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Bank Holiday Weekend in Leeds

· Joseph Sheerin · Culture

From festivals to family fun, don’t let the August bank holiday go to waste.

Leeds West Indian Carnival

The August bank holiday weekend is just around the corner – what will you do 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 some of the world’s best DJs. To make it that little bit easier for you to narrow down the options, we’ve rounded up the best events, all in one place – check it out, before you decide what to do with your long weekend.

Friday 25th August 2017

From festivals to West End shows, get your bank holiday weekend off to a massive start.

Leeds Festival

Leeds Festival

Credit: Tom Martin

One of the biggest events of the August bank holiday weekend is of course, Leeds Festival. The Bramham Park bash has a huge line-up to make the most of this year. Friday night will see Muse headline alongside Liam Gallagher and Haim, while Kasabian top the list on Saturday night, with Bastille and Fatboy Slim also on the bill. Eminem will close out the festival with Flume and Major Lazer on Sunday night.

Leeds Festival takes place at Bramham Park from Friday 25th until Sunday 27th August 2017.

Roy Ayers

Roy Ayers

You can see a real-life jazz legend this bank holiday at The Wardrobe as Roy Ayers is coming to Leeds. For five decades, the world’s leading vibraphone artist has been blurring the lines between jazz and r&b, practically creating his own genre of neo-soul. With classics like ‘Everybody Loves the Sunshine’, ‘Searchin’’ and ‘Virgo Blues’, he’s a must-see.

Roy Ayers plays The Wardrobe on Friday 25th August 2017.

RISE Wrestling: Summersesh

Fancy a bit of wrestling action to get your bank holiday weekend going? Head to the Brudenell Social Club where RISE Wrestling are putting on Summersesh. The last time RISE were here, it went down a storm, so don’t miss your chance to see the The Muscle Cat Saxon Huxley, The Pastor William Eaver and the RISE debut of WWE UK competitor Joseph Connors.

RISE Wrestling: Summersesh takes place at Brudenell Social Club on Friday 25th August 2017.

Twelfth Night

Twelfth Night

Dunstarm Farm’s outdoor theatre will once again be in use for the August bank holiday. The Adel farm welcomes Front Room Productions for an abridged and accessible version of Shakespeare’s classic Twelfth Night. They’ve used their rural surroundings to bring the play into a fun, farmyard setting, making use of modern dress and pop music.

Twelfth Night comes to Dunstarn Farm from Friday 25th to Sunday 27th August 2017.

Carnival King and Queen Show

Carnival King and Queen Show

Credit: Keith Pattison

The ultimate way to kick off carnival weekend in Leeds is the annual trip to West Yorkshire Playhouse for the Carnival King and Queen Show. They’re going all out for the 50th anniversary, with incredible costumes from all over the UK competing to win the ultimate prize. It’s not just a fashion show though – expect steel pan music, the Carnival Choir and incredible dancing all night long.

Carnival King and Queen Show takes place at West Yorkshire Playhouse on Friday 25th August 2017.

The Wedding Singer

The Wedding Singer

Credit: Eric Richmond

Well-known Adam Sandler movie, The Wedding Singer, is also an immensely popular West End hit, and it’s coming to Leeds Grand Theatre this bank holiday weekend. You’ll be taken back to the 1980s, when Robbie Hart was New Jersey’s most popular wedding singer. When he gets dumped by his fiancee, his world comes crashing down, and he goes on to ruin every wedding he plays at. There’s a glimmer of hope for Hart when he meets Julia – but will she be able to save him?

The Wedding Singer comes to at Leeds Grand Theatre on Friday 25th and Saturday 26th August 2017.

Choose Techno


Credit: IGR Photo

If you love techno, there’s no better place to go to kick start your bank holiday in Leeds than Wire. Choose Techno has a very special guest for their next event, with the exclusive UK debut of Spanish techno warriors The Yellowheads who are set to perform a mammoth 3 hour set. They’ll be joined by CT residents The Fellowship, Ben Chandler, Dave Hunt and Jay Redfern.

Choose Techno takes place at Wire on Friday 25th August 2017.

City Beach

City Beach Millennium Square

Want the best of the seaside without leaving Leeds? Make a beeline for Millennium Square this bank holiday weekend for the last few days of City Beach. It closes for the summer on Sunday evening, so make the most of the opportunity to build sandcastles with the kids. You can also take advantage of the Bamboo Bungees trampolines, the tropical jungle adventure funhouse and the helter-skelter.

