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What’s On This Bank Holiday Weekend in Yorkshire

· Emma Cooke · Culture

From food festivals to family-friendly shows, check out Yorkshire’s finest.

Chow Down, The Piece Hall

The next May bank holiday is upon us and it’s the perfect excuse to head out and explore Yorkshire.

If you want to get clued up with Yorkshire’s must-do events this bank holiday, you’ve come to the right place. There’s everything from a buzzing night-time food market to an indie music festival that takes place all over the city. But that’s just the tip of the iceberg, so make sure this is the best one yet.

Friday 24th May

From food festivals to throwback gigs, bank holiday Friday has something for everyone.

Heaven 17

You can indulge in an 80s throwback this bank holiday as Heaven 17 head to Yorkshire. Former Human League members Martyn Ware and Ian Craig Marsh have been serving up timeless synth hits since the band formed in 1980, like the iconic ‘Fascist Groove Thang’ and ‘Temptation’ which has featured in the soundtrack to films like Trainspotting. You can also expect a preview of their first new material in 12 years.

Heaven 17 play Holmfirth Picturedrome on Friday 24th May 2019.

Chow Down

Chow Down, The Piece Hall

The hotly anticipated street food festival Chow Down will return to The Piece Hall in Halifax this bank holiday, spanning the entire weekend. It attracted over 120,000 foodies last year and 2019 promises to be equally spectacular. Expect heaving hotdogs, lavish donuts and a flow of fizz from the prosecco van, which you can enjoy against the stunning backdrop of the historic venue.

Chow Down comes to The Piece Hall, Halifax from Friday 24th May to Monday 27th May 2019.

Green Velvet

Green Velvet

Chicago-born Green Velvet will head across the Atlantic to Yorkshire this bank holiday weekend to showcase one of his heart-pounding house sets. Originally a chemical engineering student, his technical brilliance has flourished behind the decks, by seamlessly mixing a range of techno beats that have sealed his place amongst the global dance elite.

Green Velvet comes to Tokyo Huddersfield on Friday 24th May 2019.

Katherine Jenkins OBE

Katherine Jenkins

This is your chance to see the sensational mezzo-soprano singer Katherine Jenkins live on stage. She’s Britain’s best-selling classical artist in the past 25 years and is best known for her unique take on popular songs, musical theatre hits and operatic arias. This May, she’ll be unveiling pieces from her emotional new album ‘Guiding Light’ alongside a medley of her biggest hits.

Katherine Jenkins OBE comes to York Barbican, York on Friday 24th May 2019.

Russian Philharmonic of Novosibirsk

This bank holiday, one of Russia’s most famous regional orchestras will perform two of Tchaikovsky’s finest works with solo violinist Alexander Sitkovetsky, right here in Yorkshire. The Russian Philharmonic of Novosibirsk will play the uplifting ‘Romeo and Juliet Overture’ and the intricate ‘Violin Concerto’, known to be one of the fiddliest pieces of music, so expect something spectacular.

Russian Philharmonic of Novosibirsk comes to St George’s Hall, Bradford on Friday 24th May 2019.

Glass Caves

Glass Caves hail from Pontefract and have their feet firmly planted in the alt-indie scene, with exciting things in the pipeline. Their synth-pop-rock music is as catchy as anything, with distinctive rocky vocals and gravelly guitar-led sounds. This is best heard through songs like ‘Do You Have a Name’ and ‘Alive’, which have had a huge number of streams.

Glass Caves play The Parish, Huddersfield on Friday 24th May 2019.

Olly Murs

Olly Murs

Cheeky Essex boy Olly Murs will bring his brand new tour to Yorkshire this May, ahead of his sixth album ‘You Know I Know’. It’s been 10 years since he appeared on The X Factor and since then he’s bagged himself five multi-platinum albums, a place as a judge on The Voice, plus plenty of big name collaborations with artists like Snoop Dogg and Rizzle Kicks.

Olly Murs comes to Fly DSA Arena, Sheffield on Friday 24th May 2019.


