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 31st March 2017
If you’re a beer lover, there’s only one place to kick off your weekend in Leeds – the North Leeds Charity Beer Festival at Leeds Cricket Club. This year’s theme is Round Britain Festival of Ale, so they’ve got their mitts on beers from some of the finest breweries in England, Scotland and Wales. Proceeds are given to worthy local causes too, so you’ll get a bit of feel good with your pint.
Elsewhere, the city’s theatres are heaving. Leeds Grand Theatre welcomes Michael Flatley’s latest Irish dancing phenomenon, Lord of the Dance: Dangerous Games and Unlimited Theatre celebrate 20 years in Leeds with Am I Dead Yet? at Seven Arts, a mixture of stories and songs about what happens when we die.
West Yorkshire Playhouse has two big shows on this weekend too, as Ross Millard of The Futureheads swaps gig venues for theatres in Putting the Band Back Together, imploring people to pick up their old, unused instruments. There are also the last few shows of Pink Mist, a touching drama based on Owen Sheers poem, following three men deployed to Afghanistan and how war affects them and their loved ones when they come home.
We’re not short of a few laughs this weekend either. The House of Fun Comedy Club has two shows on Friday night. You can see Scott Bennett and Phil Nicholl bring the funny to The Woods in Chapel Allerton as Steve Harris and Katie Mulgrew do the same at The Original Oak in Headingley. If you’re looking for some stand up in the city centre, Live at Aspire is back with Carl Donnelly and Martin Semple.
Music lovers have loads to pick from for a Friday night gig. The big attractions will be the resurgent Craig David who comes to First Direct Arena for on his biggest UK tour for 15 years on the back of new album ‘Following My Intuition’. At Brudenell Social Club, York band King No-One bring their catchy indie rock for what’s set to be a raucous return to God’s Own Country, or you can roll back the years with classic 60s beat group, The Searchers at City Varieties.
In the Brudenell’s smaller Games Room, Leeds’ own Hannah Trigwell brings her acoustic tunes back home, while Plymouth favourites Mad Dog Mcrea serve up their unique blend of folk, gypsy jazz, bluegrass and pop tunes at The Wardrobe. You can also head to Howard Assembly Room for John Smith, a folk troubadour that has earned rave reviews from Ben Howard amongst others, or visit The Duck and Drake for a night of free blues with the Lewis Hamilton Band (no, not that Lewis Hamilton).
Fans of a heavier persuasion can check out The Key Club Local Showcase #10 featuring promising Leeds bands like On Hollow Ground, Total War and Blame. Meanwhile, over at Santiago, Higher Bound Arts Club are in town, while up at The Packhorse in Hyde Park, Cohesion and Peace Frog bring some heavy, heavy riffs.
If you’re looking for some more dancey beats, there’s plenty going on this weekend in Leeds to. The legendary Norman Jay is at Angelica for an evening of house classics, while the latest Boombox Circus all night party, Underground, takes over Beaver Works. Over at Sheaf Street Cafeteria, The Friday Residency sees Justin Robertson, Boe and LX TFR on the decks and Wire welcomes Mass x The Gathering with Nick Beringer and Tolga Top spinning tunes.
Saturday 1st April 2017
After something a bit different to liven up your Saturday night? UK Ghost Hunts are in town looking for supernatural wonders at the Armley Mills Ghost Hunt. The old mill is now Leeds Industrial Museum but still holds plenty of ghoulish stories from the past, with rumours of small boy crying, a man in a top hat and Victorian woman in a black dress – see what you might find.
If you’ve got kids, you’ll probably want to try something else – luckily, Leeds’ theatres are here to help. Christopher Nibble has to protect the guinea pig town of Dandeville at Otley Courthouse when they run short of their favourite food, dandelions, but can he do it when there’s just one left? Alternatively, West Yorkshire Playhouse is home to Fresh 2017, as Yorkshire Dance bring together some of the best Yorkshire dancers between 11 and 19 for an evening of stunning moves in all manner of dance styles.
There’s something for the adults too. Carriageworks Theatre is getting into the swing of things with The Big Screen Live! The dancers at the Tom Ball Live Academy will be dancing their way through some of the greatest movie moments, whether it’s children’s animation or adult tragedies. Over at Sunny Bank Mills, Trouble at the Mill, has the second Am I Dead Yet? show of the weekend mixed with music from The Waikiki Afrobeat Orchestra, food from Harvey’s Curry Canteen and a real ale bar.
There’s also a couple of comedy shows to dabble in if you fancy a laugh this weekend in Leeds. The Comedy Sessions returns to The HiFi Club, with a trio of top stand-up talent – check out Alastair Barrie, Paul F Taylor and Katie Mulgrew. Over at City Varieties is something a little different. Bang Said the Gun is a poetry night for people who don’t like poetry, fusing the raucous, political, trivial, serious and hilarious all at the same time.