City Beach takes place at Millennium Square from Saturday 12th until Saturday 26th August 2017.

The Taming of the Shrew

The Taming of the Shrew

The final Heartbreak Productions show of the summer at Roundhay Park will bring a Shakespeare classic to the great outdoors. They’re performing The Taming of the Shrew, a story of love about Petruchio and Kate. They want to have a perfect marriage but it’s not all smooth sailing for the pair, as they fight against the modest sexual politics of the 16th century. Heartbreak have put their own spin on the Bard’s work, with live music, comedy and a bit of audience participation.

The Taming of the Shrew comes to Roundhay Park from Friday 25th until Sunday 27th August 2017.

An Evening with Ian Dewhirst and Paul Schofield

If you’ve got an interest in Northern Soul music, Angelica is the place to be to start your bank holiday in Leeds. Two of the original Leeds Central Soul Club DJs, Ian Dewhirst and Paul Schofield, are coming together for a very special evening. They’re going to spin a musical odyssey, from classic 60s Northern Soul to vintage disco on a night that will get you throwing down shapes.

An Evening with Ian Dewhirst and Paul Schofield takes place at Angelica on Friday 25th August 2017.

The Reduct

The Old Red Bus Station

One of the biggest house nights in Leeds, Back2House are putting on a massive August bank holiday party at The Old Red Bus Station. They’ve got a massive line-up of DJs to take you into the early hours, with Nick Hannam and Shaun Dean leading the way. They’re joined by the likes of Andy Mac, Dom Scanlon and Nathan George.

The Reduct takes place at The Old Red Bus Station on Friday 25th August 2017.

The Smartest Giant in Town

The Smartest Giant in the World

For a bit of family-friendly theatre this bank holiday weekend in Leeds, take a trip to Harewood House to see The Smartest Giant in Town, a story from the author of The Gruffalo. Follow George – he’s a giant who’s fed-up of having nothing nice to wear, so he buys snazzy new threads from town. On his way back, he meets a bunch of not-so-lucky animals who ask for his help and it makes him realise it’s what’s on the inside that really counts. With a mix of music, puppetry and theatre, it’s the perfect family day out.

The Smartest Giant in Town comes to Harewood House on Friday 25th and Saturday 26th August 2017.

Saturday 26th August 2017

Workshops, gigs and street food weekenders – you’re not short of things to do on bank holiday Saturday.

This Must Be the Place 2017


Leeds Festival isn’t the only festival taking place in the city this bank holiday weekend. This Must Be the Place returns for its second year, split across two days and two venues, Headrow House and Belgrave Music Hall. Saturday will see Alvvays, Beach Fossils, Our Girl, Sorry and Chest Pains on the bill, while Sunday has Parquet Courts, Ulrika Spacek, Cowtown, Menace Beach and Drahla playing.

This Must Be the Place 2017 takes place at Belgrave Music Hall and Headrow House on Saturday 26th and Sunday 27th August 2017.

Bad Manners

Buster Bloodvessel and co are making their way to Leeds this bank holiday as Bad Manners return to Brudenell Social Club. For over 40 years, they’ve been one of the biggest names in ska music, spending an incredible 111 weeks in the UK charts between 1980 and 1983. They’ll be performing all their greatest hits, from ‘Special Brew’ to ‘Lip Up Fatty’.

Bad Manners play Brudenell Social Club on Saturday 26th August 2017.

Renegades of Chunk III


Credit: Ricky Adam

August bank holiday will see the return of Renegades of Chunk for the third time, with a stellar all-dayer of bands lined up. Local favourites Cowtown are the main attraction, and they’re joined by Liverpool rockers Elevant and Leeds noisemakers Cattle. Keep an eye out for a homecoming show from Living Body, the new project of Jeff T. Smith, formerly of Juffage, and Katie Harking, of Sky Larkin.

Renegades of Chunk III takes place at Chunk on Saturday 26th August 2017.

Up Yer Ronson End of Summer Terrace Party

Up Yer Ronson will be going all out for the bank holiday weekend, with a 12 hour indoor and outdoor rave at Mint Warehouse. They’ve got a slew of huge DJs coming to Leeds with an afternoon terrace set from Jeremy Healy, a selection of Hacienda bangers from Tom Wainwright and a special appearance from New York’s Victor Simonelli until the early hours.

Up Yer Ronson End of Summer Terrace Party takes place at Mint Warehouse on Saturday 26th August 2017.