American rapper KRS-ONE found his success in the rap industry in the 1980s when part of iconic hip-hop group Boogie Down Productions. His solo material is fuelled by politically-charged lyrics and strong accompanying beats. He continued to release songs throughout the 90s, with huge hits like ‘Sound of Da Police’ and ‘MC’s Act Like They Don’t Know’, which he’ll bring to Sheffield this bank holiday.

KRS-ONE comes to O2 Academy Sheffield on Friday 24th May 2019.

Sheffield Food Festival 2019

Fargate, Sheffield

Credit: Credit: Philippa Willitts licensed under Creative Commons for commercial use.

If you’re a proper foodie, don’t miss the ultimate bank holiday feast this weekend, as one of the biggest food festivals in Yorkshire returns for its ninth year. Sheffield Food Festival 2019 will takeover the city centre with a mouth-watering set of food stalls. Expect to scoff jerk chicken in the Street Food Market followed by loaded brownies and craft beer in the Artisan Market, complete with a backdrop of live demonstrations and entertainment.

Sheffield Food Festival 2019 comes to the Peace Gardens, Millennium Square, Town Hall Square and Fargate in Sheffield from Friday 24th May to Monday 27th May 2019.

Saturday 25th May

Fill your Saturday with family-friendly theatre and cracking comedy shows.

An Evening With Alan McGee

If you want a glimpse into what working with Oasis and Primal Scream was like at the height of their fame, don’t miss An Evening With Alan McGee. The Scottish businessman not only co-founded Creation Records, which lead him to sign the UK’s biggest bands, but he’s also written music blogs for The Guardian and has one of the most poignant insights into the music industry, which he’ll share with the crowd in this eye-opening tour.

Alan McGee comes to Square Chapel, Halifax on Saturday 25th May 2019.

Moon Mission


Credit: Jonathan Pow

This bank holiday you can check out the brand new exhibition Moon Mission at Eureka!, the best family-friendly museum in Yorkshire. You can see a brand new space show and even train like an astronaut, all as a nod to the 50th anniversary of the moon-landing. It’s a great way to introduce the little ones to the world of space.

Moon Mission comes to Eureka! in Halifax from Saturday 25th May to Sunday 2nd June 2019.

Reginald D Hunter

If you fancy a few laughs this bank holiday weekend, don’t miss American comedian Reginald Hunter who will head to Yorkshire armed with his honest yet hilarious views on the world. After appearing on ‘Have I Got News For You’ and ‘Live at the Apollo’, he’s setting off on his brand new 20th anniversary tour, which will boldly tackle issues like race and sexuality in a truly original way.

Reginald D Hunter comes to St George’s Hall, Bradford on Saturday 25th May 2019.

May Half Term at National Coal Mining Museum

The National Coal Mining Museum

For a fun-filled day out with the whole family, head to the National Coal Mining Museum to check out their brand new activities. You’ll meet Peggy the 1940s miner’s wife and the resident blacksmiths who will show you their craft in action. You can even stroke the horses in the stables, followed by a set of horse-related crafts. Be sure to hop onto the on-site train to get you around throughout the day.

May Half Term National Coal Mining Museum, Wakefield takes place from Saturday 25th May to Sunday 2nd June 2019.

Burn the Floor

The acclaimed dance show Burn the Floor is about to hit Yorkshire this bank holiday, fresh from the West End. See 20 spectacular champion dancers, including Strictly stars Graziano Di Prima and Kevin Clifton, in what promises to be a dance show like no other. Expect striking choreography that will bring to life smoking Rumbas, romantic Waltzes and electrifying Tangos.

Burn the Floor comes to Sheffield City Hall on Saturday 25th May 2019.

Dr Feelgood

Dr Feelgood

Essex rockers Dr Feelgood will head to Yorkshire this bank holiday weekend as part of their huge European tour. Expect a run-though of their greatest rock and blues hits from the 70s. From ‘Roxette’ to ‘Milk and Alcohol’, ‘Back in the Night’ and ‘She Does It Right’, you’ll get all the classics that have sealed their place in British rock folklore.

