Leeds-List - Leeds' ultimate magazine and guide

What’s On This Weekend in Leeds

· Joseph Sheerin · Culture

Here is everything that's going on in Leeds this weekend.

The Rock 'n' Roll Panto

Back for its second year, The Magical Lantern Festival will bring 30 incredible handmade Chinese lanterns to Roundhay Park from Friday 24th November 2017 to Monday 1st January 2018. Book your tickets now.

If the weekend has caught you by surprise and you still don’t have plans, fear not, because we’ve rounded up what’s going on this weekend in Leeds.

There’s always something to do in Leeds, so if you find yourself at a loose end this weekend, or any other for that matter, just whack Leeds-List in your search bar and find our guide to what’s on. From the latest shows to club nights and one-off events, we’ve got it covered.

Friday 24th November 2017

Thor's Tipi Bar

Kick off your weekend with one of the three supper clubs taking place across the city. King Street Social is back for two nights at Laynes Espresso with esteemed chef Jonathan Hawthorne who’ll cook up an Asian inspired storm. Over at The Union, they’re welcoming the Kachumber Kitchen for a vegan supper club and All Hallows Church in Hyde Park is home to the Rainbow Unity Bistro from The Real Junk Food Project who are putting on a completely vegetarian buffet with live music, spoken word and ceilidh dancing – all are welcome.

If you’d rather start your weekend with a few beverages, you’ve got options. The Otley Beer Festival is back for its 17th year with over 60 real ales, ciders, keg beers and perries, as well as street food stalls and live music across three days. If you’d rather stay in the city centre, remember that Thor’s Tipi and Leeds German Market are open too.

Looking for something to do with the kids this weekend? There’s a trio of Christmas-themed events the whole family will have a ball at. The Magical Lantern Festival is taking over Roundhay Park with 30 intricate lanterns that take the form of everything from penguins to polar bears. There’s also an entertainment zone with a tipi bar, Santa’s Grotto and fairground rides. Lotherton Hall is once again home to the Christmas Experience with the 12 Days of Christmas Walk, the Elf Village and Santa’s North Pole Grotto or you can visit Harewood House for their Victorian Christmas, which takes you back to the 19th century.

Magical Lantern Festival

Friday night sees Leeds Central Library open after hours for a very special night – they’re hosting a Harry Potter Quiz with questions put together by the experts at Pottermore to test your knowledge of J.K. Rowling’s wizarding world, see how you fare against their Curator’s Curious Conundrum and win some cracking prizes. The House of Fun Comedy Club is back this weekend at The Original Oak too with Carey Marx, Steve Shanyaski and Danny Deegan.

Fancy a night at the theatre? Kay Mellor’s hilarious Leeds-based musical Fat Friends continues at Leeds Grand Theatre and Disney’s Camp Rock Musical comes to Carriageworks Theatre. Panto season kicks off with a rock ’n’ roll bang this weekend as Aladdin runs at City Varieties or you can nip over to Otley Courthouse for Bomb Happy, which brings to life the verbatim memories of the five remaining York Normandy Veterans.

Music fans are absolutely spoilt for choice this weekend. Friday night sees ska legends Bad Manners return to Leeds for a show at Bad Manners or you can see punk pioneers The Undertones play tunes like ‘Teenage Kicks’ at Leeds University Union. There’s a duo of shows at Brudenell Social Club too, with Canadian punk rockers METZ in one room and Norfolk rockers Bad Touch in the other. There’s also alt-rock London group As Lions who are showing off their latest album ‘Selfish Age’ at The Key Club.

Fat Friends

You’ve got a huge chance to see one of indie music’s best up and coming bands as W.H. Lung bring their surreal live show to Live Art Bistro. There’s more indie goodness to see at The Library with Captain Wilberforce, Silver Wilson and Lunablind and at Church for Dear Friends with Last of the Wonder Kids, The Black Smith and Calista.

If you fancy reliving music from the golden days, there’s an incredible array of tribute bands on this weekend. Sounds of a Century is a two day festival at New Dock Hall with the likes of Carradine’s Cockney Singalong, The Jersey Guys and The Young Elvis. Gimme ABBA play their new hit-laden show ABBA After Midnight at Belgrave Hall, Leeds and Irish band Cronin play the hits of Shane MacGowan, the iconic frontman of The Pogues, and The King is brought back to life in Elvis in Concert at First Direct Arena with Royal Philharmonic Concert Orchestra and Priscilla Presley.

Looking for a late one? Leeds’ clubs are heaving. Reload brings huge drum & bass DJ Macky Gee to O2 Academy Leeds, Revamp presents an evening of acid house with Posthuman at The Old Red Bus Station and UP4 hosts a night of jungle anthems at the Run Tingz Session with Dillinja, Potential Bad Boy and Nicky Blackmarket. Drum and bass duo Spectrasoul are launching their new LP ‘How We Live’ at Wire, alt hip-hop and jazz fusion star Alfa Mist is at Headrow House and the Motherfunkers Boogie Wonderland is a disco dream at Chapel.

Saturday 25th November 2017

Emerging Forms, Austin Wright

Credit: University of Leeds

You can spend your Saturday afternoon checking out the new exhibitions at Leeds’ galleries. The Tetley is home to Saelia Aparicio’s first solo exhibition in For Consequences Have Actions. Over at The Stanley and Audrey Burton Gallery, Austin Wright’s Emerging Forms shows off his sculptures and drawings from 1955 to 1975. Leeds Arts University is home to Re-Animating The Snowman, which tells the story of how Raymond Briggs’ famous story was brought to life, and Project Space hosts A Feminist Space at Leeds: Looking Back to Think Forward, which focuses on the creative feminist productions that have emerged through the University of Leeds.

