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The Best Bank Holiday Weekend Events in Leeds

· Joseph Sheerin · Culture

From festivals to club nights, make the most of the August bank holiday.

Leeds Carnival 50

The August bank holiday weekend is just around the corner – but what will you get up to on the long weekend?

As ever, there’s a little something for everyone in Leeds this bank holiday. From live music and huge shows to fun-filled days out for all the family, it’s going to be a great weekend. And 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 24th August 2018

From gigs to theatre, start the bank holiday weekend as you mean to go on.

Leeds Festival 2018

Leeds Festival

Credit: Tom Martin

Leeds Festival is one of the highlights of the August bank holiday in Leeds. Make a beeline for Bramham Park to see a stellar line-up of music. The headliners for 2018 include Fall Out Boy, Travis Scott, Kendrick Lamar, Panic! At The Disco, Kings of Leon and The Courteeners, but that just scratches the surface of what will be a huge weekend of music.

Leeds Festival 2018 takes over Bramham Park from Thursday 23rd to Sunday 26th August 2018.

Calendar Girls

Calendar Girls

Ready to see the Rylstone and District WI get their kit off? Then get down to Calendar Girls. Gary Barlow and Tim Firth’s hugely popular musical is coming back to where it all started, three years on from its premiere at Leeds Grand Theatre. You’re in for a hilarious evening of comedy and music as a group of ordinary Yorkshire women from the Rylstone and District WI get their kit off for a calendar that raises money for one of the girls’ husbands who has cancer.

Calendar Girls takes over Leeds Grand Theatre from Thursday 16th August to Saturday 1st September 2018.

Soca Village

Soca Village is a club night dedicated to Caribbean music and it’s coming to Chapeltown this bank holiday weekend. Expect DJs and live performances throughout the evening. The Trinidad Band will provide the backing music for two absolute legends – Patrice Roberts is one of the world’s best loved Soca artists and Shurwayne Winchester is a living legend of the Soca scene.

Soca Village takes over the Frederick Hurdle Day Care Centre on Friday 24th August 2018.

Moscow State Circus

Moscow State Circus

Credit: Moscow State Circus

One of the world’s most famous circus companies is coming to Harewood House this month and it promises to be a fun family-friendly day out. The Moscow State Circus has earned international acclaim and they’re in Leeds for the bank holiday to perform their new show, Gostinitsa. You’ll be on the edge of your seat as you watch their incredible high-wire acts, acrobatics and tightrope walks.

Moscow State Circus comes to Harewood House from Thursday 23rd to Tuesday 28th August 2018.

Trevor Nelson’s 90s R’n’B Summer Jam

Trevor Nelson

Trevor Nelson is back and he’s got a huge night in store as he brings his 90’s R’n’B Summer Jam to Leeds. Expect a quality DJ set from the iconic tastemaker as he takes you through some of the finest tunes from the past two decades. You can also look forward to a couple of special live performances from Dru Hill and Sisqo.

Trevor Nelson’s 90s R’n’B Summer Jam comes to O2 Academy Leeds on Friday 24th August 2018.

Left Bank Opera Festival

Left Bank Opera Festival

Credit: Pelly & Me

The Left Bank Opera Festival finishes up this bank holiday weekend. The main attraction is their performance of Raymond Yiu’s The Original Chinese Conjuror, a funny and touching show that tells the story of William Robinson, a magician who transforms himself into a mystical Oriental conjuror for his shows. Alongside the main event, you can watch The Yellow Princess and Calcutta, with culture panels, Q&As and even an opera-themed pub quiz.

Left Bank Opera Festival comes to Left Bank Leeds from Wednesday 22nd to Sunday 26th August 2018.

The Death Cafe

Afternoon Tea

The Death Cafe isn’t your normal cafe. It’s a free, drop-in morning at Kirkstall Abbey where friends and strangers can come together to talk through their thoughts and fears about death. There’s no set agenda – it’s simply a chance to air your thoughts, tell someone what’s on your mind and listen to others without fear of judgement, all while you enjoy a cuppa and a slice of cake.

The Death Cafe comes to Kirkstall Abbey on Friday 24th August 2018.

Meet the Maker Masterclass with Renegade Wines

© Copyright Leeds-List 2018 by Bevan Cockerill

If you love wine, this Meet the Maker Masterclass is a must to kick off your bank holiday in Leeds. Renegade Wines is one of London’s most popular urban wineries and owner Warwick Smith will show you what they’ve been up to at this intimate tasting session. He’ll take you through the labels they stock in Harvey Nichols, as well as giving you a chance to sample a few special guest selections.

