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 May 2019
How will you start your weekend in Leeds? You can dive into a four-course menu of Lebanese cuisine at Koko x MorMor’s Lebanese Supper Club which takes place at House of Koko or sample authentic Persian fare like smoky aubergine dips and herby salads for Afsaneh’s Taste of Persia Supper Club at Seven Arts Leeds, both as part of Leeds Indie Food.
For yet more food, head to one of Leeds Indie Food’s best-loved events as School Diner takes over Chapel Allerton Primary School for a three-day mini street food festival in the playground, which boasts craft beer, live music and family entertainment. Alternatively, tuck into innovative vegan eats at Rawsome Vegan Supper Club at The Bowery or try a ten-course tasting menu designed to teach you about sensual pleasure at Hands on Sensuality at Cafe 164. Prefer to get boozy? Don’t miss The Gin and Rum Festival at Leeds Town Hall which will bring over 120 different tipples under one roof, complete with themed bars, DJs and masterclasses.
You can also enjoy a night of drama. The dark yet witty comedy-drama What Becomes? at Seven Arts will delve into the dating scene soundtracked by a Motown singalong. Meanwhile, the multi-award-winning musical Blood Brothers will take to the stage at Leeds Grand Theatre to tell a moving tale of two twins separated at birth in 1960s Liverpool. Or you can see Fakespeare at The Leeds Library, which sees the life of Samuel and his son William turned upside down in their very own tragicomedy, just like Shakespeare’s own plays.
Elsewhere, Useful/Beautiful: Why Craft Matters Exhibition Symposium will showcase debates, panel discussions and presentations with the country’s leading crafters and makers at Harewood House, all to honour their latest exhibition. Prefer a few laughs? Don’t miss Scottish Comedian of the Year 2013 winner Larry Dean at Duke Studios for plenty of material that spans everything from the Scottish way of life to being gay.
Leeds has plenty of live music this weekend. See American rockers Endless Boogie headline Brudenell Social Club, where you can also catch New Zealand folk talent Aldous Harding perform tracks from her latest album ‘Designer’. Or you can witness legendary r&b guitarist Albert Lee treat the crowds at City Varieties on his 75th birthday tour.
To catch the city’s finest local talent, don’t miss Battle of the Bands at Holbeck Underground Ballroom, which will cover an eclectic range of genres. Or you can enjoy six-piece Alaskalaska and their house-tinged synth pop over at Hyde Park Book Club. Prefer classic indie-rock? Check out Irish lads Walking on Cars at Church as they tour their second album ‘Colours’.
Later in the evening, you can boogie with Downtown Science who will take over the decks at Sheaf Street’s Friday Residency for a DJ set filled with afro-beats and tropical grooves. Or head to The Lost City of Atlantis, which will transform The HiFi Club into a house haven with DJ sets from Waze and Odyssey. Prefer a good old singalong? The Greatest Showman Singalong Club Tour at O2 Academy Leeds is a club night that will show the film’s most iconic moments on the big screen with lyrics and DJs in between.
Saturday 18th May 2019
Why not get creative with the family this weekend? You can create your own mosaic from waste material at Family Craftivism: All You Need is Less with Seagulls Reuse with a delicious wood-fired pizza break at Grumpy’s. Or you can join textile artist Musarat Raza at The Tetley and create a silk painting inspired by South Asian culture at the South Asian Silk Painting Workshop.
If you’re after a foodie event this weekend, you’re in luck. The hotly anticipated Pizza and Prosecco Festival will head to Water Lane Boathouse with the North’s top pizza vendors, which you can wash down with specially imported prosecco curated by Latitude. Alternatively, head to Vegan Eat North for a spectacular array of plant-based street food, DJs and kid-friendly activities spread across the indoor and outdoor space at North Brewing Co.
Want to refine your artistic talents? Check out Sketch Up at The Bowery to improve your observational drawing skills or head to Modern Calligraphy at Sift Cafe and Bakery in Otley to practice calligraphy techniques using pen and ink. Want to try something completely different? The Wire Bird Sculpture Workshop at Skelton Grange Environment Centre will give you the chance to create something truly unique, thanks to local artist Chris Moss.
Or you can catch a cracking set of shows this weekend. Say It With Your Chest #3 is a poetry and spoken word night that will showcase the city’s most exciting up and coming talent over at Open Source Arts. Prefer a few laughs? The Comedy Sessions will invite four hilarious acts to the stage at The HiFi Club, while the team behind the UK’s Comedian of the Year Awards invite a talented set of acts to the Leeds Comedy Cabaret Club.
Leeds has loads of live music this weekend. You can see former Dire Straits member Mark Knopfler, one of the world’s most critically acclaimed artists, over at First Direct Arena for his ‘Down the Road Whenever’ tour. Prefer a genre-hopping blend of rock, blues and soul? E Street Band member Steven Van Zandt will headline O2 Academy as Little Steven and The Disciples of Soul. Or you can see Japanese punk group Chai in a headline show at Headrow House, art-rockers SPQR at Hyde Park Book Club and the lively Soul Grenades at The Domino Club.
Meanwhile, enjoy an all-singing all-dancing performance by Oh My God It’s The Church at Brudenell Social Club, where you can also catch fast-rising indie rockers Big Thief. Elsewhere, Alfa Mist will blend hip-hop with jazz and soul in an eclectic gig at Belgrave Music Hall while legendary prog group Gong showcase a mix of rock with jazz at The Wardrobe.
Sunday 19th May 2019
How will you end your weekend in Leeds? You can delve into the art of cooking with the much-loved vegan ingredient seitan at Knave’s Kitchen Seitan(ic) Workshop which takes place at Oporto or check out the city’s best makers, food and craft beer at the family-friendly Mini Makers Market – Girl Gang x School Diner at Chapel Allerton, both for Leeds Indie Food.
Or you can take the little ones to Kids Art Club at The Bowery, where they’ll join a qualified art teacher to create a masterpiece to take home with them. Alternatively, head to the Celebrity Charity Football Match at Elland Road to spot celebs like actor Danny Dyer, X-Factor’s James Arthur and Celebrity Big Brother’s Calum Best on the pitch.
You can also end your weekend with a show. The award-winning journalist Jon Ronson will head to Leeds Town Hall to shed light on the porn industry, so expect a mixture of funny and gritty tales in equal measures. Or you can head to An Evening With Mark ‘Billy’ Billingham, who appeared on Channel 4’s ‘SAS: Who Dares Wins’, at City Varieties, in a show that will give an insight into life in the SAS by one of the most decorated leaders.
Leeds has plenty of gigs for you to end your weekend with. Rising star Lewis Capaldi will play an intimate gig at The Wardrobe to launch his new album ‘Divinely Uninspired To A Hellish Extent’. Elsewhere, Grandaddy singer Jason Lytle will play Brudenell Social Club, where you can also catch poet and activist Andrea Gibson, as she explores how poetry can change the world. Prefer indie? Head to see All Tvvins at Hyde Park Book Club. And if you love Motown, don’t miss the grooving James Brown tribute The Northern JB’s at Headrow House.