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The Best Bank Holiday Weekend Events in Leeds

· Emma Cooke · Culture

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

The Luna Cinema

The August bank holiday weekend is just round 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 23rd August 2019

Gigs, DJ sets and theatre – start the bank holiday as you mean to go on.

MiNT Presents Nightmares on Wax & Crazy P Soundsystem

Nightmares on Wax

Credit: Ark Agency

This bank holiday weekend you can catch two of the electronic scene’s most established acts right here in Leeds. Head to Mint Warehouse to see a slinky disco get-up by Crazy P, who have been filling dancefloors since 1995, followed by the city’s own trip hop legend Nightmare’s on Wax who will take you on an eclectic adventure in the underground.

MiNT Presents Nightmares on Wax & Crazy P Soundsystem at Mint Warehouse on Friday 23rd August 2019.

Leeds Beer Week

Leeds Beer Week

Leeds Beer Week is taking over the city’s bars for its fourth year of beery antics, from tap takeovers to tastings. Make the most of the Verdant Tap Takeover at North Bar or check out Bombay Meets Berlin where Stone Brewing will team up with Indian eatery Bundobust. It’s the perfect way to get your mitts on rare brews and dabble in something a little different.

Leeds Beer Week takes over various venues in Leeds from Friday 23rd to Saturday 31st August 2019.

Paint Street Art!

Pop-up painting

Release your inner artiste at Paint Street Art! by recreating Banksy’s ‘Laugh Now Monkey’. Pop Up Painting will set up shop at Chapel Allerton pub The Mustard Pot, so there’s opportunity for a few tipples too. They’ll provide all the equipment, from paintbrushes to aprons and even a themed playlist, so you just need to rock up and indulge in a little creativity.

Paint Street Art! comes to The Mustard Pot on Friday 23rd August 2019.

Luna Kids Open Air Cinema

The Luna Cinema at Harewood House

Armed with a stellar collection of children’s classics, Luna Kids Open Air Cinema will head to Harewood House this bank holiday. This is your chance to see favourites like Finding Dory, The Gruffalo and The Incredibles 2 on the big screen in the great outdoors outside one of Leeds’ finest stately homes. Don’t forget to pack yourself a picnic.

Luna Kids Cinema Open Air Cinema comes to Harewood House from Wednesday 21st August to Sunday 25th August 2019.

World Island Presents Madlib

Why not kick off your long weekend with a gig? LA producer Madlib will cross the pond to showcase his hip-hop masterpieces here in Leeds, alongside some special guests. Awesome Tapes From Africa will flaunt his exotic cassette tape collection, which ranges from 90s disco to West African funk, while local DJ NikNak plays a genre-hopping set.

World Island Presents Madlib comes to Belgrave Music Hall on Friday 23rd August 2019.

The Rocky Horror Show

The Rocky Horror Picture Show

Credit: Richard Davenport

Indulge in timeless rock ’n’ roll classics with a star-studded cast at Leeds Grand Theatre. Blue’s Duncan James takes the role of the charismatic Dr Frank-N-Furter alongside Strictly’s Joanne Clifton as Janet in a show filled with hits like ‘Time Warp’ and ‘Sweet Transvestite’. When college kids Brad and Janet break down outside an eerie-looking mansion, they have no idea what frightening escapades await inside.

The Rocky Horror Show comes to Leeds Grand Theatre from Monday 19th August to Saturday 24th August 2019.

Martha Reeves

The soul diva will headline Brudenell Social Club with a medley of old and new songs. The former lead of Martha and The Vandellas was responsible for Motown favourites like ‘Dancing in the Street’ and ‘Nowhere to Run’ which have sealed her place in musical history since the 1960s. You can hear all the hits as well as her accomplished solo material, which fuses jazz, gospel and a hint of country.

Martha Reeves comes to the Brudenell Social Club on Friday 23rd August 2019.

Leeds Festival

Leeds Festival

Credit: Tom Martin

The North’s biggest rock festival will once again take over Bramham Park with a stellar line-up. Foo Fighters, Post Malone and The 1975 are the big three this year, but that barely scratches the surface. They’re joined by Billie Eilish, Royal Blood and Anderson .Paak, plus plenty of the world’s best selectors and DJs to take you through the night.