Meet the Maker Masterclass with Renegade Wines comes to Harvey Nichols on Friday 24th August 2018.

Break the Chains

Get ready to head bang your way through the August bank holiday as Break the Chains takes over Temple of Boom for three days of hardcore punk music. It’s an absolutely stacked line-up – Infest, Extreme Noise Terror and Full of Hell are the three headliners, and they’ll be joined by a supporting cast that includes The Afternoon Gentlemen, Doom and Dropdead.

Break the Chains takes over Temple of Boom from Friday 24th to Sunday 26th August 2018.

Mamilah

Mamilah are a proper Leeds success story and you can see them live at Belgrave Music Hall on Friday night. They formed at Leeds College of Music and create a wonderful combination of funk and soul. Inspired by the likes of Stevie Wonder, Nubiyan Twist and Judith Hill, as shown on their latest release, ‘Sundrips’, they’ll also play cuts from their forthcoming EP.

Mamilah plays Belgrave Music Hall on Friday 24th August 2018.

Hyde & Seek Holiday Specials

Enjoy a cinematic bank holiday in Leeds as Hyde Park Picture House puts on a family-friendly screening of The Giant Pear. It’s a new Danish film adapted from a popular children’s book that sees an elephant and a cat go on an incredible adventure that brings them face-to-face with pirates, ghosts and more.

Hyde & Seek Holiday Specials will be shown at Hyde Park Picture House on Friday 24th August 2018.

Butter Side Up x The Ghost

Wire

Credit: IGR Photo

Leeds’ own Butter Side Up are teaming with The Ghost for their bank holiday special. The Ghost is Berlin’s famous mobile record store, renowned for its deep and diverse selections. Owners Josh and James are going to bring an eclectic array of records with them to put on a memorable set, alongside Gene On Earth, KRN, Hamish Cole and Toby Nicholas.

Butter Side Up returns to Wire on Friday 24th August 2018.

Leeds Beer Week

Northern Monk, Leeds Indie Food

Credit: Tom Joy

Leeds Beer Week is back this August, and there’s loads of beer-related fun to enjoy on its final weekend. Start the bank holiday with the Beer Cocktails Evening at Alfred or An Evening with Fuerst Wiacek at Little Leeds Beer House on Friday night. The following day you could do the Mango Lassi Launch at Northern Monk or the Beer Ritz 20th Birthday Party. The festival ends on Sunday with the Duck & Drake Cask Beer Festival and a massive Big Guys Terrace Closing Party at Headrow House.

Leeds Beer Week takes over Leeds city centre from Friday 17th to Sunday 26th August 2018.

Bongo’s Bingo

Bongo's Bingo Leeds

Credit: Jack Kirwan

Bongo’s Bingo will make its long awaited return to Canal Mills this August bank holiday. If you’ve never been before, think of it as club night with bingo cards and dabbers like your nan uses, all mixed up with classic tunes, crazy dancing and a chance to win one of their famous ‘$hit prizes’ alongside perhaps a few rather good ones.

Bongo’s Bingo comes back to Canal Mills on Friday 24th August 2018.

Saturday 25th August 2018

Street food, festivals or family-friendly fun? You won’t be short of options on Saturday.

City Beach

City Beach Millennium Square

You can go to the beach without leaving Leeds this bank holiday. City Beach will be at Victoria Gardens this summer with a huge stretch of sand where you can build sandcastles and take five in the deckchairs. It’s free to go in, but you can also treat the kids to a ride on the Bamboo Bungee trampolines, the Jungle Funhouse, the Miami Surf and the Waikiki cars. Hell, you can even grab an ice cream or enjoy BBQ food from the Swing Grill.

City Beach comes to Victoria Gardens from Saturday 11th August to Sunday 2nd September 2018.

Leeds Feast

Smak!, Leeds Feast, Water Lane Boathouse

Credit: Tom Joy

Indulge in a celebration of the North’s best street food as Leeds Feast returns for the fourth year running. From Porterhouse Cake Co. to Holy Crab, Ox Club’s Asado Grill and Papa Ganoush, you can try all manner of treats at Water Lane Boathouse. There will also be live music from Hyde Park Brass and DJs all day, as well as tap takeovers and an Aperol and gin bar. Feel free to bring kids or even the dog with you, and a heads up – Sunday is going to be completely vegan.

Leeds Feast comes to Water Lane Boathouse on Saturday 25th and Sunday 26th August 2018.

Wild West Horse Show

Royal Armouries Wild West

Credit: Charlotte Graham/Guzelian

This is your chance to re-live the westerns you watched as a child, because The Wild West Horse Show is coming to the Royal Armouries. It takes place on bank holiday weekend and you can see The Atkinson Action Horses in action. Their acclaimed TV and film stunt performers will put on a show with liberty displays, sharp shooting and stagecoach battles.