Elsewhere, Almighty Fighting Championship 4 is the latest show for Leeds’ newest MMA promotion at O2 Academy, which will see some of the toughest fighters around go up against each other. At the same time, First Direct Arena is home to Europe’s Strongest Man, a longtime family favourite where the strongest men from the continent complete freaky feats of strength.
Gig lovers won’t be disappointed either. The most eye-catching of the lot is Charlotte Church’s Late Night Pop Dungeon at Brudenell Social Club. The former child star of classical music has put together a rocking band to play a set of brilliant covers of classic songs – it really has to be seen to be believed.
The same venue is also home to an eagerly anticipated performance by rising indie kids Blaenavon ahead of their debut album release, ‘That’s Your Lot’, or across town, you’ve got the Sun Ra Arkestra at The Wardrobe, the group celebrating the wonderful work of jazz pioneer Sun Ra. The Matt Anderson Wild Flower Sextet bring their modern jazz to HEART or you can head to Leeds College of Music for experimental singer-songwriter Jessy Lanza who’s joined by Leeds bands, Galaxians and Xam Duo.
Metalheads have two big shows on Saturday to check out. First up, Atlanta metal core band Attila are making their way to The Key Club, playing through their 2016 effort ‘Let’s Get Abducted’. Or you can head over to Brudenell Social Club for sludge metal heroes Big Business.
There’s a double whammy for classical fans this weekend in Leeds. The Sinfonia of Leeds are at St Edmund’s Church Hall in Roundhay to perform Brahms’ Symphony No 1. Or, head over to Leeds Town Hall for the Orchestra of Opera North performing selected works with renowned violinist Jack Liebeck.
You’ve also got a slew of top quality clubnights to make the most of on Saturday night. Blah Records, DVLGNG 616 and Young Disciples are teaming up for a night of hip-hop brilliance at Church, while L.A. based record label Soulsection are bringing their The Sound of Tomorrow clubnight for a very rare UK show, the only one outside of London in 2017. Or you can head to Mint Warehouse where Tom Trago and Jasper James have a four hour back to back set, followed by dance music legend Skream.
Sunday 2nd April 2017
Why not end the weekend by dabbling in some art? There are three exhibitions that are finishing up on Sunday, so don’t miss your last chance to see them. The Leeds Zine Exhibition is at Leeds City Museum, Ones to Watch, showcases the best local artistic talents at Sunny Bank Mills and Beauty from the Floods on Tour, featuring photographs from the 2015 Boxing Day Floods, is at Seagulls Re-use. You can also show off your own creativity by taking part in the Lino Printing Workshop at 130 Vicar Lane with Leeds Print Workshop.
Alternative, check out Unlimited Theatre’s Am I Dead Yet? It continues its mini tour of Leeds with a final performance at The HUB. Or, if you fancy some stand-up, don’t miss telly favourite Phill Jupitus as he warms up for his forthcoming UK tour with an intimate ‘work in progress’ show at The Wardrobe.
Sports fans have plenty to look forward to on Sunday night too. Darts legend Phil ‘The Power’ Taylor is hosting a very special ‘An Evening With…’ at Elland Road, regaling the audience with tales from his storied career. Or, if wrestling is your thing, don’t miss the special WrestleMania 33 Viewing Party at Shooters Sports Bar, where you can watch the whole five hour show on their big screens.
Why not end your weekend in Leeds with a gig? The big one for film fans, will be Shaken and Stirred – The Music of Bond at Leeds Town Hall, as the Orchestra of Opera North are joined by singer Mary Carewe to trawl through the iconic film series’ soundtracks.
Over at Brudenell Social Club, you can see one half of Tenacious D as the Kyle Gass Band roll into town. O2 Academy Leeds have a big show on Sunday night too, as Australian folk favourites Bear’s Den play their biggest show in the city to date, or if you’re around during the afternoon see Haley Bonar play an in-store show at the new Jumbo Records shop in Merrion Centre, her only performance in Leeds on her current UK tour.
Jazz lovers will want to make a beeline for The Inkwell on Sunday evening for the April Inkwell Jazz Cafe, where you can join in with the performances or just sit back and enjoy. Outlaws Yacht Club are hosting a very special event too, with a screening of Bela Fleck – Throw Down Your Heart, a documentary following virtuoso banjo player Bela Fleck who goes on a musical pilgrimage to Africa with live music and DJs before and after. Later on in the evening, you can head to The Sunday Joint where The Inexplicables play through their fusion of folk, soul, hip-hop and jazz.