From rock ’n’ roll to retro romance, Leeds is feeling the love this February
The second and shortest month of the year is upon us, and as we do our best to forget the blip of cancelled plans that was Christmas, it’s time to look ahead to a month full of gigs, games and gatherings once more. You won’t find cheese and wine on February’s list, but you can rest assured that everything on here is definitely a thing to do – we’re not in any doubt.
So without further ado (or "adieu", as I once heard someone proclaim), let’s crack on with the very best of Leedsy activities to partake in over the next four weeks. The fun starts here folks.
Here's our roundup of the best things happening in Leeds in February.
Retro Games Fair | Leeds Marriott Hotel | 5th February
Love yourself a spicy bit of Nintendo? A cheeky Sega kickback, or some quality Atari time? This one might just be for you. Head on down to Leeds Marriott for a full day of retro games action, with a vast range of sellers plus arcade machines, prize draws and more. Whether you’re there for the nostalgia or looking to find your next addiction, it looks set to be a belter of a day.
Leeds Marriott Hotel, 4 Trevelyan Square, Boar Ln, Leeds LS1 6ET (10am – 4pm tickets £2 for adults, 50p for children on the door)
Romesh Ranganathan: The Cynic’s Mixtape | Victoria Theatre Halifax | 6th February
Promising only the driest of wit and most brutal honesty imaginable, Romesh’s rescheduled show is here (hopefully) to stay this month. Expect a relentless torrent of glass-half-empty cynicism, covering everything from why none of us is truly free, to his wife using her gluten intolerance as an excuse not to sleep with him. It’s going to be hilarious.
Victoria Theatre, 2 Fountain Street, Halifax HX1 1BP (8pm; tickets from £24 at victoriatheatre.co.uk)
Nish Kumar: Your Power, Your Control | City Varieties Music Hall | 10th February – 5th March
He might have been pelted with bread back in 2019 for making jokes about Brexit at a charity gig the day before the election, but Nish Kumar’s back on form and in style with a brand new show full of political "zingers" and powerfully discursive energy. If poignant, pithy and chuckle-inducing commentary on the rather frazzled state of the world is up your street, buy a ticket now.
City Varieties Music Hall, Swan Street, Leeds LS1 6LW (7.30pm; tickets £21.60 at leedsheritagetheatres.com)
The Stranglers | O2 Academy | 12th February
It’s third time lucky for one of Britain’s most influential groups, as they bring their twice rescheduled show to the hallowed ground of the O2 Academy. Expect the ultimate journey through rock and indeed roll, as the foursome blasts through tracks from their 45-year career.
O2 Academy, Leeds 55 Cookridge St, Leeds LS2 3AW (doors 7pm; tickets from £34.50 at ticketmaster.co.uk)
Palentine’s Social | The Tetley | 12th February
Forget finding "the one" and head down to the Tetley for an evening of joyful platonic fun this V Day weekend. You’ll get a free cocktail as you enjoy a jazz set from the Real Gold Trio, before moving through to the gallery space’s restaurant for a mix of group and one-to-one activities to get the friendship vibes flowing. If you’re looking to meet some lovely new people in a friendly, relaxed environment, it’s one not to miss.
The Tetley, Hunslet Road, Leeds LS10 1JQ (5–8pm; tickets £5 at shop.thetetley.org)
Valentine’s Bottomless Brunch | Grön Kafé Harrogate | 12th and 13th February
For one weekend only, Matt Healy’s Grön Kafé is set to go all out with a menu of unlimited booze and brunch classics. Whether you’re madly in love or looking to drink so much fizz you forget the concept ever existed (please drink responsibly), this classy little afternoon has your back. Brunch starting at 3pm, you say? I don’t know either, but with bottomless sparkling wine, Aperol spritz and mimosas for 90 mins at £25, I’d say it’s worth a shot.
Grön Kafé, 3 Royal Parade, Harrogate HG1 2SZ (3pm; tickets from £10 at eventbrite.co.uk)
Opera North’s Carmen | Leeds Grand Theatre | 12th – 18th February
Simply reading the description for Opera North’s Carmen is enough to get the heart well and truly racing, so I make no apologies for what might happen on the actual stage. Billed as a "scorching" new production of seduction, desire, violence and toxic masculinity (always a winning combo), this flamenco-infused wonder promises drama by the bucketload.
Leeds Grand Theatre, 46 New Briggate, Leeds LS1 6NU (7.30pm; tickets from £15 at leedsheritagetheatres.com)
Tees and Totes Workshop | Water Lane Boathouse | 23rd February
It sold out so quickly in November that it’s back for another dose of super crafty magic this February. Join Tara Rose Pomery in this guided printing session, and leave with your own customised t-shirt and/or tote bag. All equipment is provided, so head along and try your hand at all kinds of drawing, stencilling, assembling and printing techniques – perfect for putting your own stamp on something special.
Water Lane Boathouse, Canal Wharf, Holbeck, Leeds LS11 5PS (6.30pm; tickets £15 at dice.fm)
Dave: We’re all in this together alone | First Direct Arena | 26th February
The world’s most modestly named rapper is set to grace the stage at Leeds arena this February, bringing with him all the ambition of his 2021 album, We’re all in this alone together. Expect a powerful show full of passion, power and fresh talent.
Leeds First Direct Arena, Arena Way, Leeds LS2 8BY (tickets from £48.70 at ticketmaster.co.uk)
Macbeth | Leeds Playhouse | 26th February – 19th March
Watch Shakespeare’s iconic tragedy come to life in the Playhouse’s Quarry Theatre, in director Amy Leach’s visceral interpretation of this classic tale. Expect darkness, corruption, greed and (spoiler alert) death. Fans of a happy ending should leave well alone.
Leeds Playhouse, Playhouse Square, Quarry Hill, Leeds LS2 7UP (various times; tickets from £14 at leedsplayhouse.org.uk)
Leeds Blues, Rhythm and Rock Festival| Brudenell Social Club | 27th February
Yep, festivals in February can be a thing. After coming up short on the festival line-up for the first month of the year, I’m overjoyed to bring you this month’s offer from the one and only Brudenell Social Club. Head down to witness a spectacular celebration of blues, rhythm and rock, with headliners Aynsley Lister and The Cinelli Brothers ready to ignite the foot-tapping energy in style.
Brudenell Social Club, 33 Queen's Road, Burley, Leeds LS6 1NY (2pm –10pm; tickets £32 at crashrecords.co.uk)
Header image: Chrystal E. Williams as Carmen © Tristram Kenton
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