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 19th May 2017
We’re slap bang in the middle of Leeds Indie Food this weekend, so why not get your Friday night going with some foodie fun? There’s a trio of festival events to pay a visit to, from the Wild & Wall Foraging and Tasting Menu at Cafe 164 to the LGBTQ+ friendly Yorkshire Relish Dining Group at Cosmopolitan Hotel and Carl Fleischer and Steve Nuttall’s Pop-up at Laynes Espresso which focusses on vegetables although not every dish is vegetarian.
You could get arty on Friday evening if that’s more your thing. Dave Draws is leading the Doodle Map Masterclass at Chirpy in Chapel Allerton or you can spend the night at The Bowery in Headingley for Drink and Draw: The Landscape is Changing. There’s also a great event shared between The Treasures of the Brotherton Gallery and The Stanley and Audrey Burton Gallery at University of Leeds as they open up their doors after-hours for Museums at Night 2017.
Perhaps you’d rather spend the evening at the theatre? This weekend is your last chance to catch the stage adaptation of silver screen classic The Graduate at West Yorkshire Playhouse, but there are plenty of new shows to catch too. The biggest of which is Evita at Leeds Grand Theatre, telling the rags to riches story of Eva Peron, wife of Argentinian dictator Juan Peron.
Over at City Varieties, prepare for plenty of laughs and a bit of nudity as The Full Monty comes to town, this time swapping Sheffield for New York as the classic film is taken Stateside. Carriageworks has a couple of shows on offer too, with something for all ages – grown ups can check out LIDOS’ take on Jekyll and Hyde while the kids will love learning about the Bard in Scottish Falsetto Sock Puppet Theatre Do Shakespeare.
St Mary’s Church in Whitkirk will be a perfect venue for a night of suspense as The Mystery Show prepares for the Actors Awards Night 2017, a one night murder-mystery. When someone murders an A-list celebrity it all starts to unravel and as the lies build, will you be able to work out who did it and who won Actor of the Year?
If you’ve got older kids to entertain, the last few performances of Rock of Ages at Yeadon Town Hall should do the trick, or head over to First Direct Arena – they’re showing Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone on a giant, high definition screen while a full live orchestra play John Williams’ incredible score live. Fancy a night out with a few laughs instead? Live Comedy at Aspire returns with Martin Semple, Steve Shanyaski, Tom Houghton, Tom Wrigglesworth and Lloyd Griffiths all taking to the stage.
Friday night is always jam-packed with live music. One of the biggest modern stars of reggae music makes his Leeds debut as Chronixx headlines O2 Academy. You could also see a living, breathing hip-hop icon as Grandmaster Flash brings ‘The Message’ to Brudenell Social Club for a very special evening with rap royalty.
The same venue is also home to DIY punks The Tuts, while you can catch a dose of indie goodness at The Library with Tooth & Nail, Belgrave Music Hall with The Slow Readers Club and Milo with Corella. Meanwhile, The Wardrobe welcomes post-punk legend Jah Wobble and local legend Mik Artistik heads to Seven Arts.
The Ukulele Orchestra of Great Britain will put on one of the more intriguing performances of the weekend at Leeds Town Hall, with their tiny guitar covers of pop, rock and classical tunes. You could also head to Holy Trinity Church for Music from the Movies, performed by the Arts@Trinity Flute Choir.
Alternatively, keep the night going into the early hours at the city’s clubs. Delve into the underground world of house, disco and techno at Wire as Butter Side Up returns, head to Vision State to see Proxima and ed:it on the decks at The Old Red Bus Station or enter hardcore heaven with Fractal vs Industrialize at Beaver Works.
Saturday 20th May 2017
Saturday is a day that art lovers can really make the most of in Leeds, with a slew of exhibitions and workshops to check out. First up are two that are finishing this weekend, with Pumped: The Art of Modern Beer at Colours May Vary and Kelly Boyle’s Solo Art Exhibition at Preston in Oakwood.
Elsewhere, SO is an interactive exhibition that takes place all over the city as Leeds City College students in creative arts, computer games and photography courses showcase their work – pick up a map from Studio 24 and see them all. You can also see Leeds College of Arts’ Foundation Diploma in Art and Design students exhibit their work at the Vernon Street campus in Extra-ordinary.
Or why not try Sarah Kate Wilson’s Wrapped? Her paintings have been wrapped with plastic, and you’re encouraged to bring your own items with you, which you can then wrap up into the art at University of Leeds’ Project Space. Sunny Bank Mills has a double helping of culture – Lifelines explores the natural world in art while Weave: Fragments features work inspired by the Mill’s own weaving heritage.
Fancy getting a bit arty yourself? Take part in the Pom-Pom Workshop with Stitch-Up at The Allotment in Leeds Kirkgate Market or give Screen Printing for Textiles a go at Leeds Print Workshop’s 130 Vicar Lane home. If you’ve got little ones to entertain, take them along to Throwing Shapes, the latest Family Art Workshop at The Tetley or Seagulls Re-use’s Saturday Mosaic Workshop.
