Leeds-List - Leeds' ultimate magazine and guide

What’s On This Weekend in Leeds

· Emma Cooke · Culture

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

The Magic Flute, Opera North, Leeds Grand Theatre

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 15th February 2019

Roller skate

You can get involved in all sorts this weekend in Leeds. Why not round up the whole family for a night at Hyde Park Picture House to see newly released Mary Poppins Returns? Or you can see If Beale Street Could Talk. From the award-winning director of Moonlight, this story explores an African-American couple’s whirlwind experiences in 1970s Harlem. Alternatively, grab your valentine or your galentine and rock up to the Corn Exchange for the one-off Valentine’s Roller Disco Party, hosted by Roller Girl Gang. You can expect an eclectic mix of tunes from The Key Club’s DJ Rae and snacks and drinks courtesy of Primo’s Gourmet Hotdogs.

Fancy a brand new exhibition? You can dive into the The Human Aquarium at St John’s Shopping Centre to explore life from the perspective of ocean creatures, brought to life with films, activities and installations. Or head to The Tetley for The Tent and For Oluwale Exhibition Launch. The Tent by Kannan Arunsalam explores the long-term impacts of the Sri Lankan Civil War, while Rasheed Araeen brings attention to the shocking death of British-Nigerian David Oluwale in 1969, with an exploration into the socio-historic context at the time. If you’d rather get stuck into your own art work, why not spend an evening at Drink and Do – Marbling at The Bowery? Inspired by their popular ‘Drink and Draw’ sessions, this is a BYOB workshop you won’t want to miss.

Andy Burrows

Credit: Jenna Foxton

For a night at the theatre this weekend, you have plenty to choose from in Leeds. Catch Mozart’s The Magic Flute at Leeds Grand Theatre or over at Carriageworks Theatre, you can check out two new productions. Shakespearean classic Macbeth is transformed by Giuseppe Verdi’s incredible score into an operatic performance with a full orchestra. For a few laughs, join the ladies in Cheshire Cats on their 13 mile speed-walk fundraiser in a comical performance that took the Edinburgh Fringe by storm.

If it’s a gig you’re looking for, there are loads to choose from this weekend in Leeds. First up is Andy Burrows at Brudenell Social Club – he’s worked behind the scenes on records for Tom Odell and We Are Scientists, all since he left his role as a drummer for Razorlight, and now he takes centre stage with his own tunes. Also at the Brudenell, you can celebrate the Yorkshire Valentines’ Psychobilly Weekend 2019, which kicks off with Frenzy, The Gruff and Dukes of Bordello.


Credit: Dan Medhurst

Head to The Library where you can catch an eclectic line-up of alt rock and folk punk that features neo-psychedelic rockers The Astrids and alt-indie band Spearmint Tongues. Elsewhere, Chicago rock duo OHMME play Hyde Park Book Club, jazz trumpet legend Enrico Armstrong takes over The Bar On Park Lane and Root & Branch headline The Cardigan Arms with a folk music extravaganza.

If you’re wondering what Leeds’ nightlife has to offer this weekend, you can catch disco connoisseur Hunee man the decks for another of Mint Club’s End of an Era closing parties. The HiFi Club hosts Mella Dee: All Night Long for a party full of rave anthems and you can expect to see Breakage joined by a host of top bassline, dubstep and jungle artists at Jungle Jam’s 14th Birthday over at Mint Warehouse.

Saturday 16th February 2019

The Royal Armouries

Credit: The Royal Armouries

Take the family for a day out in Leeds this weekend. You can head to War Games at the Royal Armouries – from hi-tech on-screen games and traditional board games to dramatic performances and demonstrations, there’s something for everyone. If mythological beasts are your thing, don’t miss Here Be Dragons at Temple Newsam. Can you spot the hidden dragons on their brand new trail? There’s also the chance to dress up and even create your own spiral dragon.

