From parties in parks to singing and seafood, August is ready for its close-up
It’s beginning to look a lot like, well, summer in the city – and an (almost) normal one at that. August brings with it a belting selection of live music, festival-style get-togethers, great food and opportunities to show off your creativity. If you’re looking for something to put a smile back on your face this month, look no further than our round-up of all things doable. Take care out there, and enjoy.
Read on for our pick of the best things to do in Leeds this August.
THE GARDEN PARTY WEEKENDER | Globe Waterside | 7-8 August
Promising two nights of great music and good fun, Garden Party is back with a bang this year – in a new location near the city centre’s railway arches. With a packed lineup featuring Honey Dijon, The Blessed Madonna, Paul Woolford and Skream to name just a few, it’s set to be a weekend to remember. Grab tickets to the official after parties at The Warehouse and Wire to continue the joy.
Globe Waterside, Holbeck, Leeds LS11 5QG (12pm-10pm; tickets from £61.87 at skiddle.com)
MARDI GRAS PROUD IN THE PARK | Roundhay Park | 14 August
Making its Leeds debut in 2021, MARDI GRAS is here with a day of music, food, crafts and fairground rides. Taking over Roundhay Park for one day only, you can expect two stages featuring a musical smorgasbord of dance, pop and cabaret acts – from Jax Jønes, SIGALA and Disciples to Frock Destroyers and Drag Race’s very own Tayce and Baga Chipz.
Roundhay Park, Mansion Lane, Roundhay, Leeds LS8 2HH (11am-11pm; tickets from £25 at mardigrasfestival.co.uk)
HEATHERS THE MUSICAL | Leeds Grand Theatre | 5-14 August
Head to Leeds Grand this August to catch the highly acclaimed black comedy rock musical on its first-ever national tour. Follow protagonist, Veronica Sawyer as she pursues her dreams in an all-singing, all-dancing (literally) show of highs, lows, heartbreak and mystery. She's my best friend. God, I hate her.
Leeds Grand Theatre, 46 New Briggate, Leeds LS1 6NU (various times; tickets from £29 at leedsheritagetheatres.com)
VINTAGE AND CRAFT FAIR | Left Bank | 15 August
Support Yorkshire’s Brain Tumour Charity at it brings its first vintage and craft fair to Left Bank. Expect a wide range of handmade and vintage goods – from clothes to trinkets and everything in between – with local artists and traders offering up their wares in the name of a good cause.
Left Bank, Cardigan Road, Burley, Leeds LS6 1LJ (9am-12.30pm; tickets £2 on the door or £1 in advance at yorksbtc.org.uk)
MONOPRINT TASTER SESSION | Leeds Print Workshop | 16 August
Check out the hub of creativity that is Leeds Print Workshop this summer, where a whole range of hands-on, skills-based workshops are on offer. In this one, you’ll get to grips with monoprinting basics, as practising printmaker, illustrator and bookbinder, Joanna Wilkinson teaches the classic plate and stencil process. Suitable for complete beginners and those with more experience.
Leeds Print Workshop, Patrick Studios, St Mary's Lane, Leeds LS9 7EH (6-9pm; tickets £40 at eventbrite.co.uk)
BENJAMIN ZEPHANIAH & THE REVOLUTIONARY MINDS | Belgrave Music Hall | 18 August
Don’t miss the chance to see acclaimed writer, poet and political activist, Benjamin Zephaniah as he brings his tour to the Belgrave stage. The Revolutionary Minds album features a selection of dub-reggae tracks, created alongside producer and collaborator, The Sea. Expect emotion, creativity and Zephaniah’s signature blend of poignantly political poetry – this time in a musical setting.
Belgrave Music Hall, 1-1A Cross Belgrave Street, Leeds LS2 8JP (doors at 8pm; tickets £19.80 at dice.fm)
THE WINE LOVER – WINE TASTING EXPERIENCE | Harvey Nichols | 19 August
Fancy a touch of class this August? Head down to Harvey Nichols to join their resident winos on a journey into the world of wine. You’ll sample five curated varieties, enjoy a selection of expertly paired nibbles and get tasting tips as you go.
