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 21st September 2018
Why not kick off your weekend in Leeds with trip to the theatre? Road is the first production at Leeds Playhouse’s pop-up theatre and it’s a raucous adaptation of Jim Cartwright’s landmark drama – join Scullery, your drunken tour guide, as he introduces you to the street, its residents and their homes. You can also enjoy an incredible evening at First Direct Arena as the world famous Cirque du Soleil perform their new production, Ovo, which takes you into their insect-based natural world and wows you with tightrope acts, hand balancing, foot juggling and more.
Alternatively, you can relive The Good Old Days at City Varieties, with a night of variety performances from violin virtuoso Gary Lovini, music hall singer Jane Horn and comedian Peter John. There are more laughs to be had at O2 Academy Leeds where renowned YouTube storyteller KickThePJ performs his new show Space Trip – how will they fare when they crash their spaceship on a mysterious planet?
You can also start the weekend with a trip to the cinema. Hyde Park Picture House’s Agnès Varda Season continues with 2017 documentary Faces Places, or you could see modern Western drama The Rider. Prefer a bite to eat? Make a beeline for Ibèrica – they’ve teamed up with Instituto Cervantes to put on a Spanish language class with a difference for Pinchos Night. You’ll share tapas and enjoy specially paired wines, as you learn vocabulary, geography and other interesting facts about Spanish culture.
There’s loads of live music too. The New Mastersounds headline The Domino Club’s first ever ticketed show on Friday night with their raucous blend of jazz, funk and soul. Across town, the London Afrobeat Orchestra will perform classics by Talking Heads at Belgrave Music Hall, Wirral’s own Bill Ryder-Jones shows off his masterful new album ‘Mither’ at Howard Assembly Room and fast-rising psychedelic soul artist Skinny Pelembe comes to Headrow House.
There’s a double-header at the Brudenell – American alt-rockers They Might Be Giants run through new album ‘I Like Fun’ and prog-metal Norwegians Leprous showcase their fifth record ‘Malina’. For more heavy music, InFade are joined by Skull and Contrarians at The Library and Flies On You headline The Pack Horse. But if you’d rather something lighter, local indie favourites Late Night Legacy play LS6 Cafe and there’s An Evening of Irish Song and Gilbert and Sullivan Favourites at St Edmunds Church.
Clubbers are in for a treat this weekend – Queen and Disco bring their eclectic dance mixes to Belgrave, Sticky Feet return with a massive student night at Canal Mills and Ultimate Power is a feast of power ballads at O2 Academy. You’ve got two in one night at Sheaf Street Cafeteria as The Friday Residency welcomes Michael Upson followed by Midnight which is headlined by Natasha Kitty Katt. Tensile in the Basement comes to Beaver Works with John Shima, Tom Long and Dare & Haste, Overflow presents Skeptical showing off his new LP at Wire and Sequential sees Set Spandex perform at Wharf Chambers.
Saturday 22nd September 2018
The big event this weekend is Thought Bubble, the city’s renowned comic art festival, and the centrepiece is Comic Con, which takes over Millennium Square and Leeds Town Hall on Saturday and Sunday. There will be over 90 comic artists and writers, including Warren Ellis, Ollie Masters and Leah Moor, as well as a host of talks, panel discussions and meet and greets.
Alternatively, you can spend your Saturday enjoying food and drink across Leeds. LS6 Cafe is hosting the Vegan Mini Market in Hyde Park – you can tuck into food from The Happy Caterpillar and Wildcraft Bakery and browse stalls selling ethical make up, bath products and jewellery. Just around the corner, The Rainbow Junktion Cafe is hosting Bread is Gold Bistro with Leeds Bread Co-op, a pay-as-you-feel evening with talks, music and food made using bread destined for the bin. You can also head out to Firthfields Community Centre for the Garforth Gin Festival, featuring labels from Leeds and beyond.
Saturday is the perfect time to catch an exhibition and there are three new ones to see. Eggs Stencilism showcases the paint and print works of Elliot Ward at North Bar, while Munro House hosts two in association with Thought Bubble – Studio Dreams presents the work of 70 artists who’ve joined forces to celebrate 10 years of Nobrow Magazine at Colours May Vary, and next door, The Film & Pop Culture Art of Matt Ferguson brings over 85 works by the Sheffield artist to The Gallery at 164, including posters and illustrations for Disney, Marvel and Star Wars.
You can embrace your creative side too – try your hand at Lino Printing on Fabric at Leeds Print Workshop, Weaving a Wall Hanging at Stitch-Up Studio or Edible Flower Biscuit Making with Bloom Bakers at Sebby’s Deli. You can also take part in a Fused Glass Workshop at Twice Fired or indulge in Lampshade Making and Afternoon Tea at Get Cooking. For something different, Fusion Mineral Paint will show you how to Paint Your Kitchen Beautiful at Sunny Bank Mills and Interplay Theatre is holding Plaster Casting Workshops.
