance moves and non-stop hits from throughout Jackson’s career, including ‘ABC’, ‘The Way You Make Me Feel’ and ‘Dangerous’, it’s not to be missed.
Thriller Live is at Leeds Grand Theatre on Friday 14th and Saturday 15th April 2017.
Thoroughly Modern Millie
A Broadway smash hit is coming to Leeds Grand Theatre this bank holiday weekend. Spend your Easter Monday dancing along to Thoroughly Modern Millie, which takes us back to New York City’s Jazz Age, when social attitudes were changing. A classic musical, that’s good for all ages, this is a great night out.
Thoroughly Modern Millie is at Leeds Grand Theatre from Monday 17th April 2017.
Metal Stamped Jewellery Workshop
Fancy learning some cool new skills this Easter weekend? Darn It! Workshops are hosting their Metal Stamping Workshop at Aire Place Studios. During your session, you’ll learn how to make your own personalised hand-stamped jewellery, making using of different stamps, fonts and hammers. You choose what to make, will it be a bracelet, pendent or keyring – and you’ll be able to take your creations home with you.
Metal Stamped Jewellery Workshop is at Aire Place Studios on Sunday 16th April 2017.
Treat the family to a day out this bank holiday weekend in Leeds, with plays, workshops and dance shows.
Running Wild is an adaptation of the novel by renowned children’s writer Michael Rosen, which is based on a true story. This adaptation, by Samuel Adamson, follows Lilly on a trip to Indonesia with her mum where she rides an elephant called Oona. After a tsunami hits, they escape the perilous beach, but without her mother – how will Lilly survive in the rainforest, with all these hunters looking for an AWOL Oona?
Running Wild is at West Yorkshire Playhouse on Friday 14th and Saturday 15th April 2017.
A Dr Seuss Experience
Sneaky Experience have gone Dr Seuss crazy for their next takeover of Leeds Town Hall. In conjunction with Leeds Young Film Festival, they’re putting on ‘Whooo’s In The Hooose?’ featuring a cast of unique characters, interactive theatre and rhyming tasks that the kids will love. It’s hosted by Zing With The Spring with help from The Cheaky Sneakies, Dilly and Daffy, Egg With the Legs and Unicorn With A Flugelhorn.
A Dr Seuss Experience is at Leeds Town Hall from Friday 14th until Monday 17th April 2017.
After a sell-out event last year, Animation Central is back at Carriageworks Theatre this Easter weekend. With a host of world-leading animators putting on a range of workshops and shows for children between 4 and 12, it’s a definite winner for families. The kids can see previews of Disney Junior’s Mickey and the Roadster Races and Cartoon Network’s The Amazing World of Gumball, as well as taking part in creative tasks and hearing from the experts.
Animation Central is at Carriageworks Theatre from Friday 14th until Monday 17th April 2017.
The UK’s most popular dance troupe Diversity are back in Leeds with a brand new show at First Direct Arena this bank holiday weekend. Genesis forms part of the super hero fantasy format of their previous tours, and the former winners of Britain’s Got Talent will wow the whole family with their impressive repertoire of flips and tricks.
Diversity Genesis is at First Direct Arena on Saturday 15th April 2017.
Whether you want live music, retro gaming or film-themed fun for the kids, these are the festivals you need to know about during the Easter weekend.
Hop lovers rejoice – Leeds is going to be the Hop City during the Easter weekend. Head to Northern Monk, where they’ve teamed up with US hop growing collective Yakima Chief, Leeds Beer Week and Little Leeds Beer House to bring you a festival dedicated to hop-led beer styles – think IPAs, dry hopped sours and dark hoppy beers. You’ll get a rare chance to try out breweries from the US and Scandinavia, alongside plenty of UK favourites and street food to soak it all up.
Hop City is at Northern Monk Brew Co. from Thursday 13th to Saturday 15th April 2017.
The Good Friday Feast
Kick off the Easter weekend with The Good Friday Feast at Left Bank Leeds. It promises a night of quality street food and amazing live music until the early hours in this stunning venue. Heading up the bill is Leeds-based singer-songwriter Cara Hammond and 60s throwbacks The Dead Beats.
The Good Friday Feast is at Left Bank Leeds on Friday 14th April 2017.
((OHHMS)) & Hark All Dayer
Celebrate the long weekend with a jam-packed all-dayer of heavy post-rock brilliance at Temple of Boom. Kent sludge rock legends ((OHHMS)) and Welsh stoner rock favourites Hark will take on headlining duties, along with six more bands including Old Man Lizard, Underdark, Groak, Hundred Year Old Man and Groak.
((OHHMS)) & Hark All Dayer is at Temple of Boom on Saturday 15th April 2017.
Amigos All Dayer #2
Pop punk fans have an Easter feast to devour on the bank holiday weekend. The Amigos All Dayer is back with six quality bands ready to create a party atmosphere at The Key Club. Surrey-based Homebound lead the line-up and are joined by the likes of Woes, Coast to Coast, Better Than Never, Home Wrecked and Stone Hand.