Leeds Festival will come to Bramham Park from Friday 23rd August to Sunday 25th August 2019.

Much Ado About Nothing

See Shakespeare’s beloved comedy given an operatic twist in the splendour of Morley Town Hall. As part of Leeds Opera Festival, it will present the chaotic love story with a 1950s American twist, which will be brought to life with music by Charles Villiers Stanford. Will the mischievous Don John succeed in meddling with Hero and Claudio’s relationship?

Much Ado About Nothing comes to Morley Town Hall on Friday 23rd August to Saturday 24th August 2019.

Sunset Yarden Party

Start your long weekend in Leeds with a day-to-night shindig at Sheaf Street. You’ll have Canadian DJ duo Pender Street Steppers taking you into the early hours with a hazy house set, but before then, you can make the most of free ping pong, arcade games and plenty of street food from guest pop-up kitchens.

Sunset Yarden Party takes place at Sheaf Street on Friday 23rd August 2019.

Apostles of Chaos

The Apostles of Chaos will take over The Library with an electrifying set of tunes. We’re talking rocky riffs left, right and centre as they play through their 2019 album ‘What’s Inside’. The up and coming Yorkshire locals take their influences from the likes of Led Zeppelin and AC/DC, so if you’re into 1970s rock and roll, this one will be right up your street.

Apostles of Chaos come to Lending Room on Friday 23rd August 2019.

Saturday 24th August 2019

Comedy, rock gigs or family-friendly fun? You won’t be short of options on bank holiday Saturday.

This Must Be The Place

Let's Eat Grandma

Credit: Francesca Allen

Headrow House will host a two-day festival filled to the brim with up and coming artists. Expect an eclectic range of genres, from indie-folk favourite Bill Ryder-Jones on the Friday to psychedelic pop duo Let’s Eat Grandma on Saturday. You can see thirty different acts across the weekend, making it the perfect opportunity to broaden your musical horizons.

This Must Be The Place comes to Headrow House on Saturday 24th August and Sunday 25th August 2019.

Monarchs: King Charles II

Royal Armouries Cavalcade for a King Show

The Royal Armouries will dedicate this bank holiday to King Charles II, the next ruler in their ‘Monarchs’ series. Nicknamed the ‘Merry King’, his 25-year rule of England was in stark contrast to Oliver Cromwell’s strict reign. The late-17th century period will be recreated with costumed characters, live combat demonstrations and even cavalry horse riding shows.

King Charles II comes to the Royal Armouries from Saturday 24th August to Monday 26th August 2019.

Frank Turner

Folk-punk favourite Frank Turner will launch his brand new album ‘No Man’s Land’ with an intimate gig at Brudenell Social Club. He has a whopping seven albums under his belt, from 2007’s ‘Sleep Is for the Weak’ to 2018’s ‘Be More Kind’, and he’s set to play a few of his best known tunes alongside cuts from his latest album.

Frank Turner comes to Brudenell Social Club on Saturday 24th August 2019.

Bank Holiday Boathouse Feast

Water Lane Boathouse

Credit: Tom Joy

Make the most of your long weekend in Leeds with a full day of street food at Water Lane Boathouse. It’s their final big street food event of the summer and they’re going out with a bang as 12 different food vendors mark the end of their Summer Series. Choose from loaded crepes by Cargo Crepe, traditional Japanese cuisine by Yummy Yasai and a medley of steak and seafood by Shanty Town.

Bank Holiday Boathouse Feast comes to Water Lane Boathouse on Saturday 24th and Sunday 25th August 2019.

Titans of Rock

O2 Academy Leeds will come alive this bank holiday with the very best rock music of the 20th century, thanks to four almighty tribute bands. We’re talking Queen, Van Halen, Iron Maiden and AC/DC’s biggest hits all under one roof. From the phenomenal ‘Don’t Stop Me Now’ to the electrifying ‘Thunderstruck’, expect the audience to go wild as the bands play through some of rock’s biggest hits.

