29 events, 13 venues, 45 pioneering speakers...

TICKETS are available now for the fourth incarnation of Leeds International Festival (L20); promising ten days of thought-provoking talks, interactive workshops, premieres, installations and a fun-filled family day from 30th April to 9th May. 

Spanning 29 events and 13 venues, the festival will see 45 pioneering speakers and creators explore this year’s theme of 'Generation Future.'

Five events will premiere at Leeds International Festival this year; including a secret new dance performance from much-lauded Requardt & Rosenberg, a 'doomsday disco' and a family-friendly day themed on 'future fairness.' In Oh God! Not Another One?, meanwhile, performer Selina Thompson will assemble a ‘kitchen table council’ of locals to chat over the hot political problems of the day and see if we can do better than the politicians. 

2020 02 14 Leeds L20 Selina Thompson
Performer Selina Thompson

There will also be creators from across the North West and internationally. Japanese-German artist Naho Matsuda turns 'smart city' data into poetry for innovative digital art installation every thing every timewhile Manchester's Maya Chowdry takes on maitre d’ duties in What’s Eating Reality? - inviting you to chew over questions of supply chains while enjoying a three-course meal created by chef Helen Russell Brown from seasonal, local and reclaimed food. 

As for Leeds, talent is also represented by the likes of Yorkshire Dance and Phoenix Dance Theatre and the band I LIKE TRAINS (main image) performing their first hometown gig in three years, accompanied by NYX (Electronic Drone Choir) and visuals from Michael Connolly. Meanwhile Mandy Barker’s beautiful but shocking photographic exhibition Altered Oceans highlights the impact of plastic waste on the planet.

2020 02 03 Mandy Barker
The oceans absorb eight million tonnes of plastic annually - they could contain more plastic than fish by 2050 Mandy Barker

Talks are another facet. American writer, professor and activist Lacy M Johnson joins Dr Shona Hunter and others to discuss identity and equality in one of three thought-provoking ‘big conversations' and another - A Generation to Cool the Earth - sees TV presenter and wildlife enthusiast Michaela Strachan compering talks from Extinction Rebellion co-founder Roger Hallam, professional musician and bioacoustician Bernie Krause, global food activist and physicist Dr Vandana Shiva and carbon footprinting expert and author Mike Berners-Lee.

Finally, George Clarke chairs Living in a Future City, covering everything from the natural environment to urban infrastructure as expert panelists discuss how our cities need to change. 

2020 02 17 Bernie Krause
Professional musician and bioacoustician Bernie Krause

Many headline talks and music events will be held in the L20 Cube at The Tetley; a unique, space-themed hub with independent food and drink outlets. Other events in the line-up will be hosted at venues across the city centre.  

Gemma Holsgrove, Leeds International Festival executive says: “I’m really looking forward to seeing Leeds host such an incredible array of talent this May and hope that some of the conversations, performances, workshops and performances challenge, educate and inspire audiences to make their own positive changes to our increasingly complex and interconnected world.”  

Leeds International Festival takes place citywide from 30th April to 9th May - tickets are now available. 

Main image: Ben Bentley 

Read more: Top things to do in Leeds: February 2020