Leeds-List: The Best & Most Insightful Guide to Leeds

What’s On This Weekend in Leeds

· Joseph Sheerin · Culture

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

Chow Down

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 10th December 2021

Madness Headingley Cricket Ground

Madness. The Nutty Boys are back in Leeds! Legendary London ska-rockers Madness are still at the top of their game, their live show one of the best around. You can check them out for yourself to kickstart your weekend as they headline First Direct Arena. Get ready to skank your way through classics like ‘Baggy Trousers’, ‘The Prince’ and ‘Our House’.

Swiftogeddon. If you’ve got a ‘Blank Space’ in your diary for Friday night, make a beeline for Belgrave Music Hall. The Taylor Swift Club Night is making its return and it’s going to be epic. It’s non-stop Swifty until the doors close, from deep cuts and extended mixes to fan favourites and all her biggest hits – this is one not to be missed if you love Taylor.

Northern Ballet’s Pinocchio. It’s only 40-minutes long, so a trip to The Stanley & Audrey Burton Theatre is perfect for families this weekend. You can see Northern Ballet’s heart-warming take on an absolute classic, Pinocchio. Blending ballet, live music and theatre, you can join the playful puppet on his quest to become a real boy.

Bedknobs & Broomsticks.

Credit: Johan Persson

Hyde Park Brass Band. Brass bands are back in fashion thanks to groups like these Leeds favourites. Head to Leeds University Union on Friday as they put their inimitable take on classic tunes you know and love to get you moving and grooving. From rock classics to soul favourites and EDM bangers, you’re guaranteed a blazing night out.

Theatre of Hate. Icons of the early 1980s post-punk movement, Theatre of Hate are headlining the Brudenell Social Club this weekend. Formed out of the ashes of cult punk band The Pack, tunes like the sax-led ‘Legion’, ‘Original Sin’ and ‘Westworld’ signalled their evolution and a new era for the group. Don’t miss their return to Leeds on Friday.

Bedknobs & Broomsticks. Classic Disney movie Bedknobs & Broomsticks is making its world premiere as a fun-filled stage musical for all the family. It’s time to start believing when you make your way to Leeds Grand Theatre this weekend – you’ll follow the three Rawlins orphans as they are evacuated from wartime to London and many adventures await.

Beauty and the Beast Rock n Roll Panto

Credit: Ant Robling

Beauty & the Beast. The Rock ’n’ Roll Panto is taking over City Varieties on Friday night. Get ready for a fun twist on a classic story as Beauty & the Beast gets the pantomime treatment. Classic rock tunes will soundtrack a performance full of cheesy jokes, incredible drama and audience participation – it promises fun for all the family!

Aladdin. Panto season at Carriageworks Theatre will be in full flow on Friday night. Their annual production is always a popular event and this year they’re putting their spin on Aladdin. You’ll follow him on an epic journey as he travels through the sky looking for fortune and true love, complete with singalongs, incredible choreography and hilarious jokes.

Wendy & Peter Pan. Are you ready to visit Neverland? Head to Leeds Playhouse this weekend for a never-before-told version of JM Barrie’s story. This magical retelling focusses on Wendy as she takes on The Lost Boys and the oh-so-evil Captain Hook with the help of Peter Pan, Tink and Tiger Lily. It’s fun for all the family with its mix of magic, comedy and beautiful sets.

Saturday 11th December 2021

The Darkness

The Darkness. It’s Christmas time, so The Darkness won’t be letting any bells end this weekend in Leeds. The glam rock icons are bringing their epic live show to O2 Academy on Saturday night. As well as their festive favourite, they’ll be running through their greatest hits, from ‘I Believe in a Thing Called Love’ to ‘Get Your Hands Off My Woman’.

Gary Barlow. You can expect ‘All The Hits’ from Gary Barlow as he takes you on a musical journey through his 30-year career on Saturday night. He’s playing First Direct Arena and bringing out the big hitters, whether you love 90s Take That tunes like ‘Never Forget’ or prefer newer classics like ‘Shine’. He’ll also play new songs from ‘Music Played by Humans’.

Art Sparkles Christmas Market. Load up on all that festive spirit at Left Bank Leeds this weekend. The Art Sparkles Christmas Market sees 40 indie makers, creators and artists man stalls in this impressive old church, offering up the perfect Yuletide gifts. You can also enjoy hot chocolate, Reluctant Hero beer and all things mulled, with eats from The Sausage Box.


Credit: Robin Clewley

Zuzu. One of the breakout indie stars of 2021, Zuzu’s debut album tour makes its way to Hyde Park Book Club this weekend. Her irresistible blend of Britpop hooks, grunge riffs and Merseybeat heritage, makes Zuzu a remarkable prospect. She’ll be playing the choicest cuts from her debut album ‘Queensway Tunnel’ on Saturday night.