There are loads of Leeds Indie Food events to make the most of too. BundoBrunch: The Return of the Brunchy Space sees the boys from Bundobust take over the Laynes Espresso kitchen all weekend. Meanwhile, Northern Monk and North Brewing Co have joined forces for the Hit the North Beer Launch and Ale Trail on Saturday night. You can be one of the first to try their new collaboration beer, as the two breweries swap venues for the night with a shuttle bus running between the two.
We Are Wellness is home to Vegan Afternoon Chai, an afternoon tea with a difference and Leeds Dock presents The Fun of Food, a family-friendly interactive gallery experience that explores the joys of food, with loads of cool and unusual activities throughout the day.
You can pick up some unique creations at Holy Trinity Church’s The Stalls Makers Market on Saturday afternoon or head up to New Headingley Hall to celebrate Headingley Day, with street food, live music and family-friendly fun all day long. If you’d rather stretch your legs on Saturday, you can do so at two Leeds landmarks. Temple Newsam is open to the Gung-Ho! Seriously Fun 5k, while Harewood House presents the first Salomon Sunset Series, an 10 kilometre evening run through the grounds.
Wrestling fans can have a ball at Eiger Studios where RISE put on an evening of indie grapple action, or perhaps you’d like a night of drama instead? Head to HEART in Headingley for The Pleasure of the Fleeting Year, a dramatic narrative by Peter Gilbert telling the life and loves of William Shakespeare with sonnets and speeches from his plays, poetry and music. You can also have a laugh courtesy of The Comedy Sessions at HiFi with Brennan Reece and Dan Nightingale.
The big gig this weekend is at First Direct Arena. Wakefield heroes The Cribs headline their biggest Leeds show to date in celebration of the 10th anniversary of ‘Men’s Needs, Women’s Needs, Whatever’, with a stellar supporting cast of Slaves and Pulled Apart By Horses.
That’s not all – Gold Sounds is back at Brudenell Social Club for an indie all-dayer featuring the likes of Cabbage, Dune Rats and Cagoule. Industrial icons Swans will blow your eardrums at Leeds University Union, soul and funk group Smoove and Turrell will get you moving at The Wardrobe and there’s a whole day of metal at The Packhorse, where Black Nevada, Beckon Lane and System Paralysis team up for The Metal Apocalypse.
Classical fans have the Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra to look forward to at Leeds Town Hall with Leeds Festival Chorus and Leeds Philharmonic Choir, or you can have a boogie with Soul Seven at Seven Arts, with an evening of cracking Motown and Northern Soul anthems.
If it’s clubnights you’re after, there’s a trio to pick from. Compact Disc-o welcomes J.Cub, Modec, Mehlor and Georgie T at The Old Red Bus Station, Groove.box host their 2nd Birthday Party at The Garden of Duke Studios and Dilate takes over Wire with Crissy Criss, Logan D, Eksman and Carasel on the decks.
Sunday 21st May 2017
Sunday is the perfect day to see what Leeds Indie Food events you can get involved with. House of Koko are hosting The Delicious Draw with Buttercrumble, a creative workshop that explores all your senses (with cakes). There’s also Upcycle at Emmaus Leeds, a dinner with a social conscience – you’ll have a meal cooked with surplus food waste with guest speakers throughout the evening.
During the day, you could head to Left Bank Leeds for the Leeds Vintage Kilo Sale where you can fill a bag of retro goodies for just £15 per kilo – they’ve also got the Sela Bar Pizza Van too. Theatre buffs can make the most of Sunday too with Ceausescu: The Musical at Seven Arts, a humorous look at the Romanian dictator’s final days.
Sunday is a good day for music fans too. First Direct Arena is home to the world’s most successful Elvis tribute artist as Shawn Klush brings his Elvis World Tour to town. Hips will also be swinging at Leeds Grand Theatre as the icon that is Shakin’ Stevens goes his Echoes of Our Times tour.
There are three shows to see at Brudenell Social Club on Sunday night. American singer-songwriter Ryley Walker brings his incredible new record ‘Land of Plenty’ to Leeds, lo-fi post-punk upstarts Priests show off their first full album ‘Nothing Feels Natural’ and Homeshake, the solo project of Peter Sagar, offer up new record ‘Fresh Air’.
If you’ve got little ones to entertain, the whole family will have a great time at Big Fish Little Fish Mad Hatter’s Ball Family Rave with renowned DJ Rob Tissera on the decks at Leeds University Union. There’s also Nel Begley singing The Music of Ella Fitzgerald and Joe Pass at The Inkwell, folk singer-songwriter Lisa Mitchell at Oporto and local seven-piece soul, rock and African blues band Sifaka at The HiFi Club’s Sunday Joint.