Dr Feelgood plays The Greystones on Saturday 25th May 2019.

Tanya Lee Davies

Canadian-born Tanya Lee Davies is just 3 foot 6 inches tall, which means she has a very different view on the world, and she’s more than happy to share her side-splitting anecdotes. Her latest tour ‘Actual Size’ spans plenty of everyday topics, from dating to shopping, and gives them a whole new perspective.

Tanya Lee Davies comes to Lawrence Batley Theatre on Saturday 25th May 2019.

Dear Zoo

If you fancy a family trip to the theatre this bank holiday, check out Dear Zoo, a production that will bring the beloved children’s book to the stage. When Ben and Sally write to the zoo asking for a pet, they have no idea what will rock up. Expect lions, elephants and monkeys to come to life with clever puppetry, lots of music and audience interaction.

Dear Zoo comes to Rotherham Civic Theatre on Saturday 25th May 2019.

Slam Dunk Festival 2019

Slam Dunk Festival

This bank holiday, you can catch some of the world’s biggest punk and rock bands right here in Yorkshire at an explosive day festival. The award winning Slam Dunk will take over Temple Newsam Park with a cracking line-up that features names like Bullet For My Valentine, All Time Low and NOFX, alongside the best up and coming acts that span genres like rock, metal, pop-punk and ska.

Slam Dunk Festival 2019 comes to Temple Newsam Park on Saturday 25th May 2019.

Sunday 26th May

From exclusive DJ sets to outdoor all-day festivals, bank holiday Sunday doesn’t disappoint.

Love 4 Music

Soul II Soul

This bank holiday, head to Love 4 Music to catch a huge set of acts that cover the very best of reggae, soul and 90s r&b. It’s an outdoor festival that will showcase over 15 acts across two stages. You can groove to throwback hits by 80s icons Soul II Soul, legendary soul group The Real Thing and reggae duo Chaka Demus & Pliers. Feeling peckish? There’ll be plenty of international street food vendors onsite.

Love 4 Music comes to The Pavilion, Huddersfield on Sunday 26th May 2019.

Common People – Pulp DJ Special with Nick Banks

Sheffield-born Pulp drummer Nick Banks will head to The Leadmill this bank holiday to treat the crowds to an exclusive DJ set that you won’t want to miss. Yorkshire lad Nick joined the band in 1986 and you can expect plenty of classics from their back catalogue, like the world-famous ‘Common People’ and the electrifying ‘Disco 2000’, to get your feet moving in an unforgettable night of Britpop.

Common People – Pulp DJ Special with Nick Banks comes to The Leadmill, Sheffield on Sunday 26th May 2019.

The Garden Party: Part Two

To catch the biggest house names all in one place, head to the massively popular day-to-night shindig The Garden Party, which is back for its second instalment in Leeds this year. They’ve bagged huge names like Solardo, Horse Meat Disco and Dixon alongside plenty of other mainstays in the world of disco, like Jeremy Underground and Mella Dee. Expect a whole host of street food and cocktails to keep you going through to the night.

The Garden Party: Part Two comes to Canal Mills, Leeds on Sunday 26th May 2019.

Dele Sosimi Afrobeat Orchestra

Dele Sosimi

Credit: Bart Van der Moeren Fotos

The multi-award-winning musician Dele Sosimi and his Afrobeat Orchestra will head to Yorkshire this bank holiday. He’s one of the most active Afrobeat musicians in the UK, who’s worked with the likes of Fela Kuti, and has a whole host of festivals and collaborations under his belt. Expect a medley of funky guitars, striking horns and punchy percussion.

Dele Sosimi and the Afrobeat Orchestra comes to Headrow House, Leeds on Sunday 26th May 2019.

Kyla Brox

Kyla Brox

Credit: Phil Melia

Mancunian blues vocalist Kyla Brox has become increasingly popular over the years and has recently been crowned the winner of the UK Blues Challenge. Since accompanying her blues singing father Victor Brox in his band, she’s taken the reigns and established her own style using her powerful vocals. Expect to hear plenty of new material from her recently released album ‘Pain and Glory’.

