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 August 2018
Why not kick off your weekend in Leeds with a few drinks? Friday is the first day of Leeds Beer Week and there’s loads of hoppy goodness for you to choose from. You can enjoy a couple of brews at Cloudwater’s Tap Takeover of The Turk’s Head, spend An Evening with Alefarm Brewing at Little Leeds Beerhouse or meet the brewer as Stod Fold Brewing Company head to Doghouse. Away from the beer, you can take part in a Vegan Baking Class at Le Pain Quotidien or get a 3-course meal from The Real Junk Food Project as Summer Rainbow Bistro returns to All Hallows Church.
Elsewhere, Calendar Girls is back where it all began – head to Leeds Grand Theatre to see the Rylstone and District WI raise money for their friend whose husband has cancer, by getting their kit off for a charity calendar. This weekend also marks the end of the first Leeds Burlesque and Cabaret Festival and Friday promises Teaserama Leeds at Hyde Park Book Club, which includes performances from Kitty Velour, Riley Vyrus and Maroposa Bop. Alternatively, it’s the first night of the Luna Cinema takeover of Millennium Square as they screen 80s classic Dirty Dancing under the night sky.
There’s loads of live music too. Yorkshire alt-country favourites The Dunwells are playing The New Headingley Club, while York-based troubadour Boss Caine brings his Americana-tinged tunes to Northern Guitars. Former members of iconic punk group Stiff Little Fingers will run through the band’s greatest hits as XSLF headline Brudenell Social Club, or you can catch Wolverhampton folk punk group The Roughneck Riot at The Wardrobe.
Revel in a night of funky jazz-based hip-hop at The Domino Club as New Position make their way to Leeds or enjoy an evening of burgeoning classical musical talent as the Yorkshire Young Sinfonia are joined by renowned violinist Esther Abrami at Leeds Town Hall. Fancy a night in the city’s clubs? Groove.Box is taking over Wire for a night of underground house and techno, while the Melbourne-based The Breakfast Club make their way from down under to showcase their talented resident house DJs at Distrikt.
Saturday 18th August 2018
Eat North returns on Saturday afternoon with a Leeds Beer Week 2018 Special – expect vegan treats from Wholesome Junkies, wood-fired Neapolitan pizza from Pizza Loco and Creole cuisine from Shanty Town, as well as craft beer, DJs and outdoor games. There are loads more Leeds Beer Week events on across the city on Saturday, from a one-off Brooklyn Brewery Takeover of Canal Mills to Beer Yoga with Yoga Hero at Northern Monk, the Vegan Tasting Menu x Cloudwater Vegan Beer meal at The Turk’s Head and the Beer & Snack Walk that starts from Leeds Kirkgate Market.
Saturday is the perfect time to catch an exhibition too, and there are two new ones to see – the FUAM Graduate Art Prize Exhibition 2018 showcases the work of four finalists from the University of Leeds’ Art and Design graduates at The Stanley & Audrey Burton Gallery or you can check out Luna, Hana Lara Lait’s show of work designed to challenge perceptions of bipolar disorder at Aire Place Studios.
Why not tap into your own creativity this weekend? The Bowery is teaming up with Leeds Art Gallery to put on a series of workshops inspired by the Natural Selection exhibition in the city centre art space. There’s everything from Bird Puppets for the kids to Experimental Mono Printing for grown-ups. Elsewhere, you can learn How to Knit at Baa Ram Ewe, try your hand at Macramé Wall Hangings at Anthropologie, attempt Painting Realism with Chris Campbell at The Bowery and sign up for the Intro to Furniture Painting and Upcycling Workshop at Spinning Mill Studios.
Looking for things to do with the kids? There are two family-friendly film screenings on Saturday – the Kids Film Club returns to Leeds Kirkgate Market to show The Secret Life of Pets, while Bramley Baths welcomes you to Dinosaur Movies Swim where they’ll show the Jurassic Park movies while you play in the pool with dino inflatables.
You can also take the kids along to two big events at a couple of Leeds landmarks – the Vintage Weekend returns to Lotherton Hall with 25 stalls of old-school fashion and furniture, as well as live music, dancing and games, or you can head to the Classic Car Show at Temple Newsam for retro motors, live music and street food. If you fancy a day at the footy, make a beeline for Elland Road where Leeds United take on Rotherham United in a Yorkshire derby, or you can do the Ghost Hunt at Armley Mills with The Otherside Paranormal Group.
