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Historic Leeds Pub Piano Competition Returns After 22 Years – And You Can Go For Free

· Joseph Sheerin · Culture

See Leeds’ finest tickling the ivories at this free event.

Leeds Pub Piano Competition

Back after 22 years, the Leeds Piano Pub Competition will pit the city's best pianists against each other in their hunt for glory. Entries are open now and spectators can enjoy two incredible nights of entertainment on Thursday 6th September 2018 and Thursday 13th September 2018. Find out more...

This September, the city’s best pianists will battle it out in the Leeds Pub Piano Competition. Will you enter or watch them go head to head?

It’s 22 years since the Leeds Pub Piano Competition raised its last glass, but now it’s back to recognise a new generation of talented pianists. Across two nights, you can see the city’s finest tickling the ivories, while you enjoy a pint at The Tetley. It’s free to attend and free to enter, so whether you’re a competitor or a spectator, clear your diary for the heats on Thursday 6th September 2018 and the final on Thursday 13th September 2018.

The Leeds Pub Piano Competition was first launched in the 1980s and it acted as a fringe event for the prestigious Leeds International Piano Competition, as it will again today. Back then it was called The Tetley GULP, so it’s only fitting that Tetley have been intricately involved in its revival. Not only is the event sponsored by Tetley’s Beer, but it’s being held at their old HQ, the modern art space now known as The Tetley. Together with Leeds International Concert Season and Leeds College of Music, they’ve helped to bring the Leeds Pub Piano Competition back to life.

If you can play, you could win £500

Leeds Pub Piano Competition

The Leeds Pub Piano Competition is open to anyone and everyone. That’s right, it doesn’t matter if you’re a beginner or a seasoned pro, you just need to entertain the crowds on their upright Besbrode piano.

The first stage is a video application – and if you’re successful, you’ll be asked to put together a 6-minute set to show off your skills in the heat. It can be anything from modern pop hits to sing-along favourites, classic jazz standards and old-school numbers. It’s totally up to you, and you can even sing if you like.

The heats will be judged by Kath Hartley and Declan Davies, tutors from Leeds College of Music who are also renowned musicians in their own right. They’ll take into account the audience reaction, but at the end of the day, they have the final word. If you get the green light, you’ll proceed to the final a week later, where you’ll get a slightly longer set and a chance to win an incredible prize. Third place gets you £100, second place bags you £250 and first place will see you walk away with a whopping £500.

If that sounds right up your Steinway, you’ll need to get a wiggle on, because entries close on Monday 6th August 2018. It’s totally free to enter, so what have you got to lose?

Prefer to watch? It’s going to be an incredible show

The Tetley, Leeds

The Leeds Pub Piano Competition is the perfect excuse to get out and enjoy a night of live music in a relaxed, informal setting. You’ll be treated to back-to-back performances from some of the city’s best pianists and you can do it all for free with a pint of Tetley’s finest in your hand. They’ve got Tetley’s Cask and Pale Ale No 3 on tap, with an exclusive deal if you sign up – you can get 4 pints for the price of 3 all night long. Plus, they’ll have deals on prosecco and wine.

The heats take place at 7pm on Thursday 6th September 2018 – this is your chance to see a huge variety of musicians as they attempt to whittle down the options ready for the final. The best on the night will proceed to the final a week later at 7pm on Thursday 13th September 2018. By now, they’ll have the best of the best, so expect a wonderfully varied night of entertainment from a set of truly talented individuals.

The Leeds Pub Piano Competition takes place at The Tetley on Thursday 6th September 2018 and Thursday 13th September 2018. Free entry.