Sam Coe and the Long Shadows

Sam Coe and the Long Shadows

The hottest country act to come out of Norwich, probably ever, Sam Coe and The Long Shadows are a leading light of the UK country music revival. They’re coming to Leeds to show off their tunes at Eiger Studios this bank holiday weekend, after rave reviews for their debut EP ‘Santa Fe’, which includes the brilliant ‘Moving on’.

Sam Coe and the Long Shadows play Eiger Studios on Saturday 26th August 2017.

EatNorth Bank Holiday Weekender


EatNorth has gone down a storm since the street food all-dayer started at North Brewing Co, and it’s already got a special event lined up for the bank holiday in Leeds. They’re taking over the brewery on both Saturday and Sunday with a cracking line-up of street food. Blue Caribou are bringing their Quebec-style poutine, Wrapscallion will have a feast of Mexican wraps and Vaso’s Kitchen will bring their small Indian plates.

EatNorth Bank Holiday Weekender takes place at North Brewing Co. on Saturday 26th and Sunday 27th August 2017.

Make a Pair of Silver Earrings Workshop

Make a Pair of Silver Earrings Workshop

Fancy getting creative this bank holiday weekend? Take a trip to The Bowery in Headingley for their Make a Pair of Silver Earrings Workshop. You’ll learn basic jewellery making techniques, like filing, shaping and forging, before using your new-found skills to make a pair of drop earrings to take home.

Make a Pair of Silver Earrings Workshop takes place at The Bowery on Saturday 26th August 2017.

Soca Monarch Show

Soca Monarch Show, West Indian Carnival

Credit: Leroy Wenham

Another carnival weekend highlight, the Soca Monarch Show is an adults-only night out at Leeds West Indian Centre. It’s an evening of pure entertainment as a slew of artists and poets from the local area come together. They’ll pit their songs, lyrics and humour against one another to a backdrop of Caribbean beats for the right to be named Soca Monarch 2017.

Soca Monarch Show comes to Leeds West Indian Centre on Saturday 26th August 2017.

Lino Printing on Fabric Workshop

Fabric Screen Printing at Leeds Print Workshop

Leeds Print Workshop isn’t taking the bank holiday weekend off – they’ve got a Lino Printing on Fabric Workshop for you to try. Whether you’re a beginner or an expert, you’re welcome to come along and create your own relief printing stamp so you can print a design or surface pattern onto fabric. You’ll pick up a slew of new skills as you learn how to carve lino blocks, use relief inks and print imagery onto textiles.

Lino Printing on Fabric Workshop takes place at Leeds Print Workshop on Saturday 26th August 2017.

Sunday 27th August 2017

Bank holiday Sunday could be the highlight of your weekend – after all, you don’t have to get up for work on Monday.

Romantic Organ Masterworks 2017

The last of four Romantic Organ Masterworks shows takes place on bank holiday Sunday at Leeds Minster. Minster Organist Emeritus Dr Simon Lindley will lead an evening of incredible organ music, from Hollis’ ‘Song of Sunshine’ to Toccatta’s ‘Choral and Fugue, 1955’. It’s your last chance to witness this organ maestro at work this summer.

Romantic Organ Masterworks 2017 takes place at Leeds Minster on Sunday 27th August 2017.

The Garden Party

The Garden Party

Credit: Daniel Watson

August bank holiday weekend will see the third and final Garden Party of 2017, and it’s got its best line-up of the year. The Black Madonna will headline – she was recently named as one of the world’s best DJs by Mixmag and Resident Advisor. With support from the likes of Ross From Friends and Heidi, this 12 hour outdoor party is one of the highlights of the city’s clubbing calendar.

The Garden Party takes place at The Faversham on Sunday 27th August 2017.

Sam Outlaw Band

Sam Outlaw Band

One of country music’s hottest properties, The Sam Outlaw Band are coming to Brudenell Social Club this bank holiday weekend. They’ve just released the follow-up to last year’s debut album ‘Angelino’ – ‘Tenderness’ is further proof as to why Outlaw and co. are receiving international acclaim.

Sam Outlaw Band plays Brudenell Social Club on Sunday 27th August 2017.

The Terrace Party

System and Set One Twenty Terrace Party

How does a 15 hour party sound this bank holiday in Leeds? From 3pm until 6pm, The Terrace Party’s Mint Festival warm-up is one of the biggest parties in Leeds. If you’ve got the stamina, you can witness 10 top DJs playing across an outdoor stage with three more inside. See the likes of Carl Craig, Praslea, Annie Erred and Julian Perez.

