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 20th March
Horse Meat Disco. Fuel your night with the very best in funk and 80s boogie at The HiFi Club. The London collective has been a mainstay in the world of disco for nearly two decades and they’re regulars at this tiny venue, so don’t miss them in their element as they return for another memorable night.
Missing People. You can see a brand new bilingual show at Leeds Playhouse. Sakiko is due to introduce her fiancée to her family in Japan, but all this is overshadowed by strange goings-on – her father has been missing for hours, her mother is acting unusually and a mysterious figure is waiting in the garden. Performed with subtitles, it’s a thrilling production you won’t want to miss.
Fascinating Aïda. Wondering what’s on in Leeds’ comedy scene? You can enjoy an all-singing, all-dancing performance by the comedic music and cabaret group at Leeds Town Hall. They’ve been performing their glamorous, hip-shaking shows since the 1980s and their latest tour sees them better than ever.
Leeds College of Music Gala Concert. Want to kick off your weekend in Leeds with live music? Don’t miss the grand finale of Sounds Like THIS Festival at Leeds College of Music. This closing performance will showcase the best musical talent at the conservatoire, giving you the chance to see the city’s up and coming artists before they hit the big time.
Oliver Twist. Leeds Playhouse will present a bold new production of a story we know and love. Adapted by award-winning playwright Bryony Lavery and in co-production with Ramps On The Moon, who bring D/deaf and disabled artists to the forefront, you can expect a clever use of sign language, audio description and captioning to bring this classic tale to life.
What’s Love Got to Do With It? Tina Turner fans, listen up. You can catch the sensational tribute tour at First Direct Arena this weekend. Prepare for a night of massive hits like ‘What’s Love Got to Do With It?’ and ‘The Best’ performed by The Voice star Elesha Paul Moses and a 10-piece live band. If you love a good ol’ throwback, this is one of the best things to do in Leeds.
Rat Boy. The Essex lad will show off his eclectic material with a headline show at The Wardrobe. He mashes 2000s pop-punk with 90s hip-hop and 70s punk rock to create experimental tracks that have secured him a loyal fanbase. From ‘Laidback’ to ‘Get Over It’, you’ll hear plenty of fan-favourites.
Friday Residency. This week, Sheaf St will invite the local DJ duo Sah behind the decks. They’ll kickstart your weekend with plenty of ambient tunes using their own hefty record collection. Feeling peckish? You can snaffle from-scratch pizza until 10pm in the cafeteria, courtesy of pop-up kitchen Itza.
Sløtface. Catch the Norweigian pop-rockers at Headrow House for an explosive gig. During the past five years, they’ve released tracks that have taken the alt-indie scene by storm and now their latest album ‘Sorry For the Late Reply’ has been released, you can expect to hear a few new tunes too.
Saturday 21st March
Craig Charles Funk and Soul Club. The BBC Radio 6 stalwart will return to The Wardrobe for another funk-filled DJ set. He’ll spin tracks into the early hours, digging out his favourite soul, funk and disco classics as he goes. He’s no stranger to a sell-out event either, so secure your spot while you still can.
Hyde and Seek: Paddington. Want to know what’s on for little ones in Leeds this weekend? You can see the charming 2014 film at HEART – since arriving into London, this well-mannered bear seems to cause mischief wherever he goes. If you head down early, you can take part in a craft session before the film.
Armley Print Fest. The ever-popular print festival will takeover Leeds Industrial Museum this weekend with 30 local art stalls to browse. Throw in family-friendly activities, live demonstrations of printing techniques and screenings in their 1920s cinema and you have the perfect day out ahead of you.
The Oliver Wolf Band. For a night of groove-inducing tunes in a speakeasy setting, don’t miss the jazz talents at The Domino Club. They’re known for fusing pop with classic funk and soul, so you can expect an incredible show that’ll have everyone up on the dance floor in no time.
Leeds Food Tours. Want to know what’s on in Leeds for foodies this weekend? You can delve into the world of street food on this jam-packed tour, which promises a medley of tasty bites throughout. You’ll meet in the city centre and visit two street food hubs, stopping off at smaller spots along the way.
