From Heels of Hell to the return of Light Night, there’s no excuse for an empty diary
OKTOBERFEST | North Brewing Co | Saturday 5th October
There’s plenty of Oktoberfest events to choose from in Leeds but, if you’re looking to beat the crowds, our pick this year would have to be North Brew’s low-key celebration. Enjoy table service and (hopeful) sunshine out in their ‘beirgarten’, with a strong selection of Hofbräu bevs to choose from. Ticket prices include a stein of beer and a portion of food from hot dog heroes Fat Annie’s.
North Brewing Co, LS7 1AH (12-10pm; tickets from £15 at ticketarena.co.uk)
BONGO’S BINGO | O2 Academy Leeds | Wednesdays
Make like a fresher and embrace the madness that is Bongo’s Bingo. Temporarily vacating its usual home of Canal Mills for a series of pop-ups at the O2, there’s some serious cash (and hoovers) to be won amongst the carnage, with a playlist of nineties and noughties pop bangers to boot. If you’re planning a hen do or back-to-work party, you can’t go far wrong. Brief yourself with our review of proceedings here.
O2 Academy Leeds, LS2 3AW (entry 6.30-7pm, start time 8pm; tickets from £10 at bongosbingo.co.uk)
ARANCINI FESTIVAL| Simpatico | 11th - 13th October
Fan of a deep fried rice ball? Fill your boots at Simpatico’s special weekend ode to this tasty street food, with 16 different varieties of arancini to sample your way through. Balance out your cheesy balls with tons of other delectable treats, ranging from courgette flowers right through to focaccia and porchetta. Don’t forget to take a lunchbox - these bad boys makes for excellent cold lunch leftovers.
Simpatico, LS1 6LF (11am-4pm; free entry)
THE TESTAMENTS BOOK CLUB | Waterstones | Wednesday 9th October
Praise be. Margaret Atwood broke some serious first-week book sale records last month with her sequel to The Handmaid’s Tale. For all those Gile-heads bursting with thoughts about The Testaments, Waterstone’s special one-off book club should satisfy your conversational desires, offering space to theorise a better world in which such oppression never becomes reality…
Waterstones Leeds, LS1 5JS (5-6pm; free entry)
LIGHT NIGHT | Leeds City Centre | 10th - 11th October
Welcome to the 15th annual edition of Leeds Light Night. See the city transformed by over 60 free installations and events, supplied by local and international artists. This year’s theme of ‘Mind, Body And Spirit’ has made for some thought-provoking submissions, with the Swan Song illuminations in St John’s Churchyard and Gemma Wood’s interactive ‘happiness sum’ calculator at The Tetley set to be particularly popular.
Various (free entry)
NORTHERN CRAFT | Left Bank Leeds | Saturday 12th October
Start stashing the Christmas presents early with Northern Craft’s showcase of artisan makers, designers and craftspeople. Traders for this edition are yet to be confirmed, but you can normally expect a solid choice of food, prints, jewellery and homeware goods, with workshops to help you exercise your own DIY tendencies. Find out more about the Northern Craft gang in our interview with the organisers here here.
Left Bank Leeds, LS6 1LJ (11am-5pm; free entry)
NICE STUFF AT SHOPKEEPERS | Nation Of Shopkeepers | Sunday 13th October
If one craft market wasn’t enough, do the double and head to Nation of Shopkeepers new regular event, celebrating the abundance of young talent in the city. Current confirmed traders include colourful and kitsch printmaker Poppy Almond (pictured), clothes designer The Prawn Shop and baby accessory designer Oliver & Alfie - shop generously and then wash it all down with a good pint.
Nation of Shopkeepers, LS2 3AG (12-5pm; free entry)
LOCAL NATIVES | Belgrave Music Hall | Tuesday 15th October
Kings of a three-piece harmony, LA guitar group Local Natives have proved themselves a stellar live act over the years, sound tracking many a hipster indie awakening. As they tour in support of latest record Violet Street, expect a solid dose of synthy choruses, political promise and those killer vocals.