Last Time Out #8. This monthly celebration of jazz, soul, funk and world music returns to The Wardrobe on Saturday night. Last Time Out #8 sees a star-studded bill come to Leeds. Support acts are to be confirmed, but the headliner is one of the world’s finest and most genre-defying drummers – don’t miss your chance to see Richard Spaven in action.

Starsailor. After selling out an initial hometown 20th anniversary show in Warrington, indie rockers Starsailor are taking their breakthrough debut album ‘Love Is Here’ on a full UK tour. It comes to Leeds University Union on Saturday night – get ready for James Walsh and co to run through epic anthems like ‘Alcoholic’, ‘Fever’ and ‘Good Souls’.

I Like Trains

I Like Trains. Originally scheduled for The Tetley, this long-awaited show from Leeds’ own I Like Trains finally happens on Saturday night at the Brudenell Social Club. Their bleak but inspiring soundscapes have enabled them to last longer than most of their counterparts from the 2000s indie scene and their live shows are still one of the best around.

Leeds Male Voice Choir. Amidst the hurried goings on of Leeds City Centre, the Leeds Male Voice Choir will provide a dose of festive serenity at Holy Trinity Church on Saturday evening. The Spirit of Christmas show will see this esteemed choir put their own twist on a series of festive hits, with the proceeds of the concert donated to St George’s Crypt.

Belgrave Festive Feast. Of all the Belgrave Feasts in the year, the Christmas edition is the one that everyone looks forward to. Make sure you turn up with empty bellies on Saturday afternoon because there’s loads of tasty eats to get through, from the likes of Sabroso Street, Osaka Local and Black Day Bakes. There’s a festive arts market and kids activities too.

Sunday 12th December 2021

Enter Shikari

Enter Shikari. One of the biggest British rock bands of the 21st century, Enter Shikari are showing no signs of slowing or quieting down. Emerging with electro-hardcore tunes like ‘Sorry You’re Not a Winner’ and ‘OK Time For Plan B’, they’re now on album six, ‘Nothing Is True and Everything Is Possible’. They play O2 Academy Leeds on Sunday with Dinosaur Pile-Up.

The Pale White. Hailing from Newcastle, The Pale White’s bluesy rock sounds have put them on the lips of the biggest tastemakers in music. Get down to The Key Club on Sunday night to see what all the fuss is about. Tracks like ‘Never Enough’, ‘That Dress’ and ‘Confession Box’ from debut album ‘Infinite Pleasures’ hint at a bright future for this trio.

Pigs Pigs Pigs Pigs Pigs Pigs Pigs. Newcastle’s Pigs x7 have been on the rise for the past few years. Their epic live shows see them at their finest, but a trio of albums, ‘Feed the Rats’, ‘King of Cowards’ and ‘Viscerals’ show off their melange of psychedelia, heavy metal and drone rock. Don’t miss them at The Warehouse to close out your weekend in Leeds.

Temple Newsam Christmas

Credit: Leeds Museums and Galleries

Christmas at Temple Newsam. If you want to get into the festive spirit this weekend, Temple Newsam is ready and waiting. Their festive celebrations are a must-see – you can enjoy an incredible illumination trail, passing ginormous baubles as you pass through light tunnels. Keep an eye out for Father Christmas too and treat yourself to a hot chocolate as you go round.

Ice Cube. The huge ice rink in Millennium Square has swapped its usual February stint for a pre-Christmas skate in the heart of the city. The 400-square metre rink has a fully covered roof, draped in festive lights, and is open to everyone – adults can skate every day, but they also host special Penguin Club mornings on Saturdays and Sundays for little ones.

Chow Down. Chow Down is now back in business with their incredible Winter Village! They’ve installed fire pits, erected a two-storey Hütte apres-ski bar and opened a rooftop curling club. But that’s not all, you can dive into one of their Christmas tipis, enjoy a themed brunch and tuck into all kinds of amazing street food with plenty of boozy tipples to boot.

Abbey House Museum Christmas

Credit: Leeds Museums and Galleries

The Princess & The Pea. Tutti Frutti Productions are taking over Room 700 at Leeds Central Library through December for their family-friendly favourite, The Princess & The Pea. Set in the Museum of Forgotten Things, a trio of musical makers will tell you the mystery of the little green pea and how it got there, full of catchy songs and hilarious costumes.

Santa at the Museum. Abbey House Museum’s Christmas fun starts in earnest this weekend. Santa Claus himself will be in the snowy square, ready to hear your wishlist next to his grotto jam-packed with presents. You can also post your list in the post box, visit the festive Victorian streets, go on trails and curl up for story time.

Saving Santa’s Sleigh. Fancy a fun-filled family day out? Leeds city centre is the place to be this weekend. Santa’s sleigh has crashed (don’t worry, he and the reindeers are all fine!) and parts of it are at 10 locations across the city. Pick up or download a map, solve the clues and help Santa put his reindeer back together again.

Cover image credit: Tom Martin.