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.

The Luna Cinema

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 17th September 2021

Waitress, Leeds Grand Theatre

Credit: Johan Persson

Waitress. It’s been a West End smash, now hit musical comedy Waitress is coming to Leeds Grand from Tuesday 14th to Saturday 18th September 2021. When a good-looking doctor, played by Busted’s Matt Willis, arrives in town, waitress and expert pie-maker Jenna’s life (and pies) get turned upside down.

Danny Bond & Friends. If you love bassline, get down to Mint Warehouse on Friday night. Local DJ legend Danny Bond is hosting an all-out rave with a few special guests to be revealed on the night. Bond will have you moving and grooving until 4am as he delves into his arsenal of bass bangers.

Nathan Fake. He’s one of the UK’s top electronic music producers and you can party with Nathan Fake at Headrow House on Friday night. Signed to the influential Ninja Tune label, Fake will be running through his back catalogue of shoegazey downtempo tunes and atmospheric tech house.

Chow Down

Credit: Ben Bentley

Chow Down. Head to Temple Arches to feast on glorious street food this weekend. Chow Down will welcome vendors like Tikka Chance on Me, Twisted Meal and Bento Box to cook up tasty treats as you quaff craft beer and cocktails. Music comes from the likes of Meanwood Radio and Loud Noises Brass Band.

Serious Sam Barrett & The Burner Band. Get down to the Brudenell Social Club this weekend for a double-bill of folk and bluegrass goodness. First up is The Burner Band, a politically charged, rock & roll-tinged bluegrass group, followed by local legend, Serious Sam Barrett, and his stripped-back tunes.

Tom Grennan. After the huge success of his first album ‘Lighting Matches’, Tom Grennan has returned with a number 1 follow up this year, ‘Evering Road’. Head to O2 Academy Leeds on Friday night to see him play hits from both as he cements himself as one of the most popular artists in the country.

The Luna Cinema at Harewood House

The Luna Cinema. Make your way to Harewood House this weekend for three nights of cinematic greatness in the great outdoors. The Luna Cinema returns to its grounds to show films like Top Gun, Dirty Dancing and a double bill of Downton Abbey and The Greatest Showman out on the lawn.

Smoove & Turrell. They’re one of the UK’s finest funk and soul bands and you can check out Smoove & Turrell bringing the vibes to the Brudenell on Friday night. They’re showing off their sixth album, ‘Stratos Bleu’, which takes inspiration from 90s clubland, alongside the biggest anthems from their first five records.

Pulverise. Local heavy legends Pulverise make their long-awaited live return at Eiger Studios on Friday night. They effortlessly fuse together hardcore, rap metal and groove core into a headbanging blend of anthems. They’ll be joined by a stellar supporting cast too – get down early for Loz Campbell, Verity White and False Hearts.

Freedom Project, Leeds Playhouse

Credit: Zoe Martin

Freedom Project. As part of Leeds Playhouse’s Theatre of Sanctuary Programme, refugees Mo and Hussein are bringing their new show to the stage this weekend. They combine performance with storytelling to explore the arduous journeys unaccompanied minors have to go on when they flee their homes.

Proud Mary. One of the big bands of the early 2000s when they were signed to Noel Gallagher’s Soul Mash Records, Proud Mary are back to celebrate 20 years of their debut album at The Wardrobe. They’re playing ‘The Same Old Blues’ in full, as well as hits from their four other records.

The Good Old Days. You can enjoy a night of variety performances at City Varieties this weekend in Leeds. The Good Old Days is back with a cracking line-up – enjoy comedy from John Styles, ukulele tunes from Andy Eastwood and music from Jan Hunt before legendary comic Bernie Clifton takes to the stage.

Sunflower Thieves & Friends. Throughout the pandemic, Leeds band Sunflower Thieves have been collaborating with other local artists and this show at Mill Hill Chapel celebrates them. They’ll be joined by The Howl & The Hum, Vraell and Heir to perform their joint works and individual sets.

The Black Cinema Project. Head to Armley Mills on Sunday for a special screening in the Heritage Cinema in the Leeds Industrial Museum. The Black Cinema Project have selected four BFI shorts that explore the adult themes of migration, belonging and community, told through the eyes of children.

It’s About Time. The Holkbeck welcomes master magician Michael Wolf for his debut show this weekend. Assisted by Nadia ‘The Red Scare’ Parpova, Wolf will wow you with an array of mind-blowing magic tricks, all while pondering a series of existential questions to get you thinking.

Saturday 18th September 2021

The Leeds Library

Credit: The Leeds Library

Heritage Open Days. You can explore the city’s rich history this weekend in Leeds as the Heritage Open Days return. From The Leeds Library to Leeds Minster, landmarks across the city are flinging their doors wide open for the weekend, with a host of special events, activities and tours taking place.

Trevor Nelson’s Soul Nation. BBC Radio 2 and 1Xtra DJ Trevor Nelson returns to Leeds this weekend for Soul Nation. Expect the very best in old school bangers as Nelson delves into a rich setlist of classic soul, hip-hop and r&b spanning the 70s to the 90s across two rooms.

Wah Presents Skepsis. Wah is taking over Mint Warehouse once again this weekend with a heavy hitting line-up of bass. Oppidan, Higgo and Sammy Virji will all be on the decks, before headliner Skepsis takes to the stage to mix some of the biggest baseline hits of the moment with his own cuts like ‘Goes Like’.

Let's Rock Leeds

Let’s Rock Leeds. Get down to Temple Newsam on Saturday for the UK’s finest 80s music festival. It’s rolling back the years with a stacked line-up of legendary 80s artists playing their greatest hits. Adam Ant, OMD and ABC are headlining this year’s bash with support from the likes of Howard Jones and Tony Hadley.

