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 27th April 2018
Kick off your weekend in Leeds at the theatre. There’s a duo of shows at West Yorkshire Playhouse to see – you can catch the stage version of hit movie Sunshine on Leith or you can see the final performance of National Theatre Connections 2018 featuring some of the finest young acting talents in the country. Alternatively, West End hit and big screen favourite An Officer and a Gentleman comes to Leeds Grand Theatre or you can go on an exploration of memory and death in What We Leave Behind at Seven Arts.
Live Art Bistro is home to one of the most innovative shows you can see in Leeds this weekend – Mia: Daughters of Fortune is a raw, fast-paced production that looks at how people with learning disabilities decide to have kids. Over at Yorkshire Dance, you can enjoy an evening of creative choreography in An Open Book, featuring performances from final year students, or there’s an evening of chilling ghost stories with Adam Zed as The Book of Darkness and Light comes to Leeds Library.
You could head to one of two live comedy nights in Leeds too – The Pit Comedy Club welcomes Super Trooper Improv, Tom Short, Alex Dunlop, Jonny Corner and Matt Hoss while The House of Fun Comedy Club at The Original Oak showcases Craig Murray, Sam Avery and David Morgan.
Fancy a bite to eat? Get some with added feel good by attending Madame Jazz Bistro at All Hallows Church – The Real Junk Food Project’s Rainbow Junction will cook up a 3-course pay-as-you-feel menu during an evening soundtracked by a series of female-led jazz groups. If you’d rather test your coding skills, Leeds Digital Festival is in full flow this weekend, and on Friday night they’re hosting Code In The Dark events at Belgrave Music Hall and The Bowery, or you can party until the early hours at University of Leeds’ Algorave.
This weekend is also the start of Leeds International Festival and its Opening Party will be one of the top live music events – local lads Vessels are headlining their biggest show to date alongside special guests Max Cooper, Galaxians and Laminate Pet Animals.
Elsewhere, you can catch Ian Black, AKA Slug, at Brudenell Social Club to show off his new album ‘HiggeldyPiggeldy’ or you’ll be able to watch some rising talent as Kernal Panic headlines The Library alongside Kazadors, Paradas and Jack Cockrell. Canadian artist Justin Nozuka performs tracks off his new album, ‘Run To Waters’ at The Wardrobe while up and coming singer-songwriter Ciaran Lavery is at Hyde Park Book Club.
If you fancy something heavier, metal favourites Skindred are at O2 Academy Leeds with CKY, Wolverhampton emo group Dearist are playing Temple of Boom with The Lock and Keys or local band Fehm are hosting a night of post-punk, goth and punk tunes at Wharf Chambers. For a bit of folk music, get down to The New Headingley Club as Laurel Canyon Union headline The New Roots night, or you can enjoy an evening of jazz as Louis Louis Louis play The Domino Club.
Head to the city’s clubs if you’re looking for a late one. The big night is Detonate at O2 Academy Leeds with a much-anticipated DJ set from Chase and Status. Church will also be a popular spot for the Carnival of Light, an immersive club night with house and techno DJs, light installations, body painting and acrobatics. If you like jungle music, you can either go to We Love Jungle at Mint Warehouse with DJ Micky Finn, Aphrodite and MC Fearless or to Licensed to Jungle’s night with the West Yorkshire Junglist Collective at The Old Red Bus Station.
It doesn’t stop there either – Freak@Mint returns with a set from Burgaboy, Chill Withers comes to Assembly House, Symmetry Recordings are doing a takeover of Wire and Melvo Baptiste hits the decks at East 59th. There’s also a new night to check out at Duke Studios – Midnight brings together the vibes of a house party with the spirit of a festival and Gideon will headline the first one.
Saturday 28th April 2018
How will you spend your Saturday? If you fancy nipping out for a bite to eat you’ve got plenty of options – Belgrave Feast is back with its monthly vegan offering featuring some of the North’s best street food or you can head along to the very first Eat North of the summer at North Brewing Co. Elsewhere, the UK Garage Brunch will see you enjoy a daytime party with piles of fried chicken, rum punch and classic 90s garage tunes at Canal Mills. There’s also the next installment of The Messy Cook Supper Club at The Union for an evening of global eats or you can climb aboard the Gini-bus on The Gin Journey.
Alternatively, you can check out the newest exhibitions in the city. Art in Roundhay Park showcases the best local artists at The Mansion, New Prints shows off Susie Rumsby’s work at Aire Place Studios and The Bank Open Exhibition is an ever-changing show that runs throughout the year featuring the best Leeds artists. There’s a huge new show that’s part of Leeds International Festival too – One Foot in the Rave explores the explosion of Leeds’ club scene between 1985 and 1996.
Fancy exploring your own creativity? You can join the Sketchbooks Stitch: Drawing and Embroidery Day at Fabrication, the Beginners Crochet Basket Workshop at Stitch Up Studio or the Body & Verbal Integration with Akeim Buck at Open Source Arts. You can also get hands-on with the little ones at Live Art Bistro’s Family Fun Day in Leeds International Festival’s Spiegeltent in Millennium Square or at Leeds Art Gallery as Peter Blagg leads Making the Familiar Unfamiliar, which takes everyday objects and challenges you to use your imagination with them.
If you want to explore the cultural side to Leeds International Festival, there’s plenty going on this weekend. You can see a screening of Indígenas Digitais (Indigenous People Go Digital) at Duke Studios followed by a Q&A with Sebastián Gerlic and Maria Pankararu or head along to AQL for the Disconnect talk which tries to answer the question ‘Are We Addicted to Tech?’ There’s another film screening to see at Hyde Park Picture House as they show Even When I Fall followed by a chat with producer Elhum Shakerifar, or you can head to The Tetley for the Leeds Salon which tackles Can Art Survive the Culture Wars?
