Get into the swing of festival season with our top fifteen picks of the month’s must-sees
North Leeds Food Festival - Roundhay Park, 30 June- 1 July
Now in its third year, North Leeds Food Festival is set to be bigger than ever. Celebrating international cuisines and local brewers alike, the festival will this year see a larger emphasis on food as a part of wider wellbeing, with talks and workshops sponsored by mental health charity Mind. There’s plenty to entertain the kids too – magic shows, exotic animals and giant inflatables ensure fun for all the family.
Edinburgh Fringe previews - Wharf Chambers, 1,8,22 July
Not everyone can make it to the greatest variety show on earth but, luckily for us, our own little slice of Edinburgh is making its way down to Yorkshire. Designed to allow comedians to test out their gags before the big fringe fiesta, Wharf Chambers will be hosting three separate nights, all free entry and chock-full of potential LOLs. Our top pick is Tash Goldstone’s show JellyBean; already championed by Comedy Central and Vice, she is undoubtedly one to watch.
Victoria Gate Wimbledon screening - Sidney Street, 2-15 July
Kick back in Leeds’ swankiest shopping centre to catch all of the highs and lows of Wimbledon 2018. Shown on a giant outdoor screen, you’ll be able to nip in and out of the bar to top up on strawbs and cream or a cheeky Pimms. And, if it all gets a bit too much, you’ll even have the nearby John Lewis sale to peruse...
Leeds Tattoo Expo - First Direct Arena, 7-8 July
Need that awkward lad’s holiday stamp patching up? Leeds Tattoo Expo rolls into town once more, with the opportunity to book a large ink, get tatted on the spot or simply admire the talent of some of the industry’s top creatives. From hyper-realism to quirky dot work, check out the gallery of this year’s stallholders and get that next piece planned – just don’t forget to bring a pal to hold your hand.
Yellow Submarine 50 year anniversary screening - Hyde Park Picture House, Sunday 8 July
Keep it colourful with a special screening of The Beatles’ classic movie to mark its 50th anniversary, remastered for the occasion. Travel deep into their world of love, peace and harmony (or marvel at just how many drugs everybody involved must have been taking at the time), with tickets costing £10.
Beyonce Party - Hi-Fi, Friday 13 July
Who runs the world? Fresh off the back of her world-slaying tour with husband Jay-Z, Hi-Fi club will be celebrating all things Queen Bee with a night of her greatest hits (fancy dress optional). Catch Team Conf getting in formation early doors - ours is a Rum and Ting.
Leeds LGBT Literature Festival - Leeds Central Library 14-15 July
Organised by the LGBT+ Book Club and Leeds Libraries, this bookish bonanza makes its debut with an impressive array of readings, signings and workshops that celebrate otherwise marginalised voices in literature. Highlights include a talk with Joe Glass, author of superhero comic series The Pride, and a zine-making workshop with JJ William, leader of the Leeds Survivor Support Group. Tickets are free to low income participants, but attendees are invited to support the much-needed event with a small donation.
Cocoon In The Park - Temple Newsam, Saturday 14 July
Reach for the lasers - Cocoon In The Park turns ten! The little slice of electronic fun doesn’t look a day over nine, kept youthful with its funky-fresh roster of selectors, scratchers and b2b experts. This year features the likes of Seth Troxler, Craig Richards and Enzo Siragusa, but - as regulars will tell you - this festival is less about line-up as it is about overall good vibes.
JazzLeeds Festival - Various, 20-25 July
Polish up that saxophone – JazzLeeds returns as part of the Leeds City Council Summer Series. Featuring performances from Soweto Kinch, Ian Shaw and The Leeds Jazz Voices Choir, it displays a side of Leeds music scene that is rarely celebrated, guaranteeing some ace new Spotify discoveries.
An evening with Matt Haig - Waterstones, Wednesday 25 July
Author of the hugely acclaimed Reasons To Stay Alive, Matt Haig knows the value of positive affirmance and self-care. Stopping off in Leeds as part of the promotional tour for his new book Notes on a Nervous Planet, Haig will be discussing increasing rates of stress and anxiety in our society, as well as offering up tips on how to combat those nervous feelings in the big bad world.
Keep Real’s One Year Show - Headrow House, Friday 27 July
Keep Real’s work as a mental health-promoting social enterprise has remained under the radar - until now. They’ll be marking their first birthday in style with a party at Headrow House, featuring performances from Tom Anderson, Van Houten and Adam Taylor as well as revealing their SS18 collection of clothing, stationery and accessories. With the opportunity to chat to likeminded attendees and the team themselves, it’s set to be quite the cathartic evening.
Leeds Championship Dog Show - Harewood House, 27-29 July
Watch as Leeds crowns its goodest of good boys (and girls) at the annual Championship Dog Show. With a place at Crufts up for grabs, only the finest of pooches are considered at this 36-year-old event. Make a day of it and explore the Harewood grounds - the stately homes and gallery will be open to view all summer.
The Yarden Party - Duke Studios, Saturday 28 July
Cross your fingers for good weather as The Yarden Party returns to Duke Studios. Headed up by experienced DJ Nick The Record, it’s the second in Duke’s series of collaborations and a significant anti-upper from May’s sold out event. Expect disco, soul, and various sun-kissed retro bangers.
Rollerskate course - Activ Zone, Wednesdays all month
Make like it’s 1989 and take to the streets with a six-week roller-skating class. Suitable for beginners and semi-pros, the Roller Girl Gang will have your back at you learn to cruise, stop and turn with panache. Short shorts and leg warmers are, of course, optional.
GeoFleur pop-up shop - Fred Aldous, All month
What better time of year to invest in some new leafy pals? Taking their subscription service IRL, you’ll be able to peruse Geofleur’s array of plants and planters at your leisure in the city centre’s Fred Aldous store. While you’re there, try not to leave without an armful of art and craft supplies - Fred certainly knows how to provide the creative catnip.