Line-up includes One Foot In the Rave, Kaos Classical, Dark Room and more from 28 April to 12 May
Organisers of the second instalment of Leeds International Festival - the metropolitan festival of new ideas and innovation - have just announced a new wave of events, including a retrospective on Leeds’ rave scene, the 'world’s only live action videogame', a House Gospel Choir, an urban music showcase, two new exhibitions, and KAOS’ 30th anniversary bonanza.
The newly announced events join the existing line-up, which includes Sex Robots and AI, special film score commissions, and conversations with 70s outré icons, to an exclusive talk with the first Briton in space (Helen Sharman), the premiere of a brand new film on Leeds Rhinos, and the huge Live At Leeds - featuring The Horrors, Circa Waves and Peace.
LIF will also encompass the Empowering Women with Science and Tech conference, and feature guests including Sarah Beeny, June Sarpong, Viv Albertine, Steve Lamacq, Yo La Tengo, Circuit des Yeux and more.
Newly released headline events include ‘One Foot In the Rave’ celebrating the Leeds dance scene from 1985-1996, where iconic nights such as Soak, Kaos, Up Yer Ronson, Back to Basics, Orbit, Hard Times and Vague loomed large. It includes a special series of talks, an exhibition, chinwags and live music.
The biggest event in this series will be the reincarnation of Leeds’ long-lost KAOS night. This one-off KAOS re-launch, thirty years on, is entitled Classical Uproar, and will feature club classics played with a small orchestra. Another musical event sees the House Gospel Choir putting their powerful gospel spin on some massive club classics.
From dance music to intercultural communication; Connected Communities is a film and exhibition exploring the cultures and traditions of several different indigenous groups from north-eastern Brazil. With the help of the NGO Thydêwá, these communities have used digital tools to help increase their visibility, fight prejudice and lobby the government for their rights.
Videogame-making is high on the Leeds International Festival agenda again this year, with Leeds proving a hotbed for talent. The Game Makers Yorkshire showcase (GaMeYo) provides the opportunity to try 20 brand-new games made in Yorkshire, and network with the city’s new talent. Due to the huge popularity of last year’s event, The Dark Room will also return to the festival, this time bringing a special kids’ version of the unique event, aimed at a younger audience, so all gamers can enjoy.
Come Play With Me x Paramount sees the social enterprise record label, partner with Paramount Music to showcase some emerging urban music, featuring some local stars from this year’s MOBOs, which Leeds hosted.
Another new collaborative music event is Balkanarama, a night dedicated to the energetic beats of the Balkans. Headlined by TANTZ, this is an all-singing, all-dancing affair with DJs, bands and dancers, heading to Leeds for the first time.
You can also catch up with famous muso Steve Lamacq as he chats his way through his illustrious career, or head to ‘In Conversation’ and charity chinwag events with Viv Albertine of all-girl Punk band The Slits, or avant-garde inspiration Cosey Fanni Tutti.
A special hour-long LIF commission from the Inner Vision Orchestra - the UK's only ensemble of blind and visually impaired musicians - will be performed in the dark; Mexrrissey, a Mexican brass and string Morrissey cover band will perform at Church Leeds; and Circuit des Yeux’s Haley Fohr performs a newly commissioned soundtrack to the startlingly seductive 1923 silent movie, Salomé.
These unique events will take place all over the city from historic venues such as Hyde Park Picture House to the more recent First Direct Arena.