Fancy a day out with the little ones? The Tetley’s next Family Art Workshop is Ceramic Semiramis and takes inspiration from the latest exhibition by artist Tai Shani, or you can head to Leeds Arts University’s Vernon Street Campus for the Thought Bubble Workshops for Young Creatives. Elsewhere, get back to nature at the Skelton Grange Open Day, enjoy American Wrestling at Aireborough Leisure Centre, or spend the day at the Royal Armouries – Britain and the Thirty Years War takes you to the early part of the 19th century as Europe ripped itself apart through storytelling, combat demonstrations and performances.
For more drama, join Opera North at Leeds Grand Theatre on Saturday night for Tosca, their unique take on Giacomo Puccini’s acclaimed work – expect a modern political thriller with an incredible soundtrack. You can see four plays from Monkey Don’t Theatre in Big City Shorts at Seven Arts, or enjoy a night of comedy as The Leeds Comedy Cabaret returns to Tiger Tiger and The Comedy Sessions welcome Tez Ilyas, Jack Gleadow and Paul Thorne to The HiFi Club. Alternatively, head to the cinema as Hyde Park Picture House and Thought Bubble team up to show 2015 supernatural horror film The Witch, or join Fright Nights for the Abbey House Ghost Hunt.
There’s plenty of live music on Saturday too, including a massive indie rock all-dayer in support of marginalised communities and identities – Reb’elle Fest welcomes Honeyblood, Adult Mom, The Spook School and The Tuts to Temple of Boom. Across town, you can check out The Belgrave House Band pay homage to seminal rap album ‘The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill’, while the Brudenell is home to shows from Britpop legends Suede and American singer-songwriter Chuck Prophet. For a night of indie folk music, catch Trembling Bells at Hyde Park Book Club, while The Shipbuilders cross the Pennines for a show at The Fox and Newt.
Relive the tunes of Bono and co as U2-2 play ‘Achtung Baby’ at the Irish Centre, or enjoy classic mod anthems with The Lambrettas and The Chords at Morley Town Hall. Indie fans should catch Skies at The Library or Oscar Jerome at Headrow House. For a night of heavy music, you can check out Jupiter Falls at Santiago, Against the Current at Leeds University Union and Palm at Temple of Boom, while Scarlxrd puts a goth edge on British rap at Church. For something a bit different, there’s country blues from Mike West at Single Shot, jazz-funk from James Brown is Annie at The Domino Club and raw brass power as the Renegade Brass Band play The Wardrobe.
Prefer dance music? The city’s clubs are jam-packed – Mint Festival takes over Leeds East Airport with artists like Gorgon City, Tom Zanetti & KO Kane and Jamie Duggan, and is followed by two after shows – the first is run by System and sees Enzo Siragusa, Furniya Tanaka and Cristi Cons take over Mint Club, while Kerri Chandler and Peggy Got man the decks at the second at Mint Warehouse.
Elsewhere, the After School Club kicks off at Wharf Chambers with GFOTY, Spinee and more, Endless City & Friends return to Sheaf Street Cafeteria and Propaganda welcomes McFly’s Dougie Poynter to spin the tunes at The Warehouse. BBC Radio’s Mistajam brings the hip-hop anthems to Leeds University Union, as Danny Howard arrives with his Nothing Else Matters tour to Mission, Sub:terrenea presents Nick Hoppner at Wire and Subdub sees Iration Steppas and Mungo’s Hifi Soundsystem join forces at Freedom Mills.
Sunday 23rd September 2018
Sunday is your last chance to check out the 40 Faces of St Gemma’s Hospice exhibition at Leeds City Museum – it presents the people behind this incredibly vital institution, from nurses to patients, families and benefactors. There are also two workshops to try at Aire Place Studios, in the form of the Upcycled Book Binding Workshop and the Batik Workshop, where you learn the ancient textile surface pattern technique. The young’uns can get creative too, as Kids Sunday Sew returns to The Bowery.
You can also take the kids to Hollybush Conservation Centre for the Fungus Foray with Andy Woodhall, which will see you picking edible mushrooms in Bramley Fall Wood. If you’re a student who’s been enjoying fresher’s week too much, Leeds College of Music will host a Survivors’ Breakfast and a Hangover Film Festival on Sunday afternoon, or you can take a few hours out in Belgrave Music Hall for the Grease 40th Anniversary Singalong. Theatre fans can end the weekend at The HUB, as Cast make their way from Doncaster for The Last Seam, which takes inspiration from the closure of Hatfield Colliery to explore the North’s mining heritage.
Meanwhile, musos can enjoy a gig. First up, spend An Afternoon with Baxter Dury at Belgrave, as the indie cult hero runs you through his work and influences in a special one-off event. Brudenell welcomes the Afro-metal tunes of Vodun, as well as Bradford-based indie group Glass Mountain. Re:imagine are bringing their Orchestral Rendition of Notorious B.I.G’s Ready to Die to O2 Academy Leeds, while you can see Northern Irish country singer Catherine McGrath at The Wardrobe, French rockers Bad Pelicans at Hyde Park Book Club and jazz group John Williamson Quartet at Inkwell Arts.