19 events you can’t miss in Leeds in 2019

This year, there’s an abundance of great events at the University, as well as loads around Leeds, for when you want to venture out of campus.

Here’s our definitive list of the best events coming up in Leeds this year.

1. Be Curious

30 March

The university isn’t just for students! For Be Curious, campus will be open for a day of free, family friendly activities, with over 40 stalls allowing everyone to have a go with activities suitable for all ages.

There’s no need to book — just come along on the day to the Parkinson building between 10am and 4pm. All age groups welcome.

2. Leeds Piano Festival

28 March — 7 April

The Leeds Piano Festival is showcases some of the best pianists in the world and the events take place all over Leeds.

There’s a variety of events, such as a showcase of the Steinway pianos on campus, a show from leading pianist Lang Lang, and a performance from Leeds alum Alistair McGowen.

3. Leeds Digital Festival

23 April

University of Leeds sponsors Leeds Digital Festival, which brings together digital expertise and innovation from around the city. Last year’s festival had 170 different events, 600 speakers and 20,000 attendees!

4. Leeds International Festival

2 — 12 May

Leeds International Festival is the UK’s leading metropolitan festival of new ideas and innovation.

The ten day festival combines an international programme of speakers and a huge variety of performers. Last year’s event had guests such as Rag ’n’ Bone Man, Lauren Laverne and Yo La Tengo.

5. Tour de Yorkshire

2 — 5 May

The Tour de Yorkshire is a road cycling race in Yorkshire, which is part of the UCI Europe Tour.

Of course, there’s no requirement to take part in the race. Instead, you can cheer on the cyclists with others in the local area.

6. Live At Leeds

4 May

Live at Leeds is a one day music festival which showcases the best new talent from the UK and beyond. It is held in various venues across Leeds City Centre, including Stylus on campus!

You can go from venue to venue to see your favourite artists or discover new music you love.

7. Leeds Half Marathon

12 May

Yorkshire’s biggest and loudest half marathon. This much-loved run raises hundreds of thousands of pounds for charity every year and often attracts around 7,500 runners to the city streets.

Leeds Half Marathon attracts runners of all abilities and ages, so it’s a great way to challenge yourself and raise money for a good cause.

8. Pint of Science

20 — 22 May

Pint of Science is a non-profit organisation that brings some of the most brilliant scientists to local pubs to discuss their latest research and findings with you.

You don’t need any prior knowledge, and this is your chance to meet the people responsible for the future of science (and have a pint with them).

9. Yorkshire Sculpture International

22 June — 29 September

Free and open to all, Yorkshire Sculpture International will showcase sculpture in all its forms. From new work by international artists to sculpture drawn from our world-class collections.

It will feature exhibitions and events inside the galleries at the Henry Moore Institute, Leeds Art Gallery, The Hepworth Wakefield and Yorkshire Sculpture Park and new outdoor sculpture commissions in unexpected places, including some on campus!

10. Medieval Congress

1 — 4 July

Each Summer, the university hosts the International Medieval Congress, Europe’s largest forum for sharing ideas in medieval studies.

It draws medievalists from over 60 countries, with more than 2,000 individual papers as well as public concerts, performances, excursions, bookfairs and more.

11. Leeds Pride

4 August

Leeds Pride is an annual LGBT Pride celebration. Last year, up to 120 floats took part in the procession through the city centre, with an estimated 40,000 people taking to the streets for the parade.

12. Leeds Festival

23— 25 August

One of the UK’s most famous music festivals, which was founded in 1999 and has since hosted some of music’s biggest stars. Headlining Leeds Festival this year are Foo Fighters, Twenty One Pilots, The 1975 and Post Malone.

Photo credit: Lewis Evans

13. Leeds West Indian Carnival

26 August

Leeds West Indian Carnival is Europe’s longest running authentic Caribbean carnival parade. There’s jaw-dropping costumes, great music, Caribbean food and entertainment for everyone.

14. Let’s Ride Leeds

2 September

For Let’s Ride Leeds, the roads of Leeds are closed to traffic and host a street festival for anyone on a bike. It’s a great way to spend a Saturday and last year, the route went through campus.

Picture by Allan McKenzie/SWpix.com

15. Ilkley Literature Festival

4 — 20 October

The North’s most exciting literature festival plays host to some of the best writers both in the UK and internationally, reading from acclaimed work, as well as taking part in discussions.

It’s also a good excuse to visit Ilkley — a picturesque spa town not too far from Leeds.

16. Leeds International Film Festival

6 — 21 November

Leeds International Film Festival is a 16 day event, where you can watch some of the greatest films from around the world. You can be among the first to see new films, as well as rarely screened classics, documentaries, cult and fantasy cinema and new short films.

17. Light Night

October — exact dates TBC

Light Night is one of the UK’s largest annual arts and light festivals, where Leeds’s most recognisable indoor and outdoor spaces are transformed by spectacular artworks and captivating performances by local, national and international artists.

There’s always installations and performances on campus, so keep a lookout for them!

18. Bonfire Night at Woodhouse Moor

5 November

Only a stone’s throw away from campus is Woodhouse Moor, where students and local people watch a free firework display. The show starts at around 7pm and you can grab a drink at a nearby pub afterwards.

If you want to explore a different part of Leeds, Roundhay Park also hosts a huge firework display. Around 70,000 people turn up each year to see the bonfire lit at 7.30pm.

19. German Christmas market

December — exact dates TBC

It’s not truly festive season without a trip to the Leeds Christkindelmarkt in Millennium Square. The family-friendly market has over 40 stalls featuring handcrafted toys, jewellery, festive decorations and authentic German delicacies, along with a Christmas Carousel.

University of Leeds also hosts events throughout the Christmas break for students who don’t travel home for Christmas. The Christmas in Leeds programme provides students with the chance to meet others, experience Christmas traditions and find out about help and support.



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