To indulge in a dose of culture this weekend, you can join Sketch Up Club – Cityscapes Exhibition Special at The Bowery to help you nail your observation and drawing technique. If you love horror films, don’t miss Pictures of the Night: The Final Girls Present… at Hyde Park Picture House, where a series of short films from upcoming filmmakers will be shown to coincide with Women in Horror Month. For something more mainstream, it will also be showing Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse.

Opera North's Gianni Schicchi

Credit: Bill Cooper

Why not head to Leeds Grand Theatre where you can witness opera and dance collide this weekend? The Rite of Spring and Gianni Schicchi showcase a revolutionary ballet and a wicked comedy all in one unmissable double bill. Meanwhile, you can catch Britain’s Got Talent winners Collabro at City Varieties – after their success on the show, they have gone on to multiple sell out tours showcasing their big musical hits. Leeds Town Hall hosts orchestra Manchester Camerata, who will be joined by cellist Istán Várdai and conductor Gábor Takács-Bagy to play works by Bartók, Haydn and Mozart.

You have loads of gigs to choose from this weekend in Leeds. The hotly anticipated tour from Jungle lands at O2 Academy, followed by a more intimate DJ set at Headrow House, so you can groove into the early hours. Brudenell Social Club hosts the final day of Yorkshire Valentines’ Psychobilly Weekender which features King Kurt, Long Tall Texans and Surfing Wombatz. Elsewhere, all-female heavy rockers Chasing Dragons take over The Key Club, indie rockers The Struts play Leeds University Union and The Orielles showcase their 60s-inspired garage tunes at Belgrave Music Hall as part of the Dark Arts all-dayer which also sees performances from Menace Beach, Mush and Squid.


Credit: Charlie Di Pacido

Into the evening, Gorgon City, who are responsible for hits like ‘Ready For Your Love’, will fuse their their unique electronic beats into a DJ set for another of Mint Club’s End of an Era closing events. Special guest Midland will treat the crowd to one of his iconic techno-disco sets for Wire’s 13th Birthday and over at Sheaf Street Cafeteria, Ossia with Saoirse & Tamtam will treat you to a night filled with bass, electro and techno sounds.

Sunday 17th February 2019

Danger Zone

You can end your weekend with a day out for the whole family, as the British Heart Foundation Half Marathon comes to Leeds. You can also join in with the 2 kilometre Family Fun Run or even spectate – either way you can make a fun-filled day of it at Harewood House. For an outing that involves far less cardio, don’t miss the Danger Zone exhibition while it’s still around at Abbey House. You’ll be gobsmacked at how dangerous Victorian household objects could be!

There’s a whole host of quirky Sunday quizzes to end your weekend with. You can head to Manahatta in Headingley, who will honour the legendary 90s sitcom with their Friends Quiz Night, or join The Library Quiz which promises a minimum of four rounds dedicated to Shrek. Alternatively, you can make a beeline for the Beer Hall at Headrow House for their weekly Headrow Pub Quiz.


If you want to spend your evening at the theatre, don’t miss Woke, a brand new performance at Chapel FM – join Testament on his journey of self-discovery as he delves into the surprisingly complex topics of feminism and hip-hop. To catch a few laughs, you should check out Super Trooper Improv Comedy Show at The Box in the city centre – each show is completely different, so who knows what you’ll get?

If you want to end your weekend in Leeds with a gig, there’s loads of variety.
Brudenell Social Club has three on the go – to show off their psychedelic sounds, Chicago-based pop-punk songwriter Lala Lala crosses the Atlantic and Midlands rockers Stone Broken bring the riffs. Meanwhile, Tight Lines Jam presents a lineup that includes bassless hip-hop talent Major Ruse and instrumental trio Book at Hyde Park Book Club. The Derrick Harris Be-pop Quartet transform pop songs into jazz, with the help of a piano, organ, bass and drums at Inkwell Arts, while over at LS6 Cafe, it’s one big hip-hop party at Sunday Mass, which features E.D.D.Y. and Crawler in the line-up.

Cover image credit: Alastair Muir

Find out what’s on this weekend in Yorkshire…