There are so many events coming up in Leeds over the next couple of months that I thought a bit of a summary would be in order. Hopefully I’ll be attending a lot of these and blogging afterward, so if you don’t want to feel all left out and envious, you need to know the details now. Some need tickets, some don’t, some are free, some aren’t… Scroll down and feast your lovely eyes on all the exciting details…
This week is Chapel Allerton Arts Festival – it started on Monday 29th August and finishes on Sunday 4th September. The main events will be on Saturday and Sunday, where there will be bands and performers on stage, tons of activities for children, and countless stalls from local businesses. You’ll find me on Regent Street, where all the food stalls are, plus the bar and the main stage. If crafts and kids activities are more your thing, you’ll want to be on Well Lane.
I love events like this just purely for the community spirit. It’s such a great opportunity to get out there and see who the people are that you share your neighbourhood with – especially if you’re fairly new to an area, like I am.
For more details about the lineup on stage, the people involved, the activities on offer, direction and so on, there’s an official website here.
That should keep you busy this weekend, but there’s another big event the weekend after. This year, Bradford is hosting the British Science Festival, from the 10th to the 15th September. I know it’s not technically Leeds, but it’s not far off, and there are some incredible events that look like so much fun. Most of the events are free, and a few have a nominal charge of up to £10 – mainly the ones where a famous face is appearing! Highlights will be Ranulph Fiennes, Professor Robert Winston and Robin Ince. The programme tells you everything you need to know about prices and how to book, and it even has a handy little code system to tell you the age suitability and the level of subject knowledge required to understand and enjoy the discussion. Throughout the week there are some exhibitions that you don’t need to book for, just wander in and take a look round. If that sounds a bit dull to you, listen to their titles: The Science of 3D TV, Hollywood Make-up and Hair, Artificial Intelligence for Games: The Winning Strategy plus tons of others. Other events include a night at a curry house – for £15, get a curry dinner and talks about the rise of the curry and it’s importance in our society – Hypnosis and the Science of Consciousness, Pond-Dipping at Fairweather Green and so much more. Whether you’re interested in wildlife, robotics, psychology, science-fiction, DNA, sustainable energy, outer space, maths or criminology, there is an event for you. And it’s probably free! I honestly can’t push this one enough. Embrace your inner geek!
If you’re a foodie, don’t forget that there are farmer’s markets on the first and third Sunday of this (and every) month. The first Sunday is held in Kirkgate market (behind the bus station) and the third Sunday is on Briggate. Pick up local produce at a great price – that warm, smug feeling you’ll get about saving the planet is an added bonus. On the last Saturday of every month is Kirkstall Deli Market – get curry, cake, tea, cheese, fruit, pizza, pies, pasties and just about anything else you can think of in the beautiful setting of the Kirkstall Abbey ruins.
Leeds is a thriving centre for dance, and if you’re interested in watching dance being performed there’s plenty going on this month. Phoenix Dance Theatre (who are celebrating their 30th anniversary this year) launch their tour ‘Declarations‘ on the 22nd September in their own theatre. There’s a lot of buzz about this and tickets are going fast! They’re in Leeds for three nights only and tickets are extremely reasonable. Book here. Meanwhile, Northern Ballet launch Hamlet at the West Yorkshire Playhouse from the 9th to the 17th September. You can book tickets for that here from £20-£30 per seat. It’s in the Quarry Theatre, which is gorgeously intimate – I don’t think there’s a bad seat in the place. The advertising images from this are absolutely stunning!
Finally, just squeezing in at the end of September is the Ilkey Literature Festival. Astonishingly, it’s been running since 1973, and this year it runs from 30th September to 16th October. There are some huge names this year, including Alan Hollinghurst, Janet Street Porter, Jeremy Paxman and Mark Haddon. You can book tickets now and many of the events are selling out pretty fast – so move quickly!
Whatever you decide to do this month, have a ball! If you know of an event that you think should be included here, or if you attend one of these events and enjoy it, comment below or drop me a line at firstname.lastname@example.org.