The Terrace Party takes place at Mint Warehouse on Sunday 27th August 2017.

Abstraction: Conversations, Coffee and Cake

Sunny Bank Mills

Credit: Richard Moran Photography

Sunny Bank Mills will take you behind the scenes on one of their exhibitions this bank holiday weekend. You can spend an afternoon in the company of Julia Burns, Jill Campbell and Alison Britton-Paterson, whose work makes up Abstraction. They will be talking about their pieces and how they can be interpreted as you sup on a brew and enjoy a slice of cake.

Abstraction: Conversations, Coffee and Cake takes place at Sunny Bank Mills on Sunday 27th August 2017.

Vaudou Game

Vaudou is a genre you’re unlikely to have come across before. It’s a unique style of African music that originated in the West African countries of Togo and Benin. One of its finest proponents is Peter Solo and he’s taking over The Sunday Joint at The HiFi Club for what will be a very special bank holiday show with Vaudou Game.

Vaudou Game play The HiFi Club on Sunday 27th August 2017.

Black Music Festival

The return of the Black Music Festival will get the party going at Potternewton Park ahead of the West Indian Carnival. It’s Europe’s biggest free open-air reggae festival and they’ll have a jam-packed offering for you to look forward to. The full line-up will be announced closer to bank holiday weekend, but you can expect a slew of local, national and international artists performing everything from reggae to hip-hop, grime and gospel.

Black Music Festival takes place at Potternewton Park on Sunday 27th August 2017.

Back to Basics

Church, Leeds

After their massive party in Millennium Square, Back to Basics are back at home to end the month, and they’re calling on some trusty old friends to put on a bank holiday shindig to remember. Basics founder Dave Beer will be on the decks and he’s roped in the likes of Richy Ahmed, Darius Syrossian and Ralph Lawson for a night of house bangers.

Back to Basics takes place at Church on Sunday 27th August 2017.

Reboot_008_ 2nd Birthday

The Yarden Party at Duke Strudios

Credit: Tom Joy

Local music collective Reboot are celebrating their 2nd birthday this month with a huge party in Duke Studios’ Yarden. They’re gathering the best DJs in Leeds for an all day affair. Expect chilled out daytime sets spinning reggae and funk, before night falls when you can expect an exotic blend of disco, house and techno.

Reboot_008_ 2nd Birthday takes place at Duke Studios on Sunday 27th August 2017.

Monday 28th August 2017

Carnivals, horse shows and music festivals – here’s how you can spend bank holiday Monday.

J’Ouvert Morning

Leeds West Indian Carnival

Credit: Maria Spadafora

The day of the West Indian Carnival actually starts at 6am with another mini-parade. Known as J’Ouvert Morning, the traditional early-morning warm-up has a raucous mix of music and dancing as you worm your way around the West Indian Centre to the sounds of a soca jam. Full of colour and music, it’s the best way to get into the spirit of the occasion.

J’Ouvert Morning starts at Leeds West Indian Centre on Monday 28th August 2017.

50th Leeds West Indian Carnival

Leeds West Indian Carnival

Credit: Guy Farrar

The 50th anniversary of Leeds West Indian Carnival will be one of the highlights of this bank holiday weekend. It all starts at Potternewton Park with a massive pre-party, before the parade moves through Harehills and Chapeltown in a sea of incredible costumes, music and atmosphere. It will work its way back to the park where the festivities will continue well into the evening.

50th Leeds West Indian Carnival starts at Potternewton Park on Monday 28th August 2017.

The Winged Hussars Horse Shows

The Winged Hussars are a sight to behold and they’re bringing their famous horse shows to Royal Armouries on bank holiday weekend. Coming all the way from Poland, this team of fast-riding, sharp-shooting, sabre-rattling cavalrymen were considered to be one of the most elite forces in the world back in the 17th century. You’ll get to see mounted drill exercises, which show off the riders impressive skills with sabres, lances and pistols.

The Winged Hussars Horse Shows are at Royal Armouries on Monday 28th August 2017.

Fulneck Baroque Festival 2017

August bank holiday Monday is the day for Fulneck Baroque Festival and 2017 is no different. Chamber choir St Peter’s Singers of Leeds will lead the singing as they celebrate their 40th anniversary this year. Simon Lindley will conduct as the choir and orchestra make their way through works by Bach and Handel.

Fulneck Baroque 2017 takes place at Fulneck Moravian Church on Monday 28th August 2017.

Feature image copyright Maria Spadafora.