Jo Whiley’s 90s Anthems. Another big name DJ is coming to Leeds this weekend – Radio 2’s Jo Whiley is bringing her 90s Anthems bandwagon to The Warehouse. She’ll play all the biggest tracks of the decade, from Blue and Oasis to Fatboy Slim, The Chemical Brothers and The Prodigy.

Tiña. Signed to the ever influential Speedy Wunderground label, South Londoners Tiña make their long-awaited Leeds debut on Saturday night. Head to Hyde Park Book Club as these lo-fi psychedelic dreamsters play through their wonderful debut album, ‘Positive Mental Health Music’.

Leeds Piano Trail

The Leeds Piano Trail. As part of The Leeds International Piano Competition 2021, The Leeds Piano Trail runs for two weeks from this weekend to bring the city to life with the tinkling of ivories. From upcycled piano sculptures to playable pianos decorated by local artists, there’s something for everyone to enjoy.

The Blinders. Doncaster-bred, Manchester-based rockers The Blinders return to Yorkshire this weekend at the Brudenell Social Club. Their punk-tinged alternative rock has earned them legions of fans since their debut album ‘Columbia’ came out, which they’ve recently followed up with ‘Fantasies of a Stay at Home Psychopath’.

Vistas. Scottish indie favourites Vistas are also playing the Brudenell on Saturday night. Expect catchy choruses, hooky riffs and thunderous basslines from their brand of upbeat indie rock, best seen on their two albums – 2020’s ‘Everything Changes in the End’ and ‘What Were You Hoping to Find?’

Reclining Figure, Henry Moore

Henry Moore: Configuration. The Henry Moore Institute is opening a rare new exhibition of its founders work this weekend in Leeds. This is only the fifth showcase since it opened in 1993 and will bring together a small, curated selection of sculpture, drawings and collages that show off Moore’s focus on form, material and volume.

UKG Brunch. Fancy brunch with a garage soundtrack? Head to UKG Brunch at The Warehouse on Saturday afternoon. Not only do you get a slap-up feast of fried chicken and rum punch brought to your table, you get live music from So Solid’s Romeo, Sweet Female Attitude, DJ Pied Piper and MC Rankin.

Frontier Sapiens Film Festival. Kirkstall Abbey is hosting an outdoor cinema festival this weekend. Frontier Sapiens have curated a rich programme of adventure, cultural and environmental films from around the world to showcase incredible feats of human endurance, spirit and courage.

Vintage Home Show

Vintage Home Show. Pudsey Civic Hall is the setting for this year’s Vintage Home Show. Head down on Saturday to explore a huge selection of old world wares from over 40 specialist dealers. From teak sideboards to industrial lighting, retro artworks and atomic fabrics, there’s something for everyone.

Kate Bush-Ka. You can see one of the leading Kate Bush tribute acts in the UK at The Old Woollen in Farsley this weekend. From ‘Wuthering Heights’ to ‘Cloudbusting’, Kate Bush-ka will deliver an immersive performance of the icon’s finest works, complete with authentic costumes.

Sunday 19th September 2021

Jon Richardson

The Afternoon Comedy Gala. You can enjoy comedy in the daytime at O2 Academy Leeds on Sunday. The Afternoon Comedy Gala brings seven top comedians to the stage – the likes of Jon Richardson, Lost Voice Guy and Chris Washington will be joined by Lucy Beaumont, Micky P Kerr, Simon Lomas and Barbara Nice.

Classical Platform. Head to Headingley Enterprise and Arts Centre on Sunday afternoon for Classical Platform, a chance to see professional musicians in an intimate suburban setting. A group of five players from the Orchestra of Opera North will perform Schubert’s famous ‘Trout Quintet’ from start to finish.

Lloyd Griffith. As seen on 8 Out of 10 Cats and supporting Jack Whitehall, Grimsby’s finest stand-up Lloyd Griffith is coming to The Wardrobe on Sunday night. He’ll perform his third stand-up show, ‘Not Just a Pretty Face’, which blends hilarious storytelling with surprising songs – he was a choirboy, don’t you know?

Kanya King, Leeds International Festival of Ideas

Kanya King CBE. MOBOs founder and music industry legend Kanya King CBE comes to Leeds Corn Exchange for the first keynote address of the Leeds International Festival of Ideas. She’ll be talking about her experiences in a white, male-dominated industry and what the next goals are for full inclusion.

Robert Jon & The Wreck. If you like your rock drenched in bourbon and dripping with Southern blues, get down to the Brudenell Social Club on Sunday night. You can finish your weekend with the roaring sounds of Robert Jon & The Wreck as they play through their latest album, ‘Last Light on the Highway’.

Late Summer Market. Yorkshire’s Brain Tumour Charity are taking over Farsley Working Men’s Club on Sunday afternoon for the Late Summer Market. They’ll have a bunch of their own stalls, selling everything from second-hand clothes to vintage furnitures, alongside local artists and crafters.

Kneecap. You can see one of Ireland’s most popular and controversial new artists in Leeds this weekend. Kneecap are coming to the Brudenell Social Club and MCs Móglaí Bap and Mo Chara, along with DJ Provaí, will blow your socks off with their use of Irish language and history to deliver their politically-charged rhymes.

Headingley Car-Free Street Fair. For one day only, North Lane in Headingley will be free from all traffic for the Car-Free Street Fair. Local environment groups will be setting up stalls alongside local artists, crafters and makers. There will be food and drink vendors too, as well as live music and children’s entertainment.

(Social) Proximity. You can enjoy a spot of modern art this weekend in Leeds. Open Source Arts are hosting (Social) Proximity – this is an event that celebrates the work of local artists and socialising, presenting music, dance, theatre and poetry in a relaxed, welcoming setting.