Titans of Rock comes to O2 Academy Leeds on Saturday 24th August 2019.

Hidden at Temple Newsam

Temple Newsam

Credit: Temple Newsam

Explore Temple Newsam House in a whole new way with a tour that follows in the footsteps of the home’s unseen servants. Discover how they travelled around the house unseen by navigating underground tunnels and all kinds of nooks and crannies. Along the way you’ll learn what was kept in the cellars and get a glimpse into the life of the people who lived there.

Hidden at Temple Newsam takes place on Saturday 24th August 2019.

Siobhan Phillips

After her recent success on Britain’s Got Talent, singer-cum-comedian Siobhan Phillips is up and running with a brand new show ‘Live & Unhinged’. She’ll head to Leeds armed with wit and charm in equal measures, as she sings about life as a mum. From tantrums to mother-daughter relationships, all grounds are covered in this side-splitting show.

Siobhan Phillips comes to City Varieties Music Hall on Saturday 24th August 2019.

UpYerRonson’s End of Summer Terrace Party

UpYerRonson is back for another massive party on the terrace. They’ve bagged Full Intention, who have over 20 years of dance music under their belt, as well as house legends X-Press 2 and The Hacienda’s Allister Whitehead. Warming up the decks will be a slew of UpYerRonson’s resident DJs.

UpYerRonson’s End of Summer Terrace Party comes to Mint Warehouse on Saturday 24th August 2019.

Romeo and Juliet

If you want to catch a show this bank holiday, don’t miss the open-air production of Romeo and Juliet. Heartbreak Productions are back with their take on the Shakespeare classic at Temple Newsam. The tale of the star-crossed lovers will be brought bang up to date as they weave in social media and all the latest 21st-century technology in what promises to be a fresh new take on one of The Bard’s most famous works.

Romeo and Juliet comes to Temple Newsam on Saturday 24th August 2019.

Sunday 25th August 2019

From huge club nights to outdoor festivals, bank holiday Sunday will be the highlight of your weekend.

Feast and Fiesta

Sneaky Experience, Kirkstall Abbey

Sneaky Experience are back with another fun-filled takeover at Kirkstall Abbey. Feast and Fiesta will see you tucking into irresistible street food to a backdrop of carnival dancers and live latin rhythms. Don’t forget to squeeze in a trip to the all-important tequila bar and rum shack. During the day, little ones can check out the Mini Fiesta Zone where you can join a samba workshop and even learn circus skills.

Feast and Fiesta comes to Kirkstall Abbey on Sunday 25th August 2019.

The Garden Party 2019: Part Three

The Garden Party

Credit: Daniel Watson

Catch the final instalment of one of Leeds’ biggest bank holiday events with a trip to Canal Mills. The Garden Party have once again scooped up massive names like Maribou State, who will show off their eclectic oriental sounds, and the ever-lively Artwork. It’ll kick off at midday and as usual, you can grab street food as you party in their extensive outdoor area.

The Garden Party 2019: Part Three comes to Canal Mills on Sunday 25th August 2019.

Black Music Festival 2019

This bank holiday, Potternewton Park will become a hub of black music, food and culture. We’re talking three stages with acts across all kinds of genres. The all-day event kicks off with music and dancing in the morning and takes you all the way until the early hours with DJs and performers. Need to refuel? You can sample delicious home-cooked food and sip rum punch to keep you going.

Black Music Festival 2019 comes to Potternewton Park on Sunday 25th August 2019.

Bank Holiday Bottomless Cocktails

Blind Tyger cocktail masterclass

Head to old school drinking den Blind Tyger to fill your evening with endless cocktails this bank holiday. For £25 you’ll get a full two hours to sup an endless supply of tipples and you can mix and match whatever tickles your fancy. Four different drinks will be available, including a refreshing Dry Daiquiri that teams Campari with Appleton white rum, as well as an aromatic Old Fashioned made with Wild Turkey 101 bourbon.

Bank Holiday Bottomless Cocktails comes to Blind Tyger on Sunday 25th August 2019.

