Leeds is the music festival capital of England, a large claim that we aren’t about to shy away from. This place has the best live music venue in the country, so that does kinda make sense, but there are plenty of other celebrations to fill the festival calendar. The top 10? Read on, read on…
Leeds Festival (Aug)
The Big Daddy of northern music festivals, Leeds (the younger sister of the famous Reading) Festival has been an August fixture for longer than we care to remember. This is a Bank Holiday institution that has been headlined by everyone who is anyone, although the line-up usually reminds us of how out of touch we are these days.
Brew-Dunell Beer Festival (Jan)
The Brudenell Social Club is the our favourite thing in Leeds, a pub and music venue that ticks every box we could possibly desire, including appearances in independent music videos. The pub hosts a magnificent beer festival every January, where the finest ales, bitters and crafts from the region come together to exchange ideas, tips, beer and the rest.
Leeds West Indian Carnival (Aug)
One of the largest West Indian carnivals in Europe, the explosion of energy and excitement has taken over August Bank Holiday Leeds since 1967. Head to Chapeltown and Harehills to join in the fun.
Leeds Light Night (Oct)
We do love an autumn light festival, and Leeds Light Night steps up to the place with twinkling aplomb. A collection of events across the festival that allow magnificent lights to take centerstage, this is a great celebration of art in the dark.
Food & Drink Festival (Jun)
You can’t really beat a good food and drink festival. You know exactly what you’re going to get, the clue is in the name after all, and the Leeds version of this classic takes place every June. Bring a full wallet and an empty stomach, but be sure to fill that stomach before sampling all of the booze on offer.
Leeds Pride (Aug)
Held every August since 2006, Leeds Pride is everything you expect a Pride festival to be. Namely a mass of people having a marvellous time with colour all over the place and the occasional confused old person. Around 50,000 participate in the celebration every year.
Leeds Indie Food Festival (May)
If there is one thing we love more than a food festival, it is a food festival that celebrates quality independent cuisine. Leeds is a real centre of independent gastronomy and this festival is a huge love letter to it all. Delicious, inventive, creative.
Slam Dunk (May)
A buffet of pop punk in regal surroundings, Slam Dunk Festival takes place at Temple Newsham every May. Past headliners include Hundred Reasons, Fall Out Boy and Paramore, with Don Broco scheduled for 2020. ‘Greatness’ is such a wonderful song.
Leeds International Tattoo Expo (Jul)
Take yourself back 20 years and imagine your response if someone told you a tattoo expo would take place at the Leeds First Direct Arena in the future. You’d think it waffle, but such is the popularity of getting stuff inked on yourself in the modern age. The International Tattoo Expo takes place every July.
Christmas in Yorkshire, there’s a lot to love. Traditional German markets fill the centre as the people of Leeds get ready for the most wonderful time of the year, with special events and a massive ice rink there for the adventurous. Millennium Square is the centre of it all.