Amigos All Dayer #2 is at The Key Club on Saturday 15th April 2017.
The UK’s biggest gaming festival is coming to Leeds for the first time during the Easter weekend. Taking over Elland Road, they’ll have a host of treats for gaming enthusiasts, from indie and modern games for PCs, consoles and mobiles to retro consoles, classic arcade machines and gaming tournaments. There’ll also be a cosplay contest and merchandise to buy.
Play Expo is at Elland Road on Sunday 16th April 2017.
Leeds Young Film Festival
The Leeds Young Film Festival spans either side of the bank holiday weekend, and there’s loads going on that the kids will love to make the most of. There’s an exhibition from Wallace & Gromit creators Aardman Animation, the UK’s first virtual reality experience for families, Reel Kids family film week at Hyde Park Picture House and much, much more.
Leeds Young Film Festival is on across Leeds from Monday 10th until Thursday 20th April 2017.
Make the most of the long weekend in Leeds’ clubs with a slew of huge nights taking place across the bank holiday.
FAC 51: The Hacienda
Relive the good old days at Church by kicking off the Easter weekend with FAC51: The Hacienda. The legendary Manchester club has transformed into a touring show of the best DJs of the 80s and 90s. The Leeds show will see Derrick Carter, a pioneer of the Chicago house scene, joined by the likes of Francois K, Mike Pickering, Graeme Park and Buckley, with New Order and Joy Division bassist Peter Hook also on the decks.
FAC 51: The Hacienda is at Church on Friday 14th April 2017.
All Night Long: The Ultimate 80s
Brutus Gold is donning his leg warmers and box jackets for a very special 1980s throwback at The Warehouse for the Easter bank holiday. They’re spinning the best tunes of the decade, from ‘Get Into the Groove’ to ‘West End Boys’ – but that’s not all. They’ll also have a spectacular stage show, with hosts Dex Spinner and Magnum joined by a crew of incredible performers and you’re invited to dress up as big, as bold and as 80s as possible.
All Night Long: The Ultimate 80s is at The Warehouse on Saturday 15th April 2017.
The Courtyard Party
The Courtyard Party is a bank holiday staple in Leeds and they’ve once again knocked it out of the park with the first one of 2017. Covering Queens Court and Fibre’s own courtyard you can dance the weekend away with the help of an impressive DJ line-up. Dale Castell and Stuart Robinson top the bill, with help from Luke Tipple, Glen Battersby and many more.
The Courtyard Party is at Fibre and Queens Court on Sunday 16th April 2017.
Angelica isn’t your usual venue for superstar DJs, but it’s certainly one of the best. The rooftop bar hosts regular Neverland nights which see incredible tune-spinning talent takeover the space. This bank holiday, they’ve got none other than Dimitri From Paris, one of the biggest DJs in the world. He’s joined by the Leeds debut of Graham Sahara, Groove Assassin, Loz Goddard and resident DJ, Sara Garvey.
Neverland is at Angelica on Sunday 16th April 2017.
Federation 15th Anniversary
It was back in 2002, under the mucky Dark Arches, that legendary Leeds night Federation changed the clubbing landscape in the city. This year, it’s back for a one-off celebration to mark its 15th anniversary at The Warehouse. DJs on the bill include Tony Walker, Stuart Robinson, Marc Leaf, Christian Appleby and Greg Myers. They’ve also got Pav on percussion, the One Love entertainers and a whole host of dancers, installations and walkout shows.
Federation 15th Anniversary is at The Warehouse on Sunday 16th April 2017.
The Bank holiday weekend wouldn’t be the same without Insomnifest and it returns to Beaver Works this Easter. Now in its sixth year, it will be spread across six indoor and outdoor areas, and each space will offer up a different kind of electronic music. The first names announced for this next instalment include Sleepin’ Is Cheatin, the duo of Tom Zanetti and K.O. Kane, alongside DJ SKT, Karen Harding, Preditah, Sadie Ama and Jamie Duggan.
Insomnifest is at Beaver Works on Sunday 16th April 2017.
The Terrace Party
The Easter weekend Terrace Party at Mint Warehouse is already set to be their best yet. They’ve got one of the world’s biggest DJs to headline the event, as New Jersey house icon Kerri Chandler takes to the decks. Alongside him will be an impressive supporting cast, including the likes of Voyeur, Darius Syrossian and Route 94.
The Terrace Party is at Mint Warehouse on Sunday 16th April 2017.
Hush Hush Easter Special
What better to way to spend Good Friday than in the company of the saviour of modern dance music, John Digweed? He’s heading the Hush Hush Easter Special at Mint Club with his iconic set of house and techno tunes that have earned him the title of the DJ’s DJ. He’s joined by Steve Parry and a back-to-back set from Jonny Burg and ITMS76.
Hush Hush Easter Special is at Mint Club on Friday 14th April 2017.