You can also learn a few new tricks at a couple of workshops taking place across the city. The Cut Card Collagraph Christmas Cards is a two-day printmaking course with Laney Birkhead at Skelton Grange or you can make your own Porcelain Tree Hangings at The Bowery in Headingley. There’s also a chance to buy some crafty gifts this weekend as the Artsmix Fair returns to Albion Place for the run-up to Christmas and the Oakwood Craft Market brings local makers to Oakwood Clock.

If you fancy doing something a little bit different this weekend, you’re not short of choice. Mixed martial arts fans can spend the evening with Almighty Fighting Championships 7 at O2 Academy Leeds, you can see what lies in the shadows on a spooky Ghost Hunt at Thwaite Mills Museum or you can dress up in your finest cosplay gear as Pudsey Comic Con takes place at Pudsey Civic Hall.

John Smith

How about a few laughs? The Comedy Sessions returns to The HiFi Club with Carey Marx, Paul Tonkinson and Dan Nightingale and the Leeds Comedy Cabaret takes place at Tiger Tiger with Alastair Barrie, Jack Campbell, Rosco McLelland and Liam Withnail. If you’re looking for a night at the theatre, you can enjoy an evening of dance with Artisho’s Performing Art Showcase at Yorkshire Dance or a queer cabaret fundraiser as Ketchup takes place at Live Art Bistro. You can even take the kids to Crumble’s Search for Christmas at West Yorkshire Playhouse.

Music fans have a trio of indoor festivals to choose from this Saturday. High & Lonesome will take over Brudenell Social Club’s two rooms with some of the finest folk and Americana acts in the world, including John Smith, Pale Seas and Josh Rouse. Over at Verve, Kazoopa brings some of the finest unsigned talents from around the UK to the city and Live at Leeds give you a teaser for next year’s festival with an all-dayer at The Wardrobe, headlined by up and coming psych stars White Room.

White Room

Church is home to Swindon indie rockers Misfires, influenced by the likes of Catfish and the Bottlemen and The 1975 or you can see the bare-knuckle soul of Thabo at Belgrave Music Hall. If you’re a fan of heavier music, London punks TRC are putting on an all-dayer at Temple of Boom with support from Renounced, Social Order and No Mercy or progressive hardcore metallers Press to MECO at The Key Club.

For something a little lighter, Tumbleweed Americana brings Chicago folk group The Way Down Wanderers to Seven Arts and country rockers the Amelia Carter Band are coming to The Hop. North East fiddle group the Tom McConville Band are at Otley Courthouse and Wales-based folk legends Lau headline Howard Assembly Room. Prefer a bit of classical music? The Orchestra of Opera North are performing at Leeds Town Hall and are joined by the likes of Leeds Philharmonic Chorus, Leeds College of Music Students and St Peter’s Singers.

Going out for a big one? Head to Leeds’ clubs. This weekend marks Back to Basics’ 26th birthday so they’re going all out for Love is the Message at Church, bringing together the likes of Kenny Dope, Man Power and Ralph Lawson. Over at Duke Studios, the Bombstrikes Block Party returns with Leeds legends Utah Saints and JFB, System takes over Mint Club with a night of house bangers courtesy of Apollonia, Rossko and Shonky and Joy brings the old skool anthems to The Old Red Bus Station with Anne Savage, DJ Sy, Ian Ossia and DJ Vertigo.

Sunday 26th November 2017

Winterfest at Leeds Town Hall

Sunday sees the return of the Leeds Winter Fest to Leeds Town Hall – it’s an all-day celebration of vegan food and culture, but you don’t have to be one to enjoy it. There are over 150 stalls of cakes, ethical clothing and gifts to look at, as well as kids activities, cookery demonstrations and live music. Over at The Social, Girl Gang Leeds are hosting the Cool for Crafts Festive Arts Market featuring an array of Leeds’ finest makers and creators, or you can head to the Hollybush Conservation Centre for their Christmas Craft Fair, which sees loads of local producers set up shop in a 17th-century barn.

If you fancy getting a bit creative yourself on Sunday afternoon, make a beeline for Chapel Allerton’s Baa Ram Ewe for their How to Crochet Workshop, or you can work some magic at Trinity Leeds in Get Your Edible Selfie – Candy Mechanics are in town to put your face on a bar of chocolate.

Tom Russell

Fancy a few laughs on Sunday night? Adam Lowe is bringing his Unbearable tour to Hyde Park Book Club with support from Chris Washington and Simon Lomas. The Wardrobe will be busy too because it’s home to Desi Central, a night featuring some of the finest Indian comedians around including Jay Sodagar, Tez Ilyas, Patrick Monaghan and Eshaan Akbar. There’s also a bit of theatre on Sunday, in Man on the Moon which follows Mancunian Keisha and her dad on a heartbreaking journey through poetry, looped sounds and storytelling.

You could also end the weekend with a bit of live music. Americana singer-songwriter Tom Russell brings his latest album ‘Folk Hotel’ to Brudenell Social Club, while Bella Union signed band Lowly show off their new record ‘Heba’ at Oporto. There’s also a bit of jazz at Seven Arts as Latchepen bring their Django Reinhardt-esque gypsy-jazz to Leeds or you can spend an evening with performance poet Mark Grist at Nation of Shopkeepers.