Want to add a bit of drama to your Saturday evening? The Leeds Burlesque and Cabaret Festival takes over Belgrave Music Hall for the Cabaret Extravaganzaaaa & Valhalla’s Glory – an intense two-hour show featuring internationally renowned performers like Ebony Silk, Trash Valentine and Bella A Gogo. Elsewhere, you can enjoy night two of the Luna Cinema takeover in Millennium Square with a special singalong version of The Greatest Showman, or enjoy a bit of stand-up as the Leeds Comedy Cabaret returns to Tiger Tiger and The Comedy Sessions welcomes Steve Harris and Marcel Lucont to The HiFi Club.
There’s plenty of live music on Saturday too. The big gig is an intimate album release show from Slaves who are launching their new record ‘Acts of Fear and Love’ at Headrow House. Over at The Wardrobe, you can catch one of the UK’s top New Order tribute acts as Mutant Movement 1983 play a special 35th-anniversary show. Meanwhile Brudenell Social Club welcomes local post-punk group Klammer, The Library hosts seven-piece soul-rock fusion group Sifaka and The Domino Club presents soulful jazz singer Terri Shaltiel. Fancy some classical music? The National Children’s Orchestra of Great Britain comes to Leeds Town Hall for their America! Bernstein Centenary Concert.
Fancy a late one? The Elsewhere All Dayer sees Cole Procter, Elliot Holt and Antoine Kiim on the decks at 212 Cafe & Bar, Sub:terranea brings minimal producer Kuroko to Wire and Veterans in Action celebrates old-school reggae at Lake Victoria. Beaver Works will be heaving too, as the Rejuvenation Summer All Dayer promises a celebration of house, techno and old school beats from Ian Bland, Pete Orme and M-Zone.
Sunday 19th August 2018
You can spend Sunday afternoon at one of the city’s best ongoing exhibitions. Leeds Art Gallery continues to host Andy and Peter Holden’s Natural Selection show, the culmination of a 5-year project by the father and son team that recognises the diversity of nature through birds using videos, objects, sculptures and animation. Over at the Henry Moore Institute, you can wander around the ongoing Sculpture Collections show, while Beer: A History of Brewing and Drinking continues at Temple Newsam, Mining Memories runs at Lotherton Hall and Remembrance takes over Abbey House Museum.
It’s your last chance to see one exhibition on Sunday – A Curious Chapter, a collaborative project that brought together communities in Beeston, Harehills, Middleton and Seacroft, closes at Leeds Central Library. Or why not get creative with your weekend? The Bowery continues its stint at Leeds Art Gallery with the Block Print Birds workshop for the kids and the Watercolour Workout for the grown-ups. You could also try out the Intro to Printmaking class at Leeds Print Workshop.
There’s loads of family-friendly fun to finish your weekend in Leeds. For the third year running the Harewood Soapbox Derby is back – line the route along Harewood Hill to see homemade SpecKarts and Gravity Bikes race each other down the hill. Alternatively, you can check out old steam-powered engines at Armley Mills’ Steaming Days, while the same venue is joining up with Thwaite Mills for the annual On the Buses Bus Day – ride vintage double-decker buses between the two museums, stopping at Middleton Railway and Thackray Medical Museum along the way, with loads to do at each stop.
Leeds Beer Week continues in full flow on Sunday. One of the festival’s highlights is the Magic Cycle Ride, a 35-mile route from Magic Rock Brewery in Huddersfield to North Brewing Co. in Leeds to raise money for Simon on the Streets. Elsewhere, you can enjoy Sunday Sliders at Alfred, go on a Tour and Tasting with Colin Strange at Northern Monk or attend the Frisky Bear Takeover at Oscar’s.
The Leeds Burlesque and Cabaret Festival closes with its two biggest events on Sunday night – first up is the teatime Tassel Off All Stars which is followed by the Satans Angel Tassel Off Final, and both feature some of the world’s top burlesque and cabaret performers. You can also enjoy Super Trooper Improv at The Pit’s Comedy Club, catch a star of Ru Paul’s Drag Race in Charlie Hides at Viaduct Showbar or see this year’s West Indian Carnival festivities start with the Carnival Prince and Princess Show at the West Indian Centre. Fancy ending the weekend with a film? See Michael Caine in The Italian Job soundtracked by a live orchestral score as the Luna Cinema finishes its stint in Millennium Square.
Meanwhile, musos can end the weekend at a gig. Lazy Sunday Afternoon is a family-friendly all-dayer at Wharf Chambers featuring an array of top local talent like Glass Mountain, The Howl & The Hum and Dream English Kid. You can enjoy an afternoon at Jean Watson’s Jazz Jamboree at the Inkwell or revel in Jacob Savage Presents at The Domino Club, which sees the renowned musician team up with an ever-changing array of jazz performers. Alternatively, you can have a Sunday boogie at either Angelica’s L/IT Ibiza Takeover or The HiFi Club’s Sunday Joint Summertime Series.