Dusky. Don’t miss the underground house duo as they step behind the decks at Headrow House. They’ve made a name for themselves here in the UK and in Europe’s prestigious techno scene. You can expect to hear old-school material alongside new cuts from their recent EP ‘Life Signs Vol.2’.
Fantastic Mr Fox. This weekend, you can see Roald Dahl’s beloved children’s book come to life on stage. The cunning Mr Fox plans to feed his entire community, but will he outsmart the farmers, who want to get rid of him once and for all? Head to Carriageworks Theatre to find out.
Geisha. Don’t miss the all-new ballet from choreographer Kenneth Tindall and Northern Ballet this weekend. Set in 19th-century Japan, it’s based on the true story of Okichi, the most famous geisha in Shimoda. Using striking costumes and spine-tingling music, they’ll reimagine her story in life and in death, after a clash between cultures pushes her to commit suicide.
Delta Sleep. If you’re after a laid-back gig this weekend, head to The Key Club. The Brighton band will head to Leeds to showcase material from their latest EP ‘Younger Years’ and past releases, like 2013’s ‘Management’. Their distinctive sound brings together jazz-inspired percussion with catchy guitar riffs, so this is your chance to hear it in the flesh.
Sunday 22nd March 2020
Dispatches on the Red Dress. Don’t miss the award-winning new production by songwriter Rowan Rhenigans and dramaturg Liam Hurley. It’s a one-woman show that merges storytelling with laid-back folk music. They’ve bagged a spot at this year’s Edinburgh Fringe Festival, so this is your chance to catch it at Carriageworks Theatre beforehand.
Mother’s Day: Speakeasy Jazz, G & Tea. For an evening of swinging jazz tunes, cream teas and cocktail-filled teapots, get down to Tailors Gin. You can enjoy the full speakeasy experience at this hidden gin bar, where racks of 1920s-inspired outfits and oodles of gin await.
Paint Monet for Mother’s Day. Want to get your creative juices flowing? PopUp Painting will takeover Be At One on Millennium Square, where you’ll recreate Monet’s iconic Water Lilies painting. All the art materials will be supplied and a practicing artist will be on-hand to help, so it’s a ready-made afternoon activity that your Mum will love.
Lionman. This disturbingly comic show will take to the stage at The Holbeck. Leonard wants to progress from commercial greeting card writer to film writer. He also wants the girl next door. By day, he works his thankless job and by night, he works on his beloved scripts. Through this tireless process, reality and fantasy soon merge into one.
Greentea Peng. Want to end your weekend in Leeds with a gig? You can catch the neo-soul talent and her hypnotic tunes at Headrow House. Since the release of her first EP ‘Sensi’ in 2018, she’s embraced her genre-bending music, which marries psychedelic sounds with r&b beats.
Bacurau. Leeds University Union will screen the newly-released thriller this weekend. A settlement in Brazil is shaken by its matriarch’s death, but something even more unnerving is going on – the water supply has been cut off and the village has disappeared from satellite maps. A Palme d’Or-nominated film at Cannes Film Festival, you won’t want to miss it.
Calligraphy & Brunch. The popular calligraphy workshop will take place at The Lost and Found Leeds Club for a Mother’s Day special. You’ll join wedding stationery designer Phylecia Sutherland for a morning of calligraphy and delicious food. All this will take place in the beautiful surrounds of this antique-filled restaurant.
Love You Madly. Don’t miss Leeds’ own Louise Gibbs show off her pipes this weekend, as she performs live at Seven Arts. She’ll be joined by jazz musicians Richard Wetherall and Frank Griffith to celebrate the music of Duke Ellington and Billy Strayhorn, two legendary jazz composers from the US.
Exile of the African Warrior. You can watch in awe as performers bring the story of the Yoruba king Odùduwà to life at Leeds Town Hall. Expect spine-tingling harmonies, traditional African instruments and energetic dancing complete with sensational costumes, as they take you back to a very different world.Cover image credit: David Lindsay