Stockeld Rox

Make the little ones’ weekend with a trip to Stockeld Rox, where you can hear all the biggest pop songs in one incredible tribute show. Think Taylor Swift, Bruno Mars and Little Mix doppelgängers blasting out smash-hits across the field. You’ll have the entire park at your fingertips too, so you can work your way round five adventure playgrounds while you’re there.

Stockeld Rox comes to Stockeld Park on Sunday 25th August and Monday 26th August 2019.

Northern Soul Special

Get your groove on with a proper Motown get-down courtesy of Smokestack’s Northern Soul Special. DJ Mike Eastwood will be teaming up with the legendary Chico Malo to bring you a feast of 60’s r&b, Northern Soul and Tamla Motown. The night will pay homage to the golden years of Wigan Casino, a legendary night club, known as the mother of all soul music venues in the UK.

Northern Soul Special comes to Smokestack on Sunday 25th August 2019.

Reset Yarden Party Part 2

The Yarden Party at Duke Strudios

Credit: Tom Joy

The last Yarden Party of the summer will see Italian tech legend Dimmish behind the decks for a big old party at Sheaf Street. Since his first major release in 2016, he’s been building his collection of minimal house pieces, which have been showcased across Europe. He’ll be joined by four other top selectors, including Endless City and Jay Kilka.

Reset Yarden Party Part 2 comes to Sheaf Street on Sunday 25th August 2019.

Italian Summer Festa

Dough House

This bank holiday Dough House are partnering with premium Italian spirit brand VII Hills to put on a special event for pizza and cocktail lovers. You can sip exclusive cocktails and learn how to recreate them with a set of masterclasses as live DJs soundtrack your night. To keep your stomachs lined, you can gorge on unlimited gourmet pizza, making it a must for Leeds’ Italian-loving foodies.

Italian Summer Festa comes to Dough House on Sunday 25th August 2019.

Sounds of the Oldskool

Shine Weekender at The Warehouse

If you’re a lover of bassline and old school garage, you’re in for a treat. The Warehouse will host Sounds of the Oldskool, which will take you right through to 6am with all the best bassline bangers and a cracking lighting production to go with it. And that’s not all – you can get your glitter fix at one of their stalls and sup glasses of prosecco from another.

Sounds of the Oldskool comes to The Warehouse on Sunday 25th August 2019.

Gin ’n’ Jazz Speakeasy

Gin and tonic

Head to Tailors Gin for their monthly jazz evening that will get you into the roaring 1920s spirit. Expect live tunes from Reverend Chunky Times and an unrivalled selection of gin, which you can make the most of after your complimentary Gin Fizz. For a throwback experience, dip into their vintage costume selection and take a few old school selfies.

Gin ’n’ Jazz Speakeasy comes to Tailors Gin on Sunday 25th August 2019.

Desi Swag Launch

A brand new Bhangra night will launch at The Liquorist this bank holiday. Desi Swag will take over the Greek Street favourite with Bhangra, r&b and Bollywood tunes to create a buzzing party atmosphere that’s unlike anything else in Leeds city centre. You’ll get a prosecco reception before the tunes take you through to the early hours.

Desi Swag Launch comes to The Liquorist on Sunday 25th August 2019.

A Brutally Honest Evening With Mel B

Mel B

This is your chance to spend your long weekend with one of the Spice Girls in a laid-back show at Leeds Grand Theatre. A Brutally Honest Evening With Mel B will see the 90s star chat about everything from being in one of the world’s biggest pop groups to growing up right here in Leeds. If you have any burning questions, you can even get in on the audience Q&A.

A Brutally Honest Evening With Mel B comes to Leeds Grand Theatre on Sunday 25th August 2019.

Courtyard Party

Fibre Courtyard Party

Leeds’ legendary Courtyard Party will return with another of their bank holiday get-downs with DJs from both Bar Fibre and Queens Court providing the anthems to get you moving. They’ll take you from 1pm right through to midnight with 11 hours of non-stop summer tunes. If the previous twelve parties are anything to go by, you’re in for a good day (and night).

Courtyard Party takes place at Queens Court and Bar Fibre Courtyard on Sunday 25th August 2019.