Elsewhere, you can treat yourself to a bit of shopping at a trio of events – the Leeds Vintage Furniture and Home Fair at Sunny Bank Mills, the Kirkstall Abbey Market or the Vintage Kilo Sale at Holy Trinity Church. Or you can experience culture from The Land of the Rising Sun at Leeds City Museum’s Japanese Sakura Festival – you’ll be able to play traditional games, make your own Japanese green tea and try authentic dishes.
You could head out for an evening of dance as TEN, a new show from Ace Dance and Music, comes to The Riley Theatre, or revel in an evening of spoken word and poetry at the very first In Other Words at Temple of Boom. Fancy a few laughs on Saturday night? Renowned American stand-up Russell Peters comes to First Direct Arena for the first time, as Sam Avery headlines The Comedy Sessions at The HiFi Club and the Leeds Comedy Cabaret at Tiger Tiger. You can also get up close and personal with a WWE Hall of Famer as the legendary Lita comes to Elland Road for an evening that looks at her exploits in the squared circle.
There’s loads of live music on Saturday and Leeds International Festival has a trio of gigs to check out – Classical Uproar takes over the Spiegeltent in Millennium Square with a series of house bangers that will get a classical makeover to mark the 30th anniversary of legendary Leeds club night KAOS. There’s also Mexrrissey at Church, the Mariachi take on indie legend Morrissey, or there’s the Africa-Brasil night, featuring local Afrobeat heroes Mansion of Snakes, Sueli Gil and Soul Rebel DJs, at The Wardrobe.
Across the city, you can relive the music of a modern legend as The Amy Winehouse Experience plays hits like ‘Rehab’, ‘Back to Black’ and ‘Love Is a Losing Game’ at O2 Academy Leeds. Local psych-rock night Karma celebrates its 7th birthday with a band showcase at The Library and Mancunian indie newcomers The Slow Readers Club headline Brudenell Social Club, which will also welcome indie supergroup Mastersystem, featuring members of Editors, Frightened Rabbit and Minor Victories.
For something a little bit different, you can enjoy the electric sounds of Fingersmiths and Friends at Seven Arts, while there’s also More Than a Mouthful at All Saints Parish Church, a one-off show from the Commoners’ Choir in which they’ll perform a full set of their unique cover songs as chef Josh Sutton makes a meal using ingredients from The Sharehouse in Pudsey. American jazz trumpeter Ambrose Akinmusire comes to Howard Assembly Room or you can enjoy the furiously funky stylings of Dead Beat Brass at The Domino Club.
Going clubbing? Church hosts a massive night of house and techno tunes in Sundissential North vs Goodgreef while Boombox Circus returns with Festival Vibes at Beaver Works with Dub Pistols, Kenny Ken and Prototypes. MK is hosting a massive show at Canal Mills, bringing along Jax Jones, Will Clarke and KC Lights for the night, Rinse host Pender Street Steppers, the Dimensions Soundsystem and Alex T at Wire and Get Together sees Ida Engber, Annie Errez and Joe Burns on the decks at Mint Club.
Sunday 29th April 2018
Why not spend Sunday afternoon checking out some of the city’s best ongoing exhibitions? You’ve got Anne Hardy’s installations at Leeds Art Gallery as part of The Sculpture Collections, which also takes over the Henry Moore Institute. Facing Up to the Muses pays homage to legendary local poet Tony Harrison at The Stanley and Audrey Burton Gallery, Rights and Romance: Representing Gypsy Lives runs at The Treasures of the Brotherton Gallery and Designer, Maker, Decorator showcases the incredible furniture of Thomas Chippendale at Harewood House.
You could spend Sunday afternoon learning new creative skills. There’s Knitting With Colour at Baa Ram Ewe, Paint in Numbers at Lady Beck Studios and Introduction to Printmaking at Leeds Print Workshop. Leeds Central Library hosts its Sunday Art Talk which sees local artists and curator Gill Crawshaw tackles ‘A Shoddy Practice’ or you can visit Inkwell Arts’ Spring Fair and Craft Market.
There are two Leeds International Festival events to check out on Sunday too – the One Door in the Rave Chinwag puts George Evelyn of Nightmares on Wax to the test in the Trinity Leeds exhibition space, or you can visit The Dark Room – it’s the world’s only live-action video game, with sessions for both adults and kids, including elements of retro gaming, improv comedy and a rock’n’roll game show.
You can close out Sunday with a trip to the cinema – see a free screening of acclaimed film God’s Own Country at Belgrave Music Hall or catch The Third Murder (Sandome no satsujin) at Hyde Park Picture House. You could also enjoy an evening of dance as Ballet Central returns to The Stanley and Audrey Burton Theatre with the next generation of pirouetting stars, or there’s live stand-up at Leeds University Union as Bobby Mair makes his way to the city.
Love live music? End your weekend with one of a host of shows. Indie favourites Gomez are playing through their seminal 1998 debut album ‘Bring It On’ at O2 Academy Leeds. Elkie Brooks will make her return to Leeds with a show at the Grand Theatre as the House Gospel Choir put a spin on dance classics at the Spiegeltent in Millennium Square. You can witness the next big thing at The Library as Sam Brookes is joined by Christof van der Ven, or enjoy a night of jazz as Leeds College Collection Part 2 takes over Seven Arts and LUU Big Band headlines The Sunday Joint at The HiFi Club.Cover image copyright Proud Fox Creative.