Kyla Brox comes to The Lantern, Halifax on Sunday 26th May 2019.

Open Mike Eagle

Open Mike Eagle is a member of hip-hop collective Project Blowed, but has since carved his own way through the world of rap. He’s known for his witty lyrics and social commentary of the black experience in hip-hop. This bank holiday, the Chicago born rapper will head to Yorkshire to perform a selection of his own material, so expect hits like ‘Ziggy Starfish’ and ‘Qualifiers’.

Open Mike Eagle comes to Belgrave Music Hall and Canteen on Sunday 26th May 2019.

Monday 27th May

Comedy shows, family-friendly days out or the best up and coming artists? Here’s how you can end your bank holiday weekend in Yorkshire.

James Acaster

James Acaster

To enjoy a few laughs this bank holiday, check out comedian James Acaster’s brutally honest but wildly popular ‘Cold Lasagne Hate Myself 1999’ tour. He’s heading to Yorkshire kitted out with plenty of stories for you to enjoy at the expense of his own dignity, told with effortless confidence. As seen on ‘Mock the Week’ and ‘Russell Howard’s Good News’, he’s not afraid to delve into less conventional material either, so expect the unexpected.

James Acaster comes to Grand Opera House, York on Monday 27th May 2019.

Manic Street Preachers

Manic Street Preachers

Credit: Alex Lake

You can catch the legendary Welsh rockers Manic Street Preachers here in Yorkshire this bank holiday, for an epic night of 90s rock. Despite their punk-rooted beginnings, they’ve weaved their way towards a poppier, rockier sound characterised by wailing riffs, which are evident in hits like ‘Motorcycle Emptiness’ and ‘A Design For Life’, which they’ll play as they headline the York Barbican.

Manic Street Preachers come to York Barbican on Monday 27th May 2019.

Carson McHone

If you want to indulge in a fresh take on country music, don’t miss Carson McHone who will play an intimate gig at Cafe #9 this bank holiday weekend. The Texan will head to Yorkshire armed with her unique tunes, where she puts a modern twist on the traditional country style. You’ll hear her most popular hits like ‘Dram Shop Gal’ and ‘How ‘Bout It’ alongside cuts from her latest album ‘Carousel’.

Carson McHone comes to Cafe #9, Sheffield on Monday 27th May 2019.

Enchanted Fairy Forest at Tropical Butterfly House

Tropical Butterfly House

Credit: Tropical Butterfly House Wildlife and Falconry Centre

If you fancy a day out with the whole family this bank holiday Monday, head to Tropical Butterfly House to enter the Enchanted Fairy Forest. Expect fairy guided walks through the nature centre, where you can spot hidden pixie houses and dragons, plus an encounter with Corrie the Unicorn. You can even have your face painted, visit the animals on the way or get stuck into arts and crafts.

Enchanted Fairy Forest comes to Tropical Butterfly House Wildlife and Falconry Centre, Sheffield from Monday 27th May to Sunday 2nd June 2019.


To catch one of pop’s rising stars this bank holiday, check out Anne-Marie, who will head to Yorkshire on her solo tour. She first came into the limelight as one of Rudimental’s guest vocalists, as well as her distinctive stint on Clean Bandit’s ‘Rockabye’, which soared to number one in the charts in 2016. Since then she’s released the massively successful ‘Ciao Adios’ and a top 5 UK album.

Anne-Marie comes to O2 Academy Leeds, Leeds on Monday 27th May 2019.

Mild Orange

If you fancy a lively gig with one of the most exciting up and coming bands this bank holiday weekend, look no further than Mild Orange. The New Zealand-based band will head to Yorkshire with their catchy dream pop tunes for an intimate gig at Headrow House. Their first album ‘Foreplay’ took off in 2018, including the hugely successful song ‘Some Feeling’.

Mild Orange comes to Headrow House, Leeds on Monday 27th May 2019.