Mint Festival Warm Up Party

Hot Since 82

Credit: Daley Edits

Spend your long weekend in Leeds at Mint Warehouse’s final Summer Terrace Party, which promises to be one hell of a night. The city’s own Hot Since 82 will be headlining, with a cracking line-up to warm up the crowds beforehand. You can see sets by Delano Smith, Ben Rau and Kristin Velvet across three different rooms and out on their iconic terrace.

Mint Festival Warm Up Party comes to Mint Warehouse on Sunday 25th August 2019.

A Feast of Falstaff

A Feast of Falstaff is an evening dedicated to one of Shakespeare’s most iconic characters. You’ll begin with a delicious buffet while watching pieces from three Falstaff operas, before settling down for a screening of ‘Chimes at Midnight’, dubbed one of the most important films in understanding Shakespeare’s legacy. The film follows his role in five of Shakespeare’s plays, from Henry IV to The Merry Wives of Windsor.

A Feast of Falstaff comes to HEART on Sunday 25th August 2019.

L/IT Ibiza Takeover Summer Closing Party

Angelica Ibiza Takeover

The L/IT Ibiza Takeover Summer Closing Party will draw Angelica’s rooftop parties to a close this bank holiday. Expect a host of summer classics to take you from 2pm right through to 2am, as you watch the sun setting over the city. Grab yourself a drink and soak up the views over the rooftops in one of Leeds’ most sophisticated bars.

L/IT Ibiza Takeover Summer Closing Party takes place at Angelica on Sunday 25th August 2019.

Monday 26th August 2019

End the bank holiday in Leeds by indulging in something a little different.

Chapel Allerton Arts Festival

Chapel Allerton Arts Festival

You can end your long weekend with a hefty dose of culture in one of Leeds’ quirkiest suburbs. Chapel Allerton Arts Festival will take over the area with an array of theatre performances, short films and art exhibitions, but that’s just the beginning. The Music in the Streets stage will have loads of live music and the kids can check out the family activities. Throw in an arts market and street food and you’ve got a top notch day ahead of you.

Chapel Allerton Arts Festival comes to Chapel Allerton from Monday 26th August to Sunday 1st September 2019.

Leeds West Indian Carnival

Leeds Carnival 50

© Copyright Leeds-List 2019 by Ali Turner

Leeds West Indian Carnival will return to the city with a shed-load of tropical music and lavish costumes to get the party going. It will span the entire bank holiday weekend but most of the action takes place on Monday. You can kick off with the J’Ouvert Morning soca music jam at the crack of dawn, followed by the Big Carnival Parade which ends with a whopping great festival with live music, food and drink at Potternewton Park.

Leeds West Indian Carnival comes to Chapeltown from Friday 23rd to Monday 26th August 2019.

Junoon

This bank holiday, Pakistan’s biggest rock band Junoon will play a massive headline show at First Direct Arena. This is your chance to witness their unmistakable bhangra rock rhythms and distinctive melodies on a huge scale. Since their humble beginnings in 1990, they’ve sold over 30 million albums worldwide, so expect a solid collection of hits to make an appearance, from ‘Sayonee’ to ‘Dosti’.

Junoon comes to First Direct Arena on Monday 26th August 2019.

Rooftop Yoga

Headrow House

Credit: Tom Joy

Finish your long weekend with a little me-time by heading to one of Leeds’ favourite rooftop bars for an open-air yoga session. With boast-worthy views across the city’s rooftops, Headrow House makes for the perfect spot for a one-hour yoga class. They’ll supply mats, but if you have your own feel free to bring them along.

Rooftop Yoga comes to Headrow House on Monday 26th August 2019.

Pavey Ark

Alt-folk band Pavey Ark will make their debut at Oporto’s Monday night Gaslight Club. The Hull talents have recently played Glastonbury Festival and are known for their atmospheric medley of violins, guitars and bass, so combine this with an intimate candle-lit setup and you’re all set to draw your bank holiday to a show-stopping close.

Pavey Ark comes to Oporto on Monday 26th August 2019.