Wild West Horse Show comes to the Royal Armouries from Saturday 25th to Monday 27th August 2018.

The Princess & The Giant

This bank holiday, Folksy Theatre will put on a special open-air musical production of The Princess & The Giant at Harewood House. It brings together music, puppetry and characters the little ones will love. Join in with the singing as Princess Sophie tries all she can to stop the miserable old giant from waking people up. You can also bring picnics, blankets and chairs with you to make a day of it.

The Princess & The Giant takes over Harewood House on Saturday 25th and Sunday 26th August 2018.

This Must Be The Place

Ghostpoet in Leeds

Not going to Leeds Fest this year? You can enjoy a celebration of indie music instead. This Must Be the Place has a fantastic line-up. Pop down on Saturday to see hip-hop favourite Ghostpoet headline alongside Warm Digits and Happy Meals, while Sunday welcomes North Carolina folk group Hiss Golden Messenger who are joined by Lucy Dacus and Tiny Ruin. Still got the live music buzz on Monday? Ezra Furman is the headline act, alongside the hotly-tipped Girl Ray and Fake Laugh.

This Must Be The Place takes over Belgrave Music Hall from Saturday 25th to Monday 27th August 2018.

Temple Newsam Beer Festival

Craft beer, real ale, bottle shops

Credit: Natasha Kapur

Beer lovers rejoice, Temple Newsam Beer Festival is back this August bank holiday. This is a proper celebration of local brewing talent, as unheralded breweries like Spotlight Brewing, Handsome Brewery and Leeds Urban Harvest show us what they can do. If you need alternatives to beer, there’s a prosecco and gin bar for the first time. They’ll also have plenty of food, including Firth’s pork pies, as well as games and craft activities for the kids.

Temple Newsam Beer Festival takes over Temple Newsam on Saturday 25th and Sunday 26th August 2018.

An Evening with Alaska Thunderfuck 5000

One of the stars of Ru Paul’s Drag Race is coming to Leeds this bank holiday weekend. Alaska Thunderfuck won Season 2 of the hit TV series and she’s bringing her raucous new show to the O2 Academy. The Glamtron tour is all about Alaska, as she does her best versions of the biggest chart hits and shows off the sharp-tongued wit and humour that helped her win the Drag Race.

An Evening with Alaska Thunderfuck 5000 takes place at O2 Academy Leeds on Saturday 25th August 2018.

Up Yer Ronson End of Summer Day & Night Terrace Party

Up Yer Ronson’s bank holiday terrace parties are a Leeds institution and this year is going to be one of the best yet. Get down to Mint Warehouse for a top line-up of house and techno DJs that will keep you grooving from 2pm until 2am. Victor Simonelli is coming all the way from New York to spin tunes, and he’s joined by Jeremy Healy, Tom Wainwright and Nick Hussey.

Up Yer Ronson End of Summer Day & Night Terrace Party takes over Mint Warehouse on Saturday 25th August 2018.

Blonde Redhead

Blonde Redhead

Credit: Julien Bourgeois

Catch one of the most influential indie bands of all time in Leeds as Blonde Redhead make their return to Brudenell Social Club. The New York group is celebrating the release of their latest EP, ‘3 O’Clock’, but they will also show off a 25-year career that’s included seminal albums like ‘La Mia Vita Volenta’, ‘Misery Is a Butterfly’ and ’23’.

Blonde Redhead play Brudenell Social Club on Saturday 25th August 2018.

DIY Reupholstery Workshop

The Bowery Cafe and Gallery, Headingley

Want to learn a skill this bank holiday? Take a trip to The Bowery in Headingley for their DIY Reupholstery Workshop. You’ll pick up the basics of reupholstery, before you get to grips with an old footstool or dining room chair and give it a new lease of life. All you need to bring is your enthusiasm, as the materials and equipment are provided on the day.

DIY Reupholstery Workshop comes to The Bowery on Saturday 25th August 2018.

Wartime Inspired Cooking Demonstration

Hidden Harewood

As part of Harewood House’s Seeds of Hope exhibition, they’re exploring the connection between their Walled Garden and the Old Kitchen to show the journey food goes on from the field to the fork. The Wartime Inspired Cooking Demonstration is a chance to see and learn the recipes that would have been used at Harewood 100 years ago using produce grown on their estate.

Wartime Inspired Cooking Demonstration comes to Harewood House on Saturday 25th August 2018.