Harvey Nichols, 107-111B Briggate, Leeds LS1 6AZ (6-7.30pm; tickets £30 at eventbrite.co.uk)
RICKY GERVAIS – SUPERNATURE | First Direct Arena | 21 August
He’s one of Britain’s most influential comics, and he’s headed to the arena stage to deliver his latest stand-up special, SuperNature. It’s Gervais’s first tour since his critically acclaimed Humanity show back in 2017 – which back then was his first in seven years. Netflix snaffled up the title for this one three years ago, so watch this space.
First Direct Area, Arena Way, Leeds LS2 8BY (doors at 6pm; tickets from £40.75 at ticketmaster.co.uk)
VILLAGERS | Jumbo Records | 24 August
Villagers are celebrating the release of their latest album, Fever Dreams, with an acoustic, in-store tour of the UK this August. They’ll be gracing Jumbo’s floor for the penultimate show in the series this August – and all you have to do is pre-order the new album to get priority entry on the day.
Jumbo Records, Merrion Street, 1-3 Merrion Centre, Leeds LS2 8NG (doors at 1pm; pre-orders at jumborecords.co.uk)
GOLD SOUNDS FESTIVAL | Brudenell Social Club | 7 August
Live music is back! And so is Gold Sounds Festival, which returns to Brudenell Social Club for its sixth outing, bringing an exciting blend of some of the UK’s brightest musical talent. With two stages featuring the likes of The Magic Gang, Gengahr, PINS, Baba Ali, Chappaqua Wrestling and more, a ticket will be well worth it.
Brudenell Social Club, 33 Queen's Road, Burley, Leeds LS6 1NY (3-11pm; tickets £27.80 at futuresound.seetickets.com)
SEAFOOD AND WINE FESTIVAL | Water Lane Boathouse | 8 August
Holidays might be a little tricky at the moment, so why not join Water Lane Boathouse and make pretending that little bit easier? Rock up on the second Sunday of the month to enjoy street-food-style seafood dishes from Ox Club, paired with a range of yummy natural wines from Chapel Allerton’s very own Wayward Wines.
Water Lane Boathouse, Canal Wharf, Holbeck, Leeds LS11 5PS (12-8pm; free entry, walk-ins only)
LEEDS OPERA FESTIVAL | Various venues | 23-30 August
Combining performances from world-class and emerging artists with a programme of talks, panel discussions, workshops, community events and much more, the 2021 Leeds Opera Festival brings an imaginative line-up in celebration of Gustav Holst’s operas.
Various locations (various times; tickets from free to £25 at ticketsource.co.uk)
LEEDS FESTIVAL | Bramham Park | 27-29 August
It needs no introduction – it’s Leeds’ most iconic festival, and it’s back at Bramham Park this bank holiday weekend for three days of music, moshing and merriment. With headline slots from Liam Gallagher, Stormzy and Post Malone, and other big names including Queens of the Stone Age, Catfish and the Bottlemen and Disclosure, get ready for one of the many, many comebacks of the year.
Bramham Park, Bramham Lane, Wetherby LS23 6ND (tickets sold out)
FOR THE KIDS
SUMMER LONG SPORTS DAY | Hamleys | throughout August
Looking for a fun family activity for those sprawling summer holiday days? Look no further than Hamleys, where families are invited to relive the sports day dream in the centre of Leeds. There’ll be fun challenges including penalty shoot outs with the Hamleys bears, puppet shows, a Wizarding World tournament, Frozen-themed sports activities and more.
Hamleys, Trinity Leeds, 30 Albion St, Leeds LS1 6HX (Monday-Wednesday, Friday- Saturday 9am-8pm, Thursday 7am-8pm, Sunday 11am-5pm; free entry)