Belgrave Music Hall, LS2 8JP (8-11pm, tickets from £15 at dice.fm)
AUSTENTACIOUS | City Varieties | 18th - 19th October
Fresh from six sell-out runs at the Edinburgh fringe, Austentacious puts the fun firmly back into literary classics. Every night, the group of improv comics take suggestions from the audience and make up an entirely new Jane Austen novel based on nothing more than a title, creating a spontaneous set that is completely unique every single time you watch. Performed in full regency costume, previous works have included Mansfield Shark and Strictly Come Darcy - get prepping your puns and be sure to sit in the front row.
City Varieties, LS1 6LW (8pm; tickets from £18.60 at cityvarities.co.uk)
HEELS OF HELL | O2 Academy Leeds | Tuesday 22nd October
Witch please - Ru’s Queens are back and they’re ready to raise some serious hell. Join fan favourites Sharon Needles, Adore Delano, Mayhem Miller and more as they death drop and lip sync their way through a ton of spooky Halloween hits. Ticket packages range from standard entry right through to Meet & Greets, a must for any Drag Race addict.
O2 Academy Leeds, LS2 3AW (7-11pm; tickets from £35 at eventbrite.co.uk)
THE FOOTBALL RAMBLE | Leeds Town Hall | Thursday 24th October
Join everyone’s favourite footy podcast IRL as they record an episode within our very own town hall. Expect the hosts’ signature light-hearted look at seasons past, greatest goals and future predictions for the beautiful game. Leeds United kits optional.
Leeds Town Hall, LS1 3AD (8-10pm; tickets from £20 at leedstownhall.co.uk)
PUMPKIN PICKING | Stockeld Park | 26th - 31st October
It wouldn’t be Halloween without some family-friendly spooky activity, and it doesn’t come much more wholesome than picking out your own pumpkin. Stockeld Park in Wetherby allows you to do just that, with additional options to carve your own there and then, watch their Monster Mash show or visit the enchanted forest to meet Stockeld’s very own witches. Now, whose kid can we borrow to get in?
Stockeld Park, LS22 4AN (various times; tickets from £13.50 at stockeldpark.co.uk)
SAUSAGE AND CIDER FEST | New Dock Hall | Saturday 29th October
Who doesn’t love a good sausage fest? In the spirit of all things Oktoberfest and autumnal, this event blends craft bevs with an array of artisan snacks; as well as live bands, DJ’s and an eating contest. Details for the Leeds leg remain somewhat scant, but other events across the country have looked like a solid opportunity to er, meat up with friends. We’ll see ourselves out…
New Dock Hall, LS10 1LT (12-5pm or 6pm-11pm; tickets from £11 at eventbrite.co.uk)
LENNY HENRY: WHO AM I AGAIN? | Leeds Town Hall | Tuesday 29th October
A legend of comedy and philanthropy, Lenny Henry isn’t short of a story or two. Celebrating his memoir, this outing will be split into two halves - the first allowing Henry to share stories of his upbringing and career, and the second with him taking questions from the audience and his close friend, broadcaster Jon Canter. Expect humour, candour and maybe a few tears.
Leeds Town Hall, LS1 3AD (7.30-10pm; tickets from £31 at leedstownhall.co.uk)
CHER | First Direct Arena | Saturday 30th October
What is there to really say about Cher? Armenian Queen of our hearts, her style, glamour and way with a vocoder has directly influenced so much of pop and LGBTQ culture that it’s hard to believe she’s truly going to grace Leeds with her presence. Nonetheless, you’ll see Team Confidential down the front with a supersized pint held aloft during the inevitable encore of Believe, quietly ignoring the burning hellfire of our bank balance…
First Direct Arena, LS2 8BY (8-11pm; remaining tickets from £136 at ticketmaster.co.uk)