Legends: Buffalo Bill

Royal Armouries Wild West

Credit: Gavin Forster

Every month, the Royal Armouries celebrates legends from around the globe, and this bank holiday weekend, it’s all about Buffalo Bill. Born as William Cody, Bill became an American legend thanks to his time in the Army, his experience as a buffalo hunter and his famous career as a showman. Expect storytelling, performances, combat demonstrations and loads more.

Legends: Buffalo Bill comes to Royal Armouries from Saturday 25th to Monday 27th August 2018.

Downtown Disco

Mint Club, Harrison Street, Leeds

Credit: IGR Photo

If you fancy a boogie, there’s only one place to go on Saturday night – Downtown Disco. Mint Club will pay homage to the very best nu-disco tracks, as well as honouring classic remixes of old school funk, soul and disco tunes. Expect a great line-up of DJs, including Late Nite Tuff Guy, Dr Packer and Babert.

Downtown Disco comes to Mint Club on Saturday 25th August 2018.

The Kids Film Club

The Kids Film Club is putting on a family-friendly film screening at Leeds Kirkgate Market this bank holiday weekend. Get down to their event space from 10am on Friday morning where you can catch Trolls, as you join the happiest and grumpiest trolls ever born on a fun-filled adventure to save their village from the troll-eating creatures, The Bergens.

The Kids Film Club comes to Leeds Kirkgate Market on Friday 24th August 2018.

Pride and Prejudice

Pride & Prejudice

Credit: Dan Benton Photography

Catch a classic in Roundhay Park as Heartbreak Productions perform their take on Pride and Prejudice. Their mini amphitheatre will become a classroom as you attend an etiquette lesson by The Association of Higher Etiquette and Manners, (aka A.H.E.M.). You’ll go on a wonderful adventure with the Bennett sisters and Mr Darcy, which brings together romance, comedy and revenge – by the end, you’ll know how to be a part of high society.

Pride and Prejudice takes over Roundhay Park on Saturday 25th and Sunday 26th August 2018.

Sunday 26th August 2018

From huge club nights to hip-hop gigs, bank holiday Sunday could be the highlight of your bank holiday weekend.

Mint Festival Warm Up Terrace Party

Mint Warehouse’s final terrace party of the year will be its biggest yet. Bank holiday weekend is their Mint Festival Warm-Up and you can look forward to an immense day and night of house and techno DJs. Loco Dice, Petre Inspirescu and East End Dubs will turn this 15-hour rave into a memorable night.

Mint Festival Warm Up Terrace Party takes over Mint Warehouse on Sunday 26th August 2018.

Bank Holiday Blues Bottomless Tipples

Blind Tyger

Blind Tyger is going all out for the bank holiday in Leeds. They’ve created an exclusive cocktail menu that’s only available to ticket holders. For £25, you’ll get bottomless cocktails and drinks for 2 hours, but you won’t know what they’re making until the day of the event, when they release the menu. They’ll also have live music and DJs on to take you into the early hours.

Bank Holiday Blues Bottomless Tipples takes place at Blind Tyger on Sunday 26th August 2018.

Reboot 3rd Birthday Party

The Yarden Party at Duke Strudios

Credit: Tom Joy

Spend bank holiday Sunday in Sheaf Street Cafeteria’s outdoor Yarden space as Reboot throw their 3rd Birthday Party. The much-loved house night will pull out all the stops with a top drawer line-up from 4pm to 4am. Expect a vibrant mix of funky, jazz, latin and soul-tinged dance music from Groove Assassin, who’ll be joined by the first DJ to ever play a Reboot club night, Steve Cobby.

Reboot 3rd Birthday Party takes over Sheaf Street Cafeteria on Sunday 26th August 2018.

L/IT Ibiza Takeover Terrace Closing Party

Angelica Ibiza Takeover

It’s been an incredible summer of sunny Sundays at Angelica thanks to the L/IT Ibiza Takeover, but all good things must come to an end, so they’re going all-out to celebrate their final party of the summer. You’ll get a taste of the Balearic Islands for this 12-hour marathon, which sees the likes of Star Slinger and Sara Garvey spin the tunes.

L/IT Ibiza Takeover Terrace Closing Party takes place at Angelica on Sunday 26th August 2018.

Northern Soul Bank Holiday Special

Smokestack

If you love Northern Soul, there’s only one place to be this bank holiday weekend – Smokestack. Expect a night of classic floor fillers as the feted Northern Soul DJ Mike Eastwood returns to Leeds to get you dancing until the early hours. He’ll be joined by Smokestack’s resident DJ Chico Malo who’ll run through an eclectic set of 60s and 70s soul favourites.

Northern Soul Bank Holiday Special takes over Smokestack on Sunday 26th August 2018.

Embroidery Workshop

Tandem, Meanwood

August bank holiday doesn’t always mean big parties, so why not tap into your creative side at Tandem? They’re hosting a special Embroidery Workshop with artist and teacher Elnaz Yazdani. You’ll learn a medley of hand embroidery techniques that you can apply to any piece of cloth and create a unique piece of clothing – all materials will be provided.

Embroidery Workshop takes place at Tandem on Sunday 26th August 2018.

Hanky Panky Day and Night Summer Festival

Mission night club in Leeds

Mission will be bouncing for their Hanky Panky Day and Night Summer Festival. It’s a multi-room extravaganza, with five spaces dedicated to different types of dance music. You can groove to 4X4 Baseline in the Tunnel as T2, Burgaboy and Shaun Banger Scott hit the decks, or head to the main Mission space for Casaloco Classics. Other rooms will play genres like electro house, jackin’ house and bass stream radio to keep you moving until the early hours.

Hanky Panky Day and Night Summer Festival takes over Mission on Sunday 26th August 2018.

Epic Beard Men

You can see two of the biggest names in UK hip-hop this bank holiday in Leeds as the Epic Beard Men come to Brudenell Social Club. Sage Francis and B. Dolan have spent years sharing stages at gigs and festivals, but this is the first time they’ve worked together on a joint record and tour. It promises to be a night of heavy tunes that show the pair to be at the top of their game.

Epic Beard Men come to Brudenell Social Club on Sunday 26th August 2018.

The Garden Party Part 3

The Garden Party

Credit: Daniel Watson

The Garden Party Part 3 is the last one of 2018 and it’s going to be a corker. Canal Mills will become a vibrant hub of dance music – they’ve bagged one of techno music’s biggest names in Alan Fitzpatrick and electro superstar George FitzGerald. There’s more, the bill’s rounded off by promising producers Mella Dee, PBR Streetgang and Grainger.

The Garden Party Part 3 comes to Canal Mills on Sunday 26th August 2018.

Monday 27th August 2018

End the bank holiday with a bang at these super cool gigs and family fun days.

Leeds West Indian Carnival

Leeds Carnival 50

© Copyright Leeds-List 2018 by Ali Turner

Leeds West Indian Carnival is one of the biggest events of the year. It kicks off on Monday with a vibrant celebration of music at dawn for the J’Ouvert Morning. That’s followed by the Big Carnival Parade in the afternoon which makes its way to Potternewton Park for a big community music festival – expect colourful costumes, incredible dancing and wonderful music.

Leeds West Indian Carnival takes over Chapeltown from Friday 24th to Monday 27th August 2018.

Chapel Allerton Arts Festival

End your bank holiday weekend in Leeds with the first day of the Chapel Allerton Arts Festival, a celebration of culture, music and the local community. On Monday afternoon, you can have a go at the Art Hunt, where you have to find 5 artworks that are hidden in Gledhow Valley Woods, or you can pop along to Seven Arts for their Short Film Festival in the evening.

Chapel Allerton Arts Festival takes over Chapel Allerton from Monday 27th August to Sunday 2nd September 2018.

Buck Meek

The Brudenell Social Club is a long, long way from the hills of Texas, but Buck Meek is making that journey this August bank holiday. The Big Thief singer has gone solo, and this is your first chance to see him play live. Expect rough-around-the-edges alternative country rock on tracks like ‘Cannonball!’, ‘Swan Dive’ and ‘Fool Me’, as he runs though his self-titled debut album.

Buck Meek plays Brudenell Social Club on Monday 27th August 2018.

Latrice Royale

Latrice Royale is coming to Leeds University Union on her bombastic new ‘Here’s to Life’ tour. The star of Ru Paul’s Drag Race Season 4 is big, bold and beautiful and she’s not afraid to show it. Expect a mix of stories and songs as she takes you through a whirlwind 60-minute celebration of life as a diva.

Latrice Royale comes to Leeds University Union on Monday 27th August 2018.

Steaming Days

Leeds Industrial Museum

© Copyright Leeds-List 2018 by Katie Nicole

Steaming Days is a bank holiday tradition at Armley Mills and it’s a great family day out. You can see their original 1886 steam engine in full flow – find out how it used to power the huge machinery in the mill, as well as joining in loads of other cool steam engine-related activities. Expect games and craft activities for the little ones alongside stalls and street food.

Steaming Days takes place at Armley Mills Leeds Industrial Museum on Monday 27th August 2018.

Cover image © Copyright